Do you require the services of a mason, plumber, electrician or carpenter? There is now an app that links you with them in an instant.
Dial-a-Fundi is a creation of Mombasa-based entrepreneur and IT expert Lorna Omondi. It is available on Google play store in Mombasa but will soon be rolled out in other regions.
Users can request and connect with a reliable expert artisan within Mombasa.
“This product is revolutionary as it will increase labour productivity and create jobs,’’ says Ms Omondi, 36, a graduate of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
She is also the founder and chief executive of Spindle Kenya Limited, a company that deals with IT solutions.
She has an interest in civil works.
“I want to marry my ICT and civil works,” she says of her devotion to her line of work.
The Dial-a-Fundi platform, she adds, was motivated by the need by her friends for reliable artisans.
“My friends used to call me and ask if I knew someone to do small works . Fundis used to call me also and ask me to connect them with jobs. I decided to come up with a solution,” says Ms Omondi.
The app, she add, has provided artisans a platform to get jobs.
Clients have also benefitted a great deal: “Customers face difficulties accessing artisans on time and most of them rely on word of mouth. Then there is the risk of bringing strangers into their homes/premises and lack of an opportunity for feedback on services,” Ms Omondi says.
“We are in the digital age. A mobile app was the easiest option as many people have smartphones.’’
All that the artisans need to do to benefit from the system is to register.
“Most upcoming fundis hardly get referrals because of lack of experience. This (app) also makes this industry attractive to the technological savvy young person,” she says.
On the platform, there is a client's app and fundi's app. It also provides a segment for suppliers of products that may be needed by artisans to advertise.
Ms Omondi came up with the idea earlier this year and immediately engaged programmers. It was completed in April after which she started recruiting the artisans.
“I went to construction sites, along the roads and anywhere I could get a fundi. I met hostility as others thought I was taking their details with bad intentions. But there were few who wanted to join. I worked with them,” reveals Ms Omondi
Today the app has more than 200 downloads and has more than 70 recruited and vetted artisans.
Ms Omondi plans to roll out the service first in Nairobi before venturing into Tanzania.
She also plans to partner with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and a bank to promote healthcare cover and a savings culture.
On the card also is a plan to train the artisans.
“I try to teach them professionalism and how to save money. Talks are underway... and we can have the fundis trained to gain proper certifications to ensure they are competent,’’ she said.