"Airbnb-style" also can be used for transporters in South Africa, the startup GetTruck make the booking time can be between 10 minutes to 2 hours.

Q1: Hi, Shailen, What's your education background, what were you working on before this startup gettruck.co.za. What's your work experience, Can you introduce your business to our users?

Back in 2017 i studied audio engineering, it was a 3 years course but i decided to drop out of college to pursue GetTruck full-time. 
I have very limited work experience, you can say GetTruck was my first job.

GetTruck is an online platform that aims to help clients who relocating homes find reliable transporters without the hassle of paperwork

Q2: How did you get into the transportation and programming world? How did that happen?

I have always had an interest in computing, i taught myself programming back in high school and fell in love with it ever since.

My father owns a transportation company called Mr Cheap Transport which deals with home removals and about 4 years back the company took a massive dip in revenue. That was all due to the digital disruption. 

GetTruck was a concept in order to solve most these issues within Mr Cheap Transport, basically i took the concept and made it reality by building the initial prototype.
Basically, i grew up in the industry and i understand how tough the transportation industry really is.

Q3:  What experience or idea inspires you to get started with gettruck.co.za and what does this mean to your potential users in South Africa? 

Growing up in the industry, very little people actually know how much effort goes into moving a home or flat. There are so many moving parts to it such as having a good workforce, quality drivers and so forth. 

There are a ton of home removals companies out there but a large majority of them don’t have any trained workforce and in some cases untrained drivers.

I am inspired to change this throughout the industry by providing those things to transporting companies and as well as providing excellent transporters to our clients.

Q4: How  GetTruck works? What are the services you can offer on your website? How did you find users who wanna buy your services? Why did drivers and transporters willing to use your services? How can you make transportation costs lower than before?

GetTruck works by a client who wants to move home or flat coming to the site and filling out our form. What we do is then send that move request to our network of transporters who are closest to the client’s area and they provide a quote on that move. The client will automatically receive the transporters quote.

They can choose to accept the quote and pay the booking fee online, once payment is confirmed, they will receive a calendar event and the transporter profile with full details. Both remain anonymous until booking is confirmed through payment.

Due to the nature of this, the booking time can be between 10 minutes to 2 hours. Depending on the network of transporting companies. Keep in mind that the industry average is 1 - 2 days, we have managed to bring that process down to an average of 30 minutes.

Q5: What are your thoughts on the current state of online transportation services in South Africa? How can your services help users?

Their are a few services that attempt to do an Uber-style home removals service but their are a few key issues with that model.
Instead of disrupting the industry, we intend on taking what exists and make it more manageable and formal. 

Q6:  How did you find your co-founders and employees? What's the story of how you set up your team?

At this point, my father is also a founder as he has a lot more experience with the industry. I am jumped on board to get the project rolling. So now it is mostly just myself that is working on growing the company as my father is way to busy working on an exit strategy for Mr Cheap Transport, so that he can work full time on GetTruck.

Q7: When you guys began to build this startup, What were the difficulties your team faced and how did you guys fix them?

There was a lot of confusion between my father and i between which model do we go for. A more Uber-style one or more of a Airbnb-style one. Personally i think this was the biggest challenge but at the end i made a convincing argument on why the Airbnb-style was a better fit at this point.

Q8: How did you get initial money to start the business? Did you raise some investment from angel investors like other companies?

We are actually self-funded. I don’t truly believe in the whole “funding-is-requirement” idea that the startup world makes it seem.

Q9: How did you attract new users to your website and scale your business?   What are the useful and practical operation methods you can share?

We do a lot of email marketing and we recently launched GetTruck News where users can read all about what’s happening at GetTruck.
We also do ads on Facebook, Google and so forth

Q10: How can you get drivers and transporters to your platform? How can you fix transaction disputes? Can you recommend one successful user example from your website? What did he get after he used your services? What is the link to it? 

The payment process is a very tricky area. We just add a markup to the transporter’s quote and the client pays us the markup in order to process the quote. Once paid the client and transporter receives the balance of what needs to be paid.

Q11: How did you grow your revenue? What's the story behind how you got your first revenue from clients?

Pretty simple, the selling point of GetTruck is that we get you a reliable transporter to move your home/flat goods without any hassle. Users love this, they absolutely dislike paperwork and want a quick and easy solution, so this fits into how we market to them

Q12: What is the advice do you have for newcomers who want to get into the area?

Focus on the customer, as you not dealing with their furniture. Items that they hold dear, if you show their goods as much love and care as they would. You will succeed in so many areas that transporting companies fail

Q13: What're your goals for your business?  Why do those goals are important for you?

Like i mentioned earlier, we intend on formalizing the industry. This is the end goal of GetTruck/ 

Q14: How do you keep learning? Where do you go to learn more?

I learn something new everyday. Being the CTO, i have to keep up with what’s happening in the tech space. I attend a large amount of meetup, i run a co-working space as well as i work a lot on open-source projects. I host the Vue.js in Cape Town meetup and do part-time lecturing on programming

I would say that meetups are the most important thing if you really want to connect with people and the understand the industry.

Q15: What's your biggest surprise over the last three, four years in the internet industry where you have been working? What happened that you didn't expect?

The internet is a massive place, their are so many things going on but the biggest surprise is just how big of a community the software space is! The software industry probably has the biggest community in the world and i am honored to be apart of it.

Q16: What's your plan for your business in the next months? What's your business roadmap for next year?

We intend on focusing on building revenue and make the client UX as smooth as possible, so a a lot of progressive enhancement 

Q17: Where can we know more official info about you and your companies?

We are still working on a transporter portal, but you can find out what’s happening at GetTruck News which is our very own blogging platform.

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