Bengaluru: Competition is picking up in the on-demand home service provider space. The move to introduce a test for plumbers by one such service provider Zimmber, owned by Rejuvenate Solutions Pvt. Ltd, is a case in point.

To differentiate itself and raise the quality of its offering, the company says, it will put a test for plumbers on its platform to check their basic aptitude through a few technical questions and client servicing ability. The company says this will help introduce standardisation and skill development into the so called blue collar worforce in the country.

To be sure, there are over 50 home service start-ups in India that provide services such as plumbing, electrical repair, home cleaning and laundry among others.

The major players in the space like UrbanClap (UrbanClap Technologies India Pvt. Ltd), Housejoy.in (Sarvaloka Services On Call Pvt. Ltd), LocalOye (Imma Imma Web Pvt. Ltd), DoorMint (Blackcotton Solutions Pvt. Ltd) and UrbanPro (ThinkVidya Learning Pvt. Ltd) have raised over $25 million in venture capital funding in recent times to geographically expand its offerings.

The proposed test will cost about 200-500. “Yes. The test costs that much however that’s going to be the investment from our side. Over a period of time we will make it standard which will drive more advantage for people who have taken the test," said Anubhab Goel, co-founder of Zimmber. The objective-type option-based test can be attempted through mobile devices and the training for the test will be given by Zimmber through various agencies.

The company has partnered with Aspiring Minds, an assessment company that helps organisations, governments and institutions measure and identify talent to come up with a test in six months.

Aspiring Minds conducted a study and training programme in 2014 with over 3,000 candidates from India to assess the existing skill gaps, real world applications, and soft skills. The study revealed that though 80% of the candidates had basic knowledge of plumbing, 55-66% were unable to handle real-world plumbing situations and problem solving, 33% lacked ability to adapt to new environments and 30-40% could not handle an emergency health and safety situation.

Such an assessment test would hone the skills of the service provider, institutionalise the process, bring transparency and help improve their respective services, Goel added.

Companies like UrbanPro seeks information from the service provider before enlisting them on their platform. “Not a test, but we ask questions specific to categories, when a service provider registers on UrbanPro.com. For example, for foreign languages, we ask if the provider is a native speaker. Similarly, for classical dance styles like Bharatanatyam, we ask where they learned from," Rakesh Kalra, CEO and founder of UrbanPro said.

Most companies in this space carry out verification and background checks before they enlist a service provider on their platform. Others like LocalOye have category specific forms which is divided into three parts—competence, professionalism and willingness.

Zimmber is planning to introduce such tests to other categories like electricians, AC technicians, car mechanics and home cleaning, Goel added.

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