In the era of On Demand economy, almost every service you could imagine is available through an app, be it food, transport, or groceries. And entering the space now are apps that let you outsource household chores such as cleaning, cooking, home maintenance, and even laundry. Pick My Laundry is one such Service provider, as the name suggests is an app to book laundry services. The customers can book the services and get their laundry picked, washed, and delivered within 48 Hours.
In conversation with Gaurav Agrawal, where he shares Pick My Laundry’s journey and everything that goes behind starting and running an On-Demand Laundry business.
Q1.Tell us a little about Pick My Laundry and your personal motivation for starting this business?
Pick My Laundry offers a convenient & hassle-free way of getting laundry done. We work on the aggregator model and tie-up with vendors in different areas to provide service to the customers. We use the mobile & internet to receive orders, & our efficient backend & route mapping ensures that each pickup is done on time & delivered back as per the customer’s preferred time slot. We offer services such as – Laundry:- Wearable clothes as well as household items; Dry Cleaning – which has very high revenue for the business, Shoe-servicing, Steam Ironing, Starching, etc. We also have plans to venture into Car Dry Cleaning & Sofa Dry Cleaning.
We started the business out of frustration. What I mean is that it was frustrating to do laundry, especially when you are staying alone. Not to mention the water woes. We realized that laundry was a pain point – and hence the birth of Pick My Laundry.
Q2.Can you give us a rundown of how it works?
Anyone can schedule a pickup of their clothes through our Android App, Website, or Phone call. We have 2-hour slots starting at 8 am till 10 pm and we come with all our own accessories such as Pickup Bags, Weighing Scales, logistics bags & vehicles. The collected clothes reach processing centers with whom we have a tie-up. Their processing expertise makes sure that all clothes are handled carefully and all stains removed. Then they steam iron the clothes and package them. After a quality check, the clothes are delivered back to the customer’s address at the pre-scheduled time. We also receive custom requests like changes in delivery time, location, etc and we serve our customers as per their requirements.
Q3.Who are your key stakeholders and how are you offering them value?
We create value for 2 stakeholders – the Consumers & the Laundromats.
For Consumers, people do not have a professional service available.
a) Doing laundry at home is cumbersome. No one loves to do this job. We usually have housemaids to do this, but there are issues such as time mismatch, reliability, ironing, etc.
- b) One can find a dhobi, in their neighbourhood, but mostly he only irons, and that too with an archaic coal based method, that leaves a typical odour that most of us find offensive.
c) One can own a washing machine – but again drying at home is a problem & ironing anyways has to be done outside. The one time investment is high and no bachelor would want to spend that kind of money ! And again, colour bleeding by mixing of colours of different garments is another pain point.
d) No one has the time to bother about where and how laundry get done! People just want clean clothes when they need it.
Our solution allows them to schedule a pickup & drop via mobile app.
Our aim is to make lives simpler & offer free time. Doing laundry takes upto 2 hours a week for every individual & if we can save 8 hours a week for a family, its significant. Time is the most valuable thing we gain, & by offering people comfort & luxury where they do not have to haggle with anyone, worry about misplaced garments or suffer. due to water, time and space shortage !!
- a) Faster return over investment
- b) Reduction of lean hours
- c) Standardisation of best practises
- d) Better control over quality and no worries about logistics
Q4.What is Pick My Laundry’s biggest achievement to date? How did you go about accomplishing this?
Handling 4000 clothes in a day – is our biggest achievement so far. This is done through our in-house technology which makes sure that no pickup and delivery is left unattempted at the mentioned time.
Q5.What has been your biggest set back? How did you deal with it?
We have faced all sorts of problems like – delays in pickup and deliveries, quality problems, clothes mismanagement, wear & tear, etc. But we overcame all these issues as time progressed and have learned lessons and drafted standard working procedures which ensure industry-level best efficiency. Those are issues of the past now ☺
Q6.Could you shed some light on the technology and tools used to build Pick My Laundry ?
At the front end, we have a website and an Android App – with beautiful UI and optimum functionality. At the Backend – we have several modules for managing orders which is being used by multiple role players. We even have tracking tools and mobile phones for all our riders !!
Q7.What are some of the hurdles and roadblocks you still face?
Sometimes, we get a lot of pickups and deliveries in the evening slots and our afternoon slots remain idle. But we have developed an incentive model & working schedule, which minimizes this problem. Also, we get a lot of orders on weekends and the week remains fairly idle. So, we are trying to shift the laundry day from a weekend to a weekday in several ways.
Q8.What are some the current trends you see in the industry?
On the customers’ side, we see that they are willing to make a shift in their lifestyles – all for the sake of convenience and time!! In a fast-paced digital world, it is archaic to stick to old-age ways of life.
Also, there is indeed a lot of innovation around us. Startups are daring to try out new models and there are equally brave investors who don’t mind putting their monies in those models.
Q9. There are definitely a lot of companies similar to Pick My Laundry floating around right now. What are you doing that differentiates you?
We have a quick turnaround time, which is what people want if they have to give laundry every week. We have set up an operating mechanism that treats clothes effortlessly, efficiently, and quickly. We have an internal agreement with laundry partners which take care of quality standards & time commitments. Our product is unique in itself, has a really beautiful user interface & a convenient way of booking a pickup. We are live on Android and we had 1000 downloads within 15 days of Launch!!
Q10.Where do you see Pick My Laundry in five years?
Serving all across India and sailing abroad – as this is a genuine pain point for all, globally.
Q11. Do you plan to adopt a “Marketplace Model” like Washio etc. ?
We are a marketplace model like Washio – where we manage the existing laundromats and create value for them. Unlike food, where people choose whether they want a Pizza or Paratha and select a restaurant accordingly. Here people are not bothered about which laundromat to choose. It is our internal call – based on our load optimization model – where to send clothes, ensuring that we don’t create too much load on one and at the same time giving regular business to others.
Q12.Any advice for startups trying to make it big or join the On-Demand space?
It’s your choice to join the On-Demand club. Two things here – it is not easy – and don’t expect to raise funding immediately; as a lot of players are in every sector. Technology & Operations are key to On-Demand services and it’s best if you have expertise in both.
Visit the company at https://www.pickmylaundry.in/
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