Being an entrepreneur and after experiencing first-hand the ups and downs of this journey, Arief’s advice to all the novice entrepreneurs out there is to “ensure you have a strong ‘why’. The moment you do, hustle. Strive for what you want to achieve and never stop believing.”
Arief Imran is the Chief Executive Officer at SERV, an on-demand car servicing mobile application. With their tagline “Car Service Anywhere”, SERV aims to provide seamless and hassle-free vehicle maintenance services whenever or wherever the customer pleases. “We believe that well maintained vehicles are one of the many primary keys to road safety. We have a vision that car servicing should be as easy as ordering pizza. We want it to be as convenient, affordable and as transparent as possible- this means no more driving from one workshop to another looking for the best bargain and most importantly, no hidden charges! It also eliminates the hour long waits with uncomfortable worn out chairs and 3 year old magazines at the workshops”, continued Arief.
The team now is made up of 5 people. Hazim Nordin is the Chief Technology Officer at SERV and is also working on his own biometric systems startup while Hasli Ayob is SERV’s Chief Marketing Officer with vast experience in automotive designing as well as digital marketing. Safiq Jainuddin was previously a data centre floor manager at T-System, Malaysia and is now the startup’s Chief Operating Officer. Sabrina Mohd Hanifa, a fresh graduate from Leeds University is the only female on the team but is definitely the most vocaled member and handles business development as well as their finance and administration work.
“All of us come with diverse backgrounds- from business to automotive to technology. We decided to combine our knowledge and expertise to build and lead SERV. I must admit, we work very well together and complement each other in terms of our skill-sets”, said Arief.
The team was working on SERV at the MaGIC co-working space in the Cyberjaya campus and was later on accepted into cohort 1 of MaGIC’s Global Accelerator Programme (GAP). GAP provides the opportunity for startups to be investment ready in just 4 months through mentoring from technical and business experts, direct access to route-to-market partners and benefits worth more than USD 500,000 from partners.
“In July 2017, we commenced our accelerator journey with nothing in hand but our landing page. Throughout GAP, we were immersed with product development sharing sessions, mentoring and crash courses. All of which benefited SERV thoroughly and was evident as on 30 September 2017, we officially launched our mobile app. One of the many things I found most helpful from GAP was the mentoring from subject matter experts and seasoned entrepreneurs. It really helped us in identifying our target market and allowed us to build a customised product to solve a problem the customers were experiencing. We also learnt how to measure and track the right metrics to ensure we were growing on track”, Arief shared.
The startups, each possessing a distinct expertise, from parking payment to battery replacement and car servicing, have described the collaboration as a more convenient way to help drivers resolve their driving and car maintenance issues. Arief explained that the collaboration is “one initiative for (them) to support one another in becoming the best in (their) fields of service”.
Despite the different service approaches, Bateriku.com Founder Azarol Faizi said “each vertical of JomParking, SERV and Bateriku.com complements one another”. MaGIC alumni JomParking Founder Muhamad Nasir believes the collaboration will create a high impact solution, with users able to benefit from parking payment, battery replacement and car servicing.
Arief explains, “in our attempt to help ease Malaysia’s car woes, we have decided to join forces in promoting our offerings to our combined database which is at a current total of 200,000 users and rising, thus allowing us to cutback on our marketing spend. This also creates more opportunities for each of our startups while offering value-added services for our customers, minus the price. We have also formed a cross-functional team to solve issues faced by all three startups. Amongst the many items we have identified and discussed include solution integrations. We are kick-starting this with a joint data analytics team to aid in improving our services which would enable us to grow speedily.”
Recently, SERV was announced as one of the lucky recipients of the Cradle Investment Programme 300 (CIP300), a pre-seed programme which provides financial and value added assistance of up to RM 300,000 for entrepreneurs to kick-start their innovative technology based business venture. The SERV team is currently focusing their efforts on commercialisation and are looking for opportunities with route-to-market partners. Arief shared, “the team is excited and we are as pumped-up as we will ever be. We are in the midst of widening our range of services that are offered on-site as well as expanding our offering throughout the Southeast Asian region.”
Want to catapult the growth of your startup just as SERV did? Find out how by speaking to a MaGIC mentor today.
For more information on SERV, visit: http://www.serv.my/
by : Reshmi HaranVisit SERV.my
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