Oisin Hanrahan is CEO and cofounder of Handy which he founded with Umang Dua in 2012. Hailing from Dublin, he dropped out of Harvard Business School to work full time on Handy, which now has a team of 140 people and runs a platform that serves more than 100,000 homes a month in 28 cities in the US, UK and Canada. 

Tell us about what you do and how you got there

I’m the CEO and Co-founder of Handy, the leading on-demand home services platform. The idea of Handy started when I was pursuing real estate development work in Hungary. Through my experiences I came to find how difficult it was to hire consistent quality handymen, but didn’t quite know how I wanted to fix the problem.

Fast forward to my time at Harvard Business School where I met my co-founder Umang Dua and started to really focus on the idea of changing how people find and buy services. We started to see early adoption to our then Handybook idea and decided to leave business school early to pursue our idea full time.
Five-and-a-half years later we’ve facilitated millions of bookings, served hundreds of thousands of customers, and activated over 80,000 independent professionals on our platform.

What advice would you give to Irish professionals moving to the U.S. for work?

I have three pieces of advice that I like to stand by:
  1. Don’t fight big waves. Changes are happening in technology constantly and there is a major shift in opinion and execution of processes, it would be beneficial to jump on board.
  2. Think about the one observation you believe to be true that hasn’t been discovered yet, and then pursue that missing gap.
  3. Expect the unexpected – at scale and pace.

Who was the biggest influence on your career?

My dad has always been my biggest influence. He’s an entrepreneur himself and has always encouraged me to pursue what I’m passionate about.

If you had one piece of advice for yourself earlier in your career, what would it be?

Follow your instincts! If you believe in something, write it down as crisply as you can and dedicate a lot of time to proving it to be correct (or incorrect).

What are your passions outside of work?

I really enjoy running, snowboarding, trying new sushi restaurants, and spending time with my wife. I have a love/hate relationship with running. The first 10 or so minutes I absolutely hate it, but by minute 15 i’m finally in my groove and can clear my mind.

My wife and I try to run a path we’ve mapped out on the east side every weekend.  One of my new year’s resolutions is to run 85 times! I truly wish I could snowboard year round. I’ve been snowboarding since a very young age and some of my favorite memories as a kid are from skiing. My family and I take an annual trip to Switzerland every year around the holidays.

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