JomParking wants to make paying for street parking a hassle-free process.
Yes, running back to your car, scrambling for loose change to pay those pesky parking meters is a nuisance. JomParking aims to help people promptly pay for parking with just a click of a button on its app.
This solution will minimise the costs of parking operators and simplify parking payments for our consumers
It's quite simple. Users key in their car’s license plate, JomParking registers the payment with parking operators and local councils they partner with. They then update the payment onto their respective systems.
Not only we no longer have to display parking coupons, it reduces the need for parking attendants too.
“I want JomParking to change the parking landscape in Malaysia. This solution will minimise the costs of parking operators and simplify parking payments for our consumers," says founder and CEO Muhamad Nasir Habizar.
Compared to using the traditional coupons, Nasir says the app helped reduce operators' costs by 30 percent.
Apart from the Klang Valley, Jom Parking's service is available in five states at the moment - Selangor, Malacca, Kelantan, Johor and Sabah. Among its partners, Kuala Lumpur City Hall and the city councils of Jasin, Tawau, Iskandar Puteri and Kota Bharu.
“Our mission is to make this company big enough so that our services will be provided to the whole of Malaysia.”
The 46-year-old entrepreneur says the idea for JomParking started when he was invited to pitch for a parking solution many years ago.
“I was invited by a company called Smart Parking to come up with a parking solution for Terminal Bersepadu Selatan at the time.”
“Of course, back then, mobile apps weren’t as popular in Malaysia but we still wanted to move in that direction.”
“Eventually, the deal fell through because they couldn’t integrate our ideas into their system and that’s when I was inspired to start something of my own,” says Nasir.
"We did a lot of research and development because none of us have experience in the parking industry."
The first two years were very challenging because people didn't believe in us
Over 200,000 users have registered since the app was rolled out in 2015. The journey, says Nasir, was tough but rewarding.
"The first two years were very challenging because people didn't believe in us," he says. "Some even accused us running a scam. It was very difficult or us and we worked really hard to make sure people know of our services and feel confident using it."
Apart from Jom Parking, the company also introduced Jom Force and Jom Valet in its efforts to provide a end-to-end parking payment solutions platform.
"So once parking payment is completed, then enforcement officers will use Jom Force to do their checking. We use a technology called the Automatic License Plate Recognition that can identify is the particular car has paid, or it the payment has expired."
Meanwhile, Jom Valet is a tool to automate the valet transactions.
"So at any instances, the management will know how much collection they having that particular day, month or year. It minimises the cost of printing the tickets too."
Nasir has accumulated over 20 years experience in the tech sector, having worked in Celcom, SMSFocal and Trapezoid Media, before starting his own mobile content company AppCable.
He has had prior management experiences but starting JomParkir - which is the parent company of JomParking, is an entirely different ball game, says Nasir.
“I don’t have a background in parking systems to manage a company like this.”
"But as CEO, I am responsible for making sure the company is steered in the right direction It is tough because sometimes we’ve got great ideas but don’t have enough funding or manpower to execute it."
We believe that to be a really successful company, we need to get outside of Malaysia
Thankfully, his company received fund injection from Kairous Capital which helped Nasir to pursue his growth plans, including widenning its coverage locally, and possibly, to expand abroad.
"We believe that to be a really successful company, we need to get outside of Malaysia."
"We are eyeing Asian countries at the moment. We've been exploring Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia," says Nasir, adding that nothing has been set in stone yet.
When asked about his challenges, Nasir says finding talented coders and developers can be quite challenging in Malaysia, and being the oldest in the company, he admits jokingly that working with millennials can be tricky, at first.
However, he learnt quickly that a democratic work environment helps stimulate a good relationship with his younger employees.
“For them to listen to you, you need to listen to their ideas as well.”
“It’s great because they believe in the product just as much as I do. They are young but filled with ideas offering solutions to problems,” he adds.
Last year alone, we’ve processed more than two million transactions
When it comes to competition, Nasir shares that more companies are trying to jump on the bandwagon. However, he’s confident that JomParking can capture a larger market share based on the encouraging response from people using the app.
“Last year alone, we’ve processed more than two million transactions and based on customers’ feedback, we’ve improved and created distinctive features to make it even more user friendly.”
“Competition is good as it always keeps us on our toes and gives us more drive to keep improving and perfecting our JomParking App,” says Nasir.
JomParking has big plans for the future. It will be starting a Series A fundraising round, seeking between five to ten million ringgit. If successful, Nasir says it will allocated about 40 percent of the funding to ramp up its advertising and promotion effors - a key step to taking JomParking to the next level.