Shubho got his first car in 2009 and with it came his anxiety for the car.
No matter where he went with the car, he was always anxious that the car would breakdown in the middle of the road and he would be left utterly helpless.
This nightmare did not turn into reality for many years. But on one fine day in 2017, his car actually stopped working in the middle of the road at Gulshan and for hours he did not receive any assistance.
"I was stuck in the most developed area of this city and I was totally helpless. I called my known technician but he was too busy in his own garage. I stood there cluelessly. I could not even ask for assistance from any passer-by as I did not have much knowledge about machines. Eventually, stranger helped me sort out my problem," said Shubho Al-Farooque, the founder and CEO of Zantrik - an app that provides support for vehicle maintenance.
This very incident drove him to initiate Zantrik in 2018 and since then it has served 23,000 clients and a few renowned companies with its two thousand registered garages.
To serve its clients, 30 people are constantly working in the core team.
Zantrik provides three types of services to their clients - regular, standard, and advance - allowing the clients to choose any of the services according to their budget.
With the app, customers can do a yearly health check-up for their vehicles and create a monthly service calendar for a regular check-up.
Recently, Zantrik has started to provide doorstep delivery service to its clients.
A regular client of Zantrik, Prince Mahmud Arnab shared his experience of using this app.
"There were a few problems in my Aqua Hybrid 2013's battery. Without having a look, garages were suggesting me to change it, which would cost more than Tk2,00,000. Zantrik, meanwhile, has provided home service, solved my problem, and charged me only Tk1,500. If not for Zantrik, I would have probably wasted a huge amount of money," Arnab said.
Zantrik also offers driver verification options for vehicle owners. It will help car owners verify their driver's driving license and later locate their record through the Zantrik app, if the driver also happens to use it.
When Zantrik started its journey, the market was not ready to accept this digital conversion. The team had to struggle to make people understand its concept, work process, and eventually how it is going to benefit everyone.
"Drivers, mechanics, and garage owners did not feel comfortable to share their platform with us as there are a lot of loopholes in their process and they earn from those. So, we also had to think about them and change our plan according to that. We have already offered many freelancing options to them so that they can earn legally, do not get upset with us, and service takers also can enjoy transparency," explained the founder.
After engaging in a lot of fieldwork, Zantrik could improvise its plan, and arrange training and workshop for the drivers and mechanics.
In the beginning, Zantrik did not come up with as many features and plans. This is reflected in its Net Promoter Score (NPS) as it was very low. Now, it has increased noticeably.
The motto of the app is to bring transparency to this supposedly $8 bn market. (Shubho makes this estimation based on Bangladesh Road Transport Authority's (BRTA) record of vehicles and its yearly cost for maintenance, refuelling and driving.)
"Neither does this marketplace have any transparency about service and price, nor any standard. As a result, ordinary people - consumers - are suffering.
We wanted to solve this problem and digitize the industry so we can receive prompt services," shared Shubho.
Nonetheless, Zantrik finds it difficult to keep its vision aligned with its partners.
In Zantrik, around 95 percent of garages usually cater to roadside emergencies on long routes. Only five percent garages are situated inside Dhaka city and provide full scale services.
Yet, it has been difficult to teach them digitally and make them accustomed to a culture of service.
But things are changing. Now, garages are taking liability for their services and giving a guarantee against their products.
Zantrik is planning to develop, introduce, and ensure more top-notch services. Very soon, it will launch a four-model garage, which will be fully digital.
"It is important to launch model garages so that Zantrik can set examples for others and garage owners feel encouraged to adopt the same model for their own good. Our team is open to offer our franchise and help them technically," uttered Shubho.
Over the next two years, it plans to introduce this app outside Dhaka. And after three more years, Zantrik wants to expand its business outside Bangladesh and dive into the trillion-dollar market.
"This problem is acute worldwide and everyone is looking for quality service and transparency. As we have already started this journey, we hope to offer all these in the near future," voiced Shubho.