Nothing chains down the free spirit of a bachelor in a big city quite the way as the evil necessity of doing laundry. The mere thought of laundry crossing someone’s mind on a Friday completely demolishes all plans for Saturday morning. Even staying in bed till 12 is not an option. The same problem was faced by Balaji Ashok, Raghu Bharat and Silus Reddy. They took it upon themselves to solve the problem, and as they have articulated so elaborately on their website, www.mywash.in, “We wanted an easy way to get laundry done. We couldn’t find one. So we built one.”
- What ignited the idea of a start-up in this sector?
MyWash is an on-demand dry cleaning & laundry startup. We are a tech startup trying to bring a change in how the laundry industry works. Even when I was studying in BITS Pilani we always had a dhobi coming once every week take our clothes and deliver them back (though the quality was horrible) and we never felt the wrath of doing laundry on our own until I started my professional career in Bangalore I had to go to laundry players here. In the days when house can be found at tap of a button, groceries can be ordered in a tap of button, I seriously looked for a good laundry service and we couldn’t find one. So I and my friends started working on this. The idea.
- What are the problems you faced while pitching for the funding of your start-up?
The VCs are usually very cool and helping in nature. I will agree that they take time but they do take solid decisions. The VC firms we spoke to took decisions very quickly. Angels are usually slower and cautious. We never really faced any serious issues.
- What is your target segment?
We target bachelors & IT professionals who value time and money alike. Doing laundry is such a pain even when you own washing machine. So we want people to work hard and party harder while we solve their complete laundry problems. We also believe that nuclear families are a good customer segment because of our only Iron & Dry cleaning services.
- What are the opportunities and threats you foresee?
The opportunity is very big and right in front of the eyes. We can see so many thing we can do in this industry. We want to be like NETFLIX who started with selling DVDs and now make the movies itself. Probably we will get into clothes manufacturing itself in the future. The opportunity itself is too big. Threat is that customer it is getting difficult to meet customer expectations and our demand is more than we can handle right from day one. I foresee the same case for a foreseeable future.
- What does your business model look like? Are you going to tie up with un-organized players in the market or completely own the business by yourself?
As of now we selectively choose vendors who are unorganized players in this market. We are still tuning our operations model.
- How do you market MyWash? What has been the formula for success of marketing yet?
Facebook has been our most successful channel. We try ads and actually most of the time our organic posts itself get huge traffic on the site. As of now are ranked 9000+ in Alexa, which is huge for a 2 month old startup.
- What are the expansion plans in the future?
We want to quickly prove our model in Bangalore and expand the same across cities in India. We are currently actively raising funds and our expansion plans are tied up with that resource.
- What advice would you want to give to the people taking step towards entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is awesome. Do take the jump. More than idea you need a team. In fact I first had a team and then we looked for problems and a solutions for it. I suggest people to do it. Having an idea and looking for team won’t work at all. Have a team first should be your approach. I am lucky to have found co-founders like Raghu and Balaji.
- What does your revenue generation model look like?
We generate revenues right from day one. Our model is simple we do laundry & dry cleaning and the customer pays for the same.
- How much profit do you foresee for the next financial year?
We don’t want to disclose the numbers but we see a good growth for the future.