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HOME REPAIR 2.0

Consistent, clean, honest, humble…home repair By bazaar staff

The above words are definitely not ones that you would immediately associate with a home repairman. It seems that, most of the time, having to call up someone to come into our homes and fix whatever current problem may be going on, is a nightmare of an inconvenience waiting to happen. One Kuwaiti entrepreneur is looking to change that via a local business model influenced by his time abroad. First, a question: What do you do when you have a Masters in Finance, are working at a major bank, and have come home to Kuwait to find a hole in the market that you have a passion to fill? If you are Hashem Al Baghli, you quit your day job and start from scratch, with all the ingenuity and tenacity you can muster, a service-based business that is built around the principles of business you believe in. With a company motto based on honesty, integrity, and consistency, to name a few, he is looking to turn the local home repair industry on its head with “a new layer of service in the industry.” For many of us, a home repair fix includes walking downstairs and checking with the hariss (basically the watcher of the door for those unacquainted with local vernacular) to see whom he might know. While many times this may be a quick and painless fix, many run into a problem when it comes to any sort of accountability for the work done. Additionally hope 36

for proof of any qualifications as is unrealistic at best. Having heard enough stories where the person who would show up would be so ill-qualified as to border on dangerous, he decided to take action. In August 2012, www.homerepairkuwait.com, hit the ground running as a one-man operation. The services they offer currently are for Electricity, Plumbing, Painting, AC, and handy man, but their longterm plan is to be a one-stop shop for all things home repair related. Their typical customer varies from the “call and fix,” type of last minute and panicked caller, to the more proactive contract customer, wherein the latter gets a quarterly maintenance review visit in addition to a certain number of free emergency calls. While Hashem readily admits that they will not likely be as cheap as the sort you would find by shouting out the window and taking the first person who comes in response, he does believe that there point of differences make them well worth any difference in cost, and maintains that they are still affordable. The first differentiating factor is that they run off price lists. Meaning, if you call them today and someone else calls them tomorrow, you will both get the same price and level of service. While not exactly a ground-breaker perhaps for business as a whole, it is safe to say that this is one more area in which they are striving to be a fair and transparent company. For

the less savvy or inclined negotiator, this can be very attractive indeed. Also, all of the workers that he hired are at least certified in their home country (he uses this as the starting barometer of qualification since there currently exists no national standards or certifications here), must pass in-house tests put fourth by their team leader, and then are additionally trained via their in-house trainings sessions, in both the technical aspects of the work, as well as the customer service component. In so doing, he believes they can “bring the European know-how in terms of service and safety standards into Kuwait.” His long-term hope is to become the “reference by which other home repair services are measured.” Wanting as well to be respectful of your time, they actually schedule appointments AND are committed to making sure that they hit the time stated, a welcomed departure from the multi-hour gap some see to aim for and still manage to miss. Additionally, and perhaps most telling of all, they offer a 30-day guarantee on all of the work that they do. Just illustrating further that they stand behind their services completely, and, while it would have been easier to just start a franchise with name recognition in the ex-pat community, he is confident that his commitment to do it the hard, slow way— from scratch, will pay off.

For your next home repair service (or even before its an emergency!) call the Home Repair team at: 2473 0963 or reach them online at www.homerepairkuwait.com.

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