How Handy Used Innovation to Recover

In the early months of 2016, Handy Chief Executive Officer Oisin Hanrahan was a worried man. He didn’t look forward to the company’s leadership meetings that were held on Tuesday mornings. At that time, Handy was performing poorly. Strategies championed by Mr. Hanrahan were equally performing poorly, something that threatened the startup’s sustainability. All this time, he has to contend with his cofounder’s I-told-you-so looks.

Handy was then in the middle of a significant realignment that had been advocated by Hanrahan. He also had the intention of rolling out a digital onboarding process that would affect 28 of the company’s major markets. Hanrahan’s cofounder, Umang Dua had opposed the plan right from the time it was proposed in late 2014. Dua thought that it would be difficult for qualified candidates to complete the digital onboarding process without human help. The two entrepreneurs eventually agreed to carry out a restricted test run to determine the effectiveness of the process.

Venture Capital Funding

In the process of testing the process, Handy.com attracted venture capital funding worth 50 million dollars. This helped cushion the upstart from market forces. However, it came with its own limitation. Investors became wary about the sustainability of Handy’s operations. A high number of upstarts were failing, something that increased the skepticism all the more. Dua and Oisin decided to roll out the process in all its markets.

Challenges Faced

Initially, the entrepreneurs faced a lot of challenges. Worst of all, successful online onboarding reduced drastically. Handy was forced to call off thousands of bookings because demand dwarfed the supply of professional services. Consequently, the number of customers’ complaints skyrocketed. An innovative business strategy was implemented. This heralded the company’s explosive recovery. Handy’s product line was equally improved so that the needs of the market could be met. Hourly workers are hired to handle incoming problem and complaints. Improvements have also been made on the company’s online platform.