Backed by a rising middle-class in a population of over two million, Phnom Penh has seen steady growth in the demand for household services.
Seeing an opportunity, former travel company employee Kam Sreysung founded MyAPP, a household service booking platform to make it more convenient for people to hire technicians and repairmen.
Sreysung had once struggled to arrange a time with a repairman to fix some household appliances and replace a cooking gas cylinder.
The inconvenient experience helped the 36-year-old founder hatch the idea to create a start-up in 2015, with the aim of being the best service booking app in Cambodia.
Back then, she was concerned with possible accountability issues. “For example, who is going to be accountable if something goes wrong?
“I’m just a middle man and I was not clear to what extent it is my responsibility when providing the service. It took me until the end of 2017 to sort out my doubt.”
To help grow her business, Sreysung joined the SHE Investment Accelerator Programme. She also hired an IT expert with several years experience in building similar apps.
MyAPP was created in 2017 – a time when ride-hailing and other online delivery platforms were mushrooming in Cambodia in a fast-growing technology landscape – providing Sreysung with plenty of inspiration to build her own platform.
The incubator programme was first piloted in the Kingdom in 2015. Since then it has worked with more than 150 women through its six-month incubator, designed to work with micro-sized businesses (less than five paid employees) to help them scale.
Sreysung holds an accountancy certificate and received one year of training in Malaysia. She also used to work for a travel company for a year as she speaks Chinese, Thai, English, French and Japanese.
Despite being a polyglot, Sreysung failed to secure a job before her venture with MyAPP as she dropped out of school in Grade 2.
However, now a female entrepreneur, Sreysung has ambitious plans for her start-up.
Now available for download at the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, MyAPP already has more than 1,000 users despite only having been released five months ago.
The app offers a wide range of services including housekeeping, cooking gas delivery, pest control, plumbing, air conditioner maintenance and household appliance repair.
MyAPP has two features, Sreysung said: “For companies and skilled technicians who want to be partners with MyAPP, they can download the MyAPP Service Partner app. Meanwhile customers can download the MyAPP Service app.”
Featuring a map to find a client’s location and clear pricing, Sreysung said that MyAPP is convenient, time-saving, user-friendly, secure and reliable.
“The good thing is users don’t have to search for the repairman’s contact. They don’t even have to make any phone call. They don’t have to negotiate for a lower price. All the information can be found on this App.”
Sreysung also wants to reduce the language barrier as much as possible using the app, as many foreigners don’t speak Khmer, and many repairmen cannot communicate in English.
“Sometimes the language barrier results in customers being overcharged and I don’t want that to happen,” she said.
Booking services on MyAPP is free and every repair service costs $5, excluding the cost of spare parts. It charges a 10 per cent fee to the service provider.
So if a user books a repairman to fix one household item which cost $5, it takes 50 cents from each operation from the repairman.
“In some exceptional cases, if the clients book a repair service to fix one item, but later the repairman fixes more, we’ll still charge [the worker] the same fee for one item,” Sreysung added.
If an item breaks again within one week of the maintenance or service date, a repairman will return to fix it for free.
There is also the option of membership package which allows customers to pay $50 monthly for repairing and maintaining their air conditioner, fridge and household electrical equipment.
One of Sreysung’s challenges now is to facilitate cashless payments so that both partners and users can keep an accurate record of operations and expenditure.
“Admittedly, MyAPP is not running as smooth as I planned, so we have to continue developing and updating it to keep up with Cambodia’s fast-developing technology landscape.
“For now, our app is only available in English, but we’ve already planned to provide the service in Chinese and Khmer to make it more convenient for our clients and repairmen.”
MyAPP’s office is located at 389, Preah Sihanouk Boulevard (Street 274), Phnom Penh.
For more information, contact Kam Sreysung by telephone (081626688).