[Startup Interview] George Gichuhi, Founder, HCS Errands, Kenya
The quest for convenience from businesses and a growing middle class has opened up doors for errand running businesses that offer a host of services from food deliveries, filling of returns and data entry services among others.
The competition has now shifted to personalization of services, reliability and efficiency as demand continue to outstrip supply.
HCS Errands, a startup in Kenya has positioned itself to tap into this booming sector.
The company’s founder George Gichuhi, talked to Africa Business Communities about the startup’s philosophy of ‘no errand is too ordinary and no errand is extra ordinary,” the space and place of errand running in Kenya and their envisioned expansion to the rest of Africa.
Give us a brief about your company?
We are a company in the service industry, running errands to a wide range of clients in the local and international market.
Our goal is to provide errands solutions and services to clients both individual and corporate who find themselves with limited time to attend to their errands, limited resources in the case of start ups, limited by distance for Kenyans in diaspora or in different locations, limited staff to attend to errands, limited skills on various areas like filling returns, online government services and data entry among many other services.
Where is the company located?
We are located in Nairobi and Mombasa Kenya.
When the company founded and why?
HCS Errands was founded in the year 2015.
Through interaction with various people, I realized a gap where people having various errands wearing them down with limited solutions and that they were willing to have them done by a reliable individual or firm.
Therefore, the firm was started to compliment Kenyans who go out of their quest to achieve more in life and grow either in business, employment and career wise find themselves with so much to do yet with various limitations like limited time to attend to all their to do list, very busy schedule and to help them have their errands sorted competently by a reliable and professional entity thus giving them peace of mind and achieve increased productivity.
How is the company funded?
At the start, the founder ensured that the clients first pay for their services to facilitate the running of the errands. This approach has been adopted to date to raise funds for the company and profits made are re-invested for growth of the enterprise.
The company has now gained great traction and we are at a stage of finding capital for equity to enhance our capacity to meet the demand of our errands services.
What are your company’s unique selling Points?
Well trained and reliable team, good customer service, personalized and customized services. We are also very flexible and can handle any errand for as long as its legal. We believe no errand is too ordinary and no errand is extra ordinary too.
How has the market responded to your services?
The return rate of customers after the first service is high and a sizeable number of our customers has been through referrals from our happy clientele. This has has been a very encouraging factor to us and it serves as a benchmark that our services are relevant in the market.
Who are your clients?
Everyone is a potential client to us. We have served senior citizens, startups with limited resources, Kenyans in diaspora, tourists and expatriates, people with busy schedules and anyone who needed to delegate an errand for one reason or another.
What are the changes your company has gone through since inception and what do they mean to the business?
First, we have strated a one stop errands solution center in Nairobi and this has helped us tap into clients who drop off their vrious errands request and have a central operations point which is able to offer errands services that need office set up. For example, data entry services.
Secondly, we are in the process of bringing on board a new shareholder who will enrich the company with skills, networks, resources which will be a plus in our goal of continuously improving customers experience.
Have you had or are you planning any strategic partnerships?
Apart from our current incoming shareholder we have plans to tap at least two more different shareholders who in our strategic plan of expansion of our operations will help us scale our services in the whole country, the second partner in the East African region, and finally in Africa.
The essence of this partnership is to enrich the quality of services, management, dynamic staffing and tapping to various resources that come with the partnerships. Apart from shareholders we are looking forward to partnering with various service providers to serve clients better and better as add value on customer experience.
How is competition in your industry and how do you weather it?
Several errands firms exist in the market, but we have customized our services to ensure that we are always effective, reliable and proper customer relations is attained from us.
Our unique customer experience has made HCS outstanding in the market. We also have a keen eye on the use of technology to facilitate convenience to our clients. We are easily accessed from our social media platforms and website and more strategies will be launched soon.
What is it that you want to achieve in 2018?
Our 2018 goals are many but the major focus being; Establishing one new branch at Mombasa which is already in its initial stages; Expand operations into various zones and sectors with a keen eye on the opportunities offered by the use of internet.
What does your company need to grow and prosper?
Startup grant/funding,networking, partnership, great staff with diverse exposure and ideas which are key ingridients to having a great service and growth of operations.
What is the lastest news?
The expansion of the company to Mombasa, New contract with Jumia Foods for deliveries using our cyclists, skaters and motorbikes.
Who should contact your company and why?
Anyone that needs help with tackling any errand. HCS is here for you to assist you in attaining your goal may it be that you need help in tackling some piled up data entry work, you want a relieve on the busy schedule, you want deliveries made from office to office, or any other errand in mind try us and you won't regret using our services us.
We also look forward to hearing from interested parties that would want to partner or invest with us.
Africa Business Communities is conducting a series of interviews with startup businesses in Africa.
Are you a startup in Africa and interested in an interview? Great! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org