Francesca Chia dashes into the lounge of a co-working space in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. Hurried but chatty, the CEO of on-demand workforce platform GoGet relates she is no stranger to the fast-paced life.
She is used to an 80-hour work week in her previous job as a consultant.
But instead of juggling client meetings and proposals, Chia is now busy expanding the community of ‘GoGetters’ - students, stay-at-home parents, freelancers, retirees and working individuals who want to help people and earn money through quick, short-term jobs.
People found it odd – having a complete stranger do your tasks. We had to establish trust among our users.
The idea started over coffee. Chia and co-founders Tai Fung Wei Tan and Muaz Jema had demanding corporate jobs that left them with little to no time to run errands. “We thought to ourselves, wouldn’t it be great if we can pay someone to help us do our errands,” says Chia.
“The idea on a sheet of paper turned into a deck. That deck turned into a spec for a technology firm to build on, and that spec turned into an actual prototype.”
The trio rolled out GoGet in 2014. Five years later, it has completed RM10 million worth of jobs in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru. The platform is currently serving some 200,000 users through 10,000 registered GoGetters.
While GoGet was intended to serve individuals for short-term tasks, Chia noticed that businesses, particularly SMEs, are increasingly turning to GoGet to help fill in the workforce gap.
“We realised from market feedback, a lot of SMEs are using it to scale their operations – saving companies the need to hire full-time employees,” says Chia, adding that GoGetters are in high demand to fill up admin and dispatch jobs.
“Another example is if your receptionists is late or called in sick, instead of hiring someone full-time, you can call for someone in the area to get things done for the time being.”
GoGet has also caught the attention of larger companies; Petronas, for example, has used the platform to hire part-timers for data gathering.
“By using GoGet, they are able to find the nearest, verified part-timers in the area to go to the petrol station and collect the information they need. This empowers the community with jobs - and the company gets their data overnight!”
The future of work will become more connected, flexible and mobile, says Chia. And this is where GoGet, she believes, can play a bigger role in helping empower cities achieve greater productivity by creating work opportunities.
“I see so much potential,” says Chia. “People who previously couldn’t find work can now be included in the workforce. Businesses that previously found it hard to grow can now do so with a more connected city.”
The 31-year-old, however, admits it took GoGet a long time to educate the market - particularly in building trusts between users and workers.
“Challenges for GoGet has evolved over the years. At the very beginning, it was about educating the market on the usage of the app.”
“People found it odd – having a complete stranger do your tasks. We had to establish trust among our users.”
In order to build confidence among users, GoGetters are tasked to upheld the highest standards. “We have a rating and review system. If there is a complaint, we will step in and handle the disputes.”
GoGet also conducts identification checks, face-to-face verifications and training for new signups (who only need to pay RM15 registration fee) at five GoGet centres in the Klang Valley.
“Once you’ve been verified as a GoGetter, you will be able to work and find jobs with us. However, our system continuously monitors GoGetters to ensure the the quality of service is up to par.”
Having mostly expanded by word of mouth, Chia and her team are in the process of bringing GoGet to other major cities in Malaysia.
“This is our fifth year. A lot of people have heard of GoGet. They have used it and trust it a lot more. Now, it’s about making sure that as we grow, we provide a fair community to the GoGetters.”
"The same question that crosses our minds running this company is, are we growing fast enough to meet the demands of the businesses?” adds Chia.
As far as GoGet aspirations go, Chia and her team hopes to scale the company fast and reach out to more communities.
“We’re not set out to build something amazing to eventually sell it for a large sum of money,” says Chia. “We want to do what’s best for the community.”
GoGet is also upgrading its app, expected to be released later this year, as it seeks to provide more services.
“We want to ensure that GoGetters get a wider variety of jobs but can also provide quality service when fulfilling those jobs.”