The Journey to Entrepreneurship: Radek Tober and Alex Khawaja on disrupting the construction sector

8th November 2021 | 3 min read

The idea to create a Deliveroo-style on demand, last mile delivery service for building parts and materials was construction firm owner Radek Tober’s. He wanted to find a highly sustainable way to deliver parts to sites easily, which would also stop work being delayed and help control costs to the benefit of contractor and customer.

Having germinated his idea Radek took it to Alex Khawaja. Alex, who has previously worked for PwC in disruptive technology and spent several years as an Intelligence Officer within the Royal Air Force, as well as a stint at The Bank of New York Mellon.

Alex, due to his desire to create a better future and environment for his own young family, committed himself to helping Radek develop his idea, taking on responsibility for the operational and fundraising side of the business and putting his expertise gained from his time in the military to good use. Radek, as Chief Executive of Grab It, focuses on spearheading relationship management and business development.

The plan is to create an app that allows contractors across London to order building parts and materials on demand, which will then be delivered to them within 40 minutes via electric vehicles, making it zero emission.

The plan is to create an app that allows contractors across London to order building parts and materials on demand, which will then be delivered to them within 40 minutes

Alex and Radek, with the app at MVP stage, are in ongoing discussions with VC’s and Angels to raise £2m to enable them to deliver a full roll out of the business early next year.

The pair want to make the business zero carbon because, as Alex explains: “We’re both fathers and we both live in London, which has some of the most polluted streets in Europe,” Alex explains. “I love London, but I don’t believe we should be comprised in our air quality just for choosing to live in the best city in the world.”

Initially they will need to offset any carbon, but Alex and Radek are exploring establishing their own micro distribution network across London to store and source parts for delivery, as well as to provide solar charging points for their delivery vehicles to ensure they can fully control their carbon footprint.

“There are initiatives like the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London and many of the capital’s companies want to be carbon neutral in the next 20 to 30 years, but London is committed to 50,000 affordable homes a year and this is being revised up to 100,000 homes. So, if you don’t have climate friendly practices in place then no significant, sustainable change will happen.”

Alex adds that the “construction industry is ripe for disruption. Its ready for technology to come in. Lots of people are using apps now and there is no reason the construction industry should be lagging behind given all the investment going into it”.

The business will begin by catering to building and maintenance contractors such as plumbers, electricians and tradespeople doing jobs around the capital, but Alex and Radek are looking at the potential of expanding to commercial contractors and development sites and to cater for DIY enthusiastic homeowners.

Alex and Radek recently joined LABS through our collaboration with Camden Council to provide free coworking space to emerging entrepreneurs.