The ongoing growth of the gig economy has been a key feature of the labour market, especially during the current economic climate. While we are familiar with food, on-demand tasks and private transportation sectors embracing the gig economy, one new emerging trend has been the participation of mechanics into the gig economy as well. Aware of the demand from drivers to pick mechanics to come to them, rather than drive to a workshop, PomenAutodata Sdn Bhd (Pomen), an automotive maintenance platform connecting car drivers with nearby workshops, has embarked on a new journey to empower gig mechanics via their PomenRider Programme. The first onboarding phase saw 48 mechanics signed up, covering Klang Valley, Seremban and Ipoh. The target is to sign-up at least 5,000 mechanics by the end of five years. As a value add to the programme, Pomen also works with Petronas enabling Pomen Riders to get lubricant stocks (Petronas Syntium engine oil) at any Petronas Mesra stations nationwide without using cash by swiping their Petronas SMARTPay cards that they will receive upon signing up to the programme. The collaboration of Pomen and Petronas allows consumers to enjoy the convenience of having their cars serviced at the doorstep minus the high labour charge and the confidence of getting genuine lubricants. “We saw the increasing trend of jobs being converted into the gig economy and noted that auto mechanics, being a skilled trade, is amongst the highest in demand skill. We felt that vehicle owners would surely like to order a mechanic in real time through a trustworthy app. The programme benefits both mechanics and the consumers. It is high time that mechanics come into the gig economy,” said Syed Zulhilmi Sharif (pic), founder and CEO of Pomen. With its experience managing the Pomen app, Zulhilmi hopes this extension will promote a more transparent marketplace that will in turn build confidence in consumers and open more opportunities for gig mechanics. Part of the onboarding is via a collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development (KPLB) using their Mobilepreneurs programme that was launched in 2016. The Mobilepreneurs are equipped with a bike and toolbox. Most of the mobilepreneurs are automotive graduates from KPLB agencies like Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) and Felcra Training Center.Pomen created pathway Pomen is a Top 11 winner for Cohort 2 of ScaleUp Malaysia’s programme where winners receive RM250,000 in investment. Prior to that, Pomen excelled at the SITEC Selangor Accelerator Programme Cohort 2.0 emerging as the winner. Pomen is a recipient of CIP Ignite (II) funds from Cradle, receiving RM500,000 and is one of the winners of the Petronas FutureTech Accelerator, selected for the Silicon Valley Immersion Programme.