Okayker sets target on car mechanics with $700,000 in seed funding

Company claims it will revolutionize Pakistan’s auto care industry. 

Okayker, a Pakistani startup, has set its sights on the automotive repair and maintenance industry in the MENAP region, which it claims is worth $90 billion. The company has successfully procured $700,000 in seed funding from a consortium of institutional investors including Orbit Startups, Cur8 Capital, FRIM Ventures and Sabr Capital.

Nashit Iqbal, CEO of Okayker, reflects on the industry’s stagnation. “Not much has evolved since my father pioneered the importation of auto components for right-hand drive Japanese vehicles back in the 1960s,” he remarks. “Most workshops and auto parts retailers still rely on archaic pen and paper methods as they did 40 years ago.”

The Okayker solution

Okayker aims to address the challenges faced by small workshops and part retailers operated by skilled technicians. The company claims that there are over 500,000 such businesses that often suffer from low utilisation and limited access to customers. They also lack the acumen or expertise to modernise their operations. As a result, vehicle owners expend an average of 40 hours per annum searching for mechanics, electricians and spare parts for their vehicles, according to Okayker.

Okayker’s platform encompasses a mobile application for customers to schedule appointments and OkayCore, a comprehensive ERP system for workshops. This enables workshops to document transactions, attract new customers, source spare parts and access business tools such as payment gateways and financial services. According to Okayker’s assertions, the company has already resolved over 27,500 car issues and served more than 7,500 car owners. Workshops utilising Okayker have witnessed a 110% increase in their take-home revenue through improved utilisation.

The journey

The founding team of Okayker consists of Nashit Iqbal, Hasnain Akber, Asjad Amin and Anusha Shahid. The company commenced operations in January 2021 with three technicians providing rudimentary maintenance services at customers’ doorsteps. Starting with a mere three orders per day, Okayker claims to have successfully repaired more than 10,000 cars in the last 26 months. The company has forged partnerships with over 250 vendors to supply more than 30,000 SKUs across Karachi to a network of 850 workshops, according to Okayker.

The team identified three major challenges faced by existing roadside workshops: low utilisation, logistical impediments in procuring parts and the absence of digital systems to record transactions or customer details. This precipitated a shift in Okayker’s business model. Rather than reinventing the wheel, the focus became to elevate existing roadside workshops by augmenting their utilisation and enhancing their quality standards through technology. Presently, a workshop owner can document customer orders, delegate tasks to technicians, source auto parts from a network of vendors and provide customers with the convenience of online payments using OkayCore.

Looking ahead

Okayker’s goal for the forthcoming years is to expand across Pakistan while launching the country’s inaugural automotive emergency service through their network of workshops. The company is also collaborating with lubricant brands such as Mobil to counteract the issue of counterfeit products in the market.

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Daniyal Ahmad
Daniyal Ahmad
The author is a member of the staff, and covers the automobile, energy and advertising insdusties as a sector analyst. He can be reached at [email protected]


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