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Skill Sewa: Doctors for ailing homes

Didhiti KC

Didhiti KC

Skill Sewa: Doctors for ailing homes

The start-up for home inspection is providing jobs to 45 full time and 400 part-time employees in Kathmandu valley. Its next target markets are Butwal and Pokhara

“At Skill Sewa, we treat homes like human beings,” says Ramesh Timilsina, one of the  co-founder of the start-up home inspection business. Like humans have various organs with particular functions, he goes on, homes have plumbing, electricity, painting and furnishing. “All of which together make our homes habitable.”

Skill Sewa provides “doctors” for homes that need inspection, repair and maintenance. 

Timalsina, 28, started this company alongside his two college friends Ramsharan Bikram Thapa and Mahesh Timilsina. They started the business the day after graduating from an engineering college.

“We wanted to create something of new value in the market, so we didn’t waste time,” Timilsina says.

The three friends already had the business idea, which they had come up together while working on two projects in their final year of college. What they lacked in the early days of business was market research and a working business plan. Naturally, the idea—though the trio believed was superb—did not catch on. So they made a few changes to their business plan and model. “We decided to work around the already existing services,” Timilsina says. 

The concept of home inspection is completely new in Nepal, but it is a widespread practice in western countries. In fact, visual inspection is a separate career in foreign countries, which is made compulsory by their governments. 

Skill Sewa has grown since it was launched a little over three years ago. Today, it provides jobs to 45 full time and 400 part-time employees. The company is currently working within Kathmandu Valley and plans to expand its services to Butwal and Pokhara. The company gets around 14-15 daily bookings daily. 

“Confirmation is made via call after which an engineer and a technician go to the client’s house with high-tech devices like thermal cameras, moisture meter, etc. to find out what’s wrong with the house,” Timilsina says. “Our job is to find all the possible sources of the prevalent issue, evaluate whether they can be solved, then prepare a report for the client along with the viable solutions.” 

Clients are free to choose whether or not to proceed with the repair work. Service charge for each inspection is Rs 2,000, which is refundable in case the clients are not satisfied. 

Skill Sewa’s primary focus is providing the proper and accurate technical details by using high tech devices to acquire data. 

“We don’t make assumptions, we separate black from white. If local technicians find moisture in the wall, we here find the percentage of moisture using our high-tech devices,” says Timilsina.

The company is also planning to launch its own app to provide services all across Nepal, as well as train around 3,000 people for the job of technicians in Kathmandu Valley, Butwal and Pokhara.

The ultimate goal for Skill Sewa, Ramesh says, is to reach every district and ward across Nepal through integrated partnership with skilled local managers, engineers and overseers. 

“We want to keep the flow of income within Nepal. We don’t want technicians from India and elsewhere to withhold employment opportunities for Nepali workers,” he adds. 

By distributing ownership to local Nepali technicians like plumbers, carpenters and electricians, Skill Sewa wants to empower Nepali citizens. 

Skill Sewa has got a strong grip on marketing and brand building on social media as well. It has a total of 1bn+ views and daily 300-400K views on TikTok, and not to mention the many followings on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. All these contents are aimed at increasing customer-reliance. 

Timilsina and his fellow co-founders of Skill Sewa strongly believe that in order to sustain a business in Nepal, one needs a strong team to adapt to the changing market demands. 

“There has to be a strong network of trust, cooperation and collective effort. For this, we are planning on increasing local partnership.”