James Yabut of, Cleanhome ph, shares with us his experience as a start up tech company in the Philippines.
What is your role on Cleanhomeph?
Cleanhome Ph is a cleaning provider for returning OFWs starting with providing them cleaning jobs. The essence of the business is an on demand cleaning service where in you are a user and you can easily book a cleaner. We also have another service wherein one cleaning user can subscribe to our monthly cleaning service. You can have cleaners come ones or twice a week of regular cleaning. We make cleaning easier. We provide our users with cleaning materials. We provide you with our professional cleaners. Our cleaners go through rigorous training period. Our training module for cleanliness is inspired by top leading hotel brands internationally plus our personal touches. For our security protocol, we do our investigation while they are training. One of the companies, I own is a security agency which provides that service for me. I can confidently say that I am providing you the user with high quality cleaners. As for my role, my job is basically handle operations, marketing and also work in synergy with MIke Yu, my partner, co founder and our CTO (Chief Technology Officer). Mike is responsible for handling all the tech part of the business. He is the one handling the booking process, the one handling the (UEx) user experience. He also does our backend system to fully automate and make it as easy as possible for the users to have a great experience with us.
How did Cleanhomeph start?
When I got married last year, we move into our own place. My wife is a baker and I am a businessman. We do not have time to clean. When we got a dog. You know how dogs can be messy. It was taking a lot of our time to keep the home clean and fresh. As we are looking for the services, we will look online then call some people. The prices were too expensive. They billed us P15 00-P2500. That is not something we could do in the long run. We do not want a kasambahay (house maid). Only because we value our privacy. We want to be alone and have our own space. It’s also expensive in a way to have a fixed cost of salary and all those other indirect cost of having a kasambahay. That is when Cleanhome was born. I spoke to Mike who has the same problem. Mike has 3 kids then, and he rather spent the money on the yaya (nanny). He wants the yaya is focused on the babies. He does not want them to focus on the cleaning and sacrifice the focus on the kids. When we met through our common friend, he introduced us to a broad perspective of having everything under the sun.
You know what dude, let’s zoom into cleaning!
After we met last May 2015, the talk was dead for awhile. We were businessmen and busy with all our businesses. Around October we decided to do it since were all ready. We began the first phase of Cleanhome. This is the website and the first people we interviewed. It’s only until December when we did our soft launch business. Then January, we did a Facebook launch. Sadly, our first month was zero. No one was booking at all. We are already feeling that it’s not gonna work. People do not want to have helpers at home. Suddenly one client book in and she referred us and referrals referred us. Everything else just followed through.
How do you see Cleanhome ph in 5 years?
We see us as a regional player. We would be around Asia. At first, we want to be nationwide. We are hoping by next year, we could be in Cebu, Bacolod., Davao and any where else that needs our services. Anywhere that needs people to outsource their cleaning, to outsource certain chores for them to live and to maximize their time. At the end of everything, it’s really what we are providing you is the time and efficiency. This is so you can do other things while you can have a clean home.
What are your challenges and what are the resolutions for these challenges?
We wanna grow faster. We are currently in 150- 250 users per month. We want to grow 500- 1000 users a month. We want to increase our number of bookings per day. We want to give our client the best experience from the beginning booking until the time the cleaner leaves. These are our priorities for us to tackle and to have great service. At the same time, one of the heart of this business is our cleaners. Our cleaning partners are returning OFWs. If you may, I will give you a background in OFWs. OFWs when they leave during 29-30 years old and when they come back around 40-45 years old, they have no other option. You have so many business agencies sending people out to Middle East North America etc. There are no businesses telling them to stay here and have a good life here. What happens to these cleaners who come back have no choice but to be a kasambahay receiving P5000-P7 000 wherein abroad they earn P25000 and more. The discrepancy is far. Our goal is to match that level of income for these Cleanhome partners so that they do not have to leave and they can be near their families. Also, we wanna provide solutions to users like you and to give opportunities to these OFWs. This is a win win situation for everyone. You, as a user gets a clean home and the cleaners, they get well paying job. This is something that is really important to us.