Wednesday, December 18, 2013


At one time, the Milo van was the only mobile service we were familiar with. The green van still remains a ubiquitous sight at all sports functions, but the popularity of businesses on wheels has grown so much that if you name a mobile business today, chances are someone has already started it. If for some reason or other you are unable to go to the shops, the shops can come to you. From fast food delivery to home nursing care, practically anything you need is a mere phone call or a mouse click away.

Food Panda delivery is available in many countries, including Malaysia

Too lazy to cook or go out for some food? Or living alone? Check out food delivery services. If you prefer the traditional simple home-cooked meals, there are many neighborhood food catering businesses that will deliver meals directly to your house five days a week, excluding weekends.

Room Service is another option you could check out.
Too much of a hassle to go all the way to the supermarket, especially if you have to depend on public transport? Call TESCO home delivery.

Unable to go to the malls for your Christmas shopping? Try ordering from Lazada, arguably Malaysia's premier online shopping mall.

We had some groceries from TESCO delivered yesterday, and this morning my daughter received the first of several items from LAZADA. She had decided to do most of her Christmas shopping online this year. We have also ordered food from ROOM SERVICE when we didn't feel like going out to eat.

Delivered to our door step from Lazada (left) and from TESCO (right)

There are also mobile businesses that operate from vans equipped with the tools of the trade. Below are some that I have checked out personally.

Hello Handyman charges a little more for going to your house to do home repairs. I happened to catch their van in 2008 when it was making the rounds in the neighbourhood. The business is thriving as it fills a niche in the market for such services.

I thought this mobile car wash service was a great idea when I took the photos above in 2011. Unfortunately the business didn't last very long. Pity as I still think it is a viable business. Anyone would like to take it up? 

Other mobile businesses that I have spotted in the city:

This frozen yogurt van was spotted in the parking lot at Ampang Point.
Two enterprising young men, Jack and Keagen, started  this mobile fresh fruit juice business. I spoke with them in Mont Kiara some months ago. Their van is popular with those who enjoy health drinks. I can imagine brisk business at sports events and concert venues. Check out their Fruit Bank+ Facebook page to find out where they are parked daily. 
You can have your cake and eat it too on the van. This photo was taken outside KLCC in Jalan Ampang. The next time I saw it, it was in Bangsar. They should have added their URL so folks can find out more about their cakes and know where to buy them.
This van was parked opposite the Ampang LRT station. Overhead costs are very much lower if you operate your business from a van. Besides, you enjoy the flexibility of choosing your preferred locations.

If you require home nursing services, call Love on Wheels. They have been around for a few years, and have been mentioned in previous Seniorsaloud blog articles.

What mobile businesses would do well here in this region in case you are interested in starting one? I can immediately think of two.

Many senior citizens find that washing and grooming their dog can be very tiring work. They would welcome such a mobile service.
A mobile library in Singapore. Seniors love to read, and wouldn't mind paying to borrow books. Current mobile libraries should offer books that cater to all ages, and not only to children.
If this itinerant street cobbler had the capital to invest in a small van and offer shoe repair service, he would probably make more money than he does now. 

Mobile businesses have been around for decades, selling anything from food and drinks to groceries. However the new generation mobile businesses extend beyond selling food and drinks to personalized services like home manicure and massage, computer troubleshooting and cooking lessons, to name just a few. House-bound seniors are fortunate that they can now enjoy such services in the comfort and safety of their homes.

You can book for a cab via your smart phone. I have tried MyTeksi. For an extra RM2, you enjoy the security of knowing that all info is recorded. There is also Easy Teksi service.

If you are considering setting up a mobile business, or investing in one, just think of the kind of services you can offer that house bound residents and the elderly need. It is a niche market that is expanding rapidly as demographics change, with more older folks staying home because of illness, disability or just plain inconvenience.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I have a mobile mechanic to service my car. Saves hanging around doing nothing for a couple of hours and as you say, it is cheaper.