Seeing how quickly e-commerce was growing in the country, GoodWork.ph’s founder and CEO Andrew Koger saw untapped opportunities for the Philippines’ service sector. The home services app not only provides quality home and wellness services but also strives to empower its service providers.
Andrew Koger has travelled to over 30 countries in the past decade and invested in emerging economies around the world before deciding to start GoodWork in the Philippines.
In his trips, he saw huge opportunities in emerging markets in Southeast Asia, which pushed him to move to Manila, where he led Lazada’s Fulfillment by Lazada logistics operations for the Philippines.
Andrew, who worked at an investment firm on Wall Street, was excited to see the rapid growth of e-commerce in Southeast Asia.
Andrew launched GoodWork.ph in 2018 in the Philippines, which he described as “a really exciting market for e-commerce in particular,” having one of the fastest growing economies in the region.
“Compared to Indonesia or Vietnam, the Philippines is a little bit behind in some of these new startup businesses, which is exciting. It means there’s a lot of really cool opportunities out there for new Philippine startups and for Philippine founders to tackle. So now you have a market that’s growing really fast and people are seeing what else can I do on my phone, what else can I do online?” Andrew said.
Apart from the burgeoning middle class in the country, Andrew also cited the inevitable growth of internet and mobile usage in the Philippines. He said it made perfect sense to take advantage of this technology and harness an untapped part of the Philippine economy: the service sector.
“The services industry is a very large part of the country yet it didn’t have an e-commerce platform to empower that part of the economy. That was the opportunity that we saw,” he said.
Andrew said GoodWork.ph is currently the largest e-commerce platform for home services in the Philippines.
“We definitely love being a Philippine-founded startup, we take a lot of pride in that,” he said.
GoodWork.ph: The home service super app
From cleaning, home repairs, and laundry to nail care and waxing, Goodwork.ph is a simple app that offers all around services to help make life easier for condo residents and career-oriented individuals living in Metro Manila. All it takes is just a few taps on your smartphone.
“We’ve really focused on building [the app] for the emerging middle class— same consumers that are now on Shopee and Lazada. We try to be very affordable, very trustworthy, and very quality-based.” Andrew said.
At GoodWork.ph, all service providers go through a vetting process. This includes requiring workers to submit government IDs.
“We personally interview every service provider and they all have regular health checks. Then we track their performance and customer ratings very closely once they start on GoodWork.ph,” Andrew said, adding:
“It’s a great earning opportunity for talented service providers across all the categories that we have. Some are small businesses but many are independent freelancers. They’re their own boss, so it’s very empowering, both on the service providers’ side and the customers’ side.”
The app has already been downloaded over 50,000 times since it was launched, according to Google Play. Andrew said majority or about 60 percent of their customers are female, including young families, mothers running a new household, and even influencers.
Convincing customers and service providers to join the platform was among the birth pangs GoodWork.ph had to overcome during its early stages.
“Building a marketplace was really difficult. You need to get both the supply side and the customer side on the platform. Once you do that, it’s amazing,” Andrew shared.
When it came to customers, Andrew said Goodwork.ph also had to reassure users that their home and beauty services come at an affordable price. Condo cleaning for studio type costs Php 349, while a mani-pedi is at Php 399.
“Once they come on the app and they see the prices and they learn more about it, they’re really excited. That’s the challenge: To show the market that we exist and [the services are] affordable,” he said.
Andrew admitted that the technology side of the app was difficult to put together and this had been a huge part of their focus in the last two years—particularly their internal analytics and performance tracking.
“We’re really proud of what we’ve built on that front. We have a really talented engineering team, all Filipino engineers, all living in Metro Manila,” he said.
Goodwork.ph CEO Andrew Koger and his team.
Like any other local business, Goodwork.ph was forced to adapt to quarantine guidelines in 2020.
“We’ve definitely put a huge amount of effort this year on safety,” Andrew said. As a preventive measure against COVID-19, GoodWork.ph’s service providers were given personal protective equipment and required to regularly go through COVID-19 testing.
“We’ve put in the app a temperature tracker so we can keep logs of the temperatures of all the workers,” he added. A telehealth services category was also added for customers who need to consult doctors during the pandemic.
For safety reasons, GoodWork recently launched in-app payments to give users more convenient options.
“We now see a significant percentage of our orders everyday being paid digitally. GCash and GrabPay are both really big powered by PayMongo. It’s been a great experience. Our dev team likes PayMongo’s codes and documentation,” Andrew said.
Condo cleaning and nail services were the most in demand during the pandemic, Andrew noted, citing how the company saw high growth for its beauty services in the last six months. Apparently, this feature has become part of the new normal for customers who are hesitant to go to salons and barbershops due to COVID-19 transmission risks.
GoodWork.ph’s plans of expanding to other regions in the Philippines were put on hold as the spread of the coronavirus hit unprecedented levels.
For now, the app caters to those living in Metro Manila. With a COVID-19 vaccine coming out, Andrew said GoodWork.ph will push through with its plan to expand in 2022 to other parts of the country, particularly in Cebu and Davao.
He also shared how the team behind the app continues to put a huge amount of effort in building user experience both for their customers and service providers.
“I think it’s a huge advantage for us also that every time we get insights from customers, from our service providers, we’re able to turn those into new features in the platform really quickly because we work so closely together— our engineering team, and our marketing and ops team. I think that’s an important part of our story and what’s made us successful so far,” he said.
While Andrew sees the pandemic as an added challenge, his advice for those looking to start a business amid the crisis is simple: Just go for it.
“In the Philippines, in particular, it’s a really, really exciting market. Very dynamic economy, social media is very popular, technology is now very accessible. Almost everybody now has a smartphone. That opens up really cool business opportunities that haven’t been tapped yet in the country,” he said. 🌱