Name: Oisin Hanrahan
Degree/Masters: B.A. (2006)
Oisin is co-founder of Handy (formerly Handybook), an online platform that connects people looking for household services such as cleaners and handymen, with top-quality, pre-screened independent service professionals.
Where did the inspiration for Handy come from?
I met Umang, my co-founder, while at business school in Boston. We struggled to find cleaners we could trust to tidy up our messy, college-style apartment, and spent an inordinate amount of time reading online reviews and negotiating over pricing. We recognised a lot of flaws in the market, and as consumers, we wanted those problems to be fixed. So we created Handy as an alternative, on-demand solution, allowing consumers to find a cleaning or repair professional in under a minute.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
One of the most trying moments at Handy was during our first year. A glitch in the system caused it to accept 50% more jobs than we had staff for. We rallied the whole team – engineers, designers, Umang and myself, anyone who could help – and went out and completed the jobs ourselves to make sure we didn't let our customers down. Even though we haven’t had a problem of that scale since then, each day brings new challenges as we continue to grow the brand. Obstacles motivate us to improve the experience for all of our customers and think innovatively.
What was your worst job?
It wasn’t my worst job, but one of the most memorable jobs was scrubbing dishes in a hotel kitchen in Saggart during secondary school. It was tough work but taught me the value of hard work early on, and I’m grateful for that.
What is your biggest achievement?
Building the Handy team of over 150 people and 3,000 professionals in just two years. In just the past six months, we made an acquisition, announced our third round of venture funding and expanded our service to 16 new cities including London – our first European city. None of that could have happened without the incredible team that has allowed us to grow and scale at a pace we never even imagined.
What is the most useful piece of advice you’ve ever received?
"Focus on the people" – running a business is all about building and fostering relationships.
What would be your superpower if you could choose one?
I would probably choose teleportation, so I wouldn’t have to spend so much time travelling from place to place. I’m very excited that Handy is expanding so quickly, and it would be amazing to spend less time traveling from city to city and more time in those markets meeting with our staff and the professionals who get the job done every day.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I’d fill the table with my family. I’m based in New York now and they live in Dublin and would love to see them more.