ECONOMY

Demand for technicians soars in lockdown

demand-for-technicians-soars-in-lockdown

The high demand for home repairs during the spring lockdown in Greece will likely give Douleutaras, an online platform for finding technicians, its first year of profit in 2020 since it was founded in 2015, according to chief executive Andreas Grammatis.

The website, which has access to some 3,700 professionals, dealt with various jobs last year, including small- and large-scale interventions, cleaning etc, that added up to 42.5 million euros. In the period from April 25 to May 8, demand for such services rose by 103% compared to the same period last year. In that time there was strong growth in demand for home improvements, while the shift toward home repairs was also reflected online, as electronic searches for such jobs increased 50%.

“If we exempt the shock of the first couple of weeks after the start of the lockdown, there was a considerable swing to demand for home repairs that exceeded the levels seen before the coronavirus outbreak. On Monday, there was an all-time high for a single day as more than 1,000 requests were submitted on our platform,” Grammatis stated on Tuesday.

Since its foundation, Douleutaras has dealt with 600,000 callouts, while every month it records an average of 400,000 visits by technicians.

Douleutaras collects a “reasonable” commission, according to Grammatis, whose level depends on the type of work: For instance, simple repairs such as fixing a washing machine would cost 50 euros and the commission would amount to €7-8.

The online company has so far collected €3.5-4 billion in three rounds of financing, with its management discerning opportunities for expansion in foreign markets – though this will depend on the economic juncture.

The market where Douleutaras is active, that of home services, accounts for €2.5 billion per annum, while the penetration of the online platform also relies on the fact that about 29.5% of workers in Greece are self-employed professionals.

This year Douleutaras, which currently employs 44 people, celebrated its fifth anniversary since its foundation in February 2015, when the first version of the technician-finding platform was launched.