While the unorganized sector i.e. your local dhobi, still rules the roost, organized players with laundry service at home are slowly making inroads into the industry.
Dhobilite, with its Android based application and website provides end-to-end solution for all your laundry needs from placing order, tracking order, rate list, payment solutions & integration with PayTm, history, complaints, rating, referral and coupons. Dhobilite, a start-up, not only provide end-to-end solutions to its customers for laundry service at home, but also to vendors it is associated with. Everything is at one place.
I got a chance to talk to Nishant Tripathi and Abhishek Kumar, Co-Founders of Dhobilite, about their business venture and much more!
SV: Could you please throw some light on your company and how your educational background has supported it to reach to the level it has?
DL: Dhobilite provides end to end solution for cleaning industry and technology is an enabler for us. We use technology to bring professionalism in our services. We both are engineers and being an engineer, we have a natural tendency to solve every problem with the use of technology. Also previously we have worked with large systems in big organizations, therefore, all of that experience has been put together to develop an end to end solution, which can be used by both vendors and customers.
SV: Starting your own venture at an early age like you did…. was that always the vision or an opportunity on which you capitalized?
DL: We would say that it was a vision to provide professional solution for day to day chores of people. While working towards it, we realized that laundry sector has huge untapped opportunity because this sector was highly unorganized.
SV: Do share the story behind the conceptualization of your startup and its work ethics.
DL: It started sometime in the beginning of 2011, when we both met at a wedding of a common friend, the discussion started about the lack of professionalism in consumers services in India, from then onwards we thought that laundry is one area which is a day to day need, but this sector is largely unorganized, so, we chalked out a plan and started to work on it to provide laundry as a professional service.
Our work ethic is based on “Quality.” We strive to maintain best quality and best experience for our consumer and in order to achieve that we constantly evolve our process to make sure that our commitment to customer is met every time.
SV: What kind of role as per you direct consumers play in making sure that a business plan becomes successful?
DL: It is very simple laundry is a daily necessity and along with that doing laundry takes a lot of time as it is a cumbersome process and we believe that doing laundry is not actually anyone’s hobby. Therefore, we give a proposition to the customer that why spend your precious time in doing something which is not so nice to do, leave all the hassles of doing laundry to us.
Now, speaking statistically according to KPMG study for period 2007-2012 laundry industry in India was estimated to be INR 5200 Cr ($800 Mn) and unorganized sector to be around 2,00,000 Cr ($31 Bn). Therefore, this sector has a huge potential for growth.
SV: What has been the best memory so far from the entrepreneurial journey?
DL: DhobiLite’s first order: On the day of launch we distributed a few pamphlets and then we were waiting for orders to come, I was not at workshop and after every 15-20 minutes I was checking it with Abhishek. And when we got our first order it brought a big smile on our face and to add to our joy, when that order was delivered we got a call back from customer and they appreciated our services like anything. This is best memory of our journey and we just can’t forget that moment when we delivered our first laundry service at home.
SV: What would you refer to as your source of inspiration that keeps you moving ahead in life?
DL: We want to perform better tomorrow than we were doing yesterday. In quest for this goal we are always thinking on how we can improve on our existing processes and how we can make sure that DhobiLite as a company is always evolving.
SV: What are the tips you would give to budding entrepreneurs to be able to succeed in Indian startup ecosystem?
DL: If you believe in your idea and if you feel that the users of your idea are appreciating your product then stick to it no matter what others say because perseverance is the key and don’t give up too soon. Who would have thought that an idea like laundry service at home could succeed. But we kept at it and are aiming big.
SV: What were (are) the challenges faced by you during your entrepreneurial journey?
DL: Well this could be a long long list J. From setting up our own workshop to managing blue collar employees to uncertainties as to how market will respond to our idea. And to top it all managing our families, we can safely say that we have found out a solution to all issues except “managing family” :).
SV: What would be your business ethics as per you?
DL: Transparency: Be it in communication internally within the company, or with the customers. We believe that if communication is clear and precise than, most of the issues could be resolved with very less hassles.
SV: What’s next in store for you?
DL: We have a vision to be present pan India and naturally to achieve that we want to expand to new areas starting with metro cities in India to take laundry service at home to a whole new level. Our mode of expansion will be mix of collaboration with existing vendors at some places and going full stack on our own at others. We have started this by commencing our operations in Gurgaon this year.