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Pradeep Rampat Sharma, Founder: Balaji Dry Cleaners

Monday August 31, 2009 , 4 min Read

“Engineered dry cleaning”

‘Where there is a will there is a way’ is the proverb used for many people who make their way through the most difficult times in their life and leave behind a path for others to follow. Pradeep Sharma is no exception, he is one of those who believe in hard work and a little bit of luck.

The Story Behind The Man 

A diploma holder in Mechanical Engineering from MSU Vadodara in 1992, Pradeep started his career as a service engineer and later shifted to sales. After getting a firm hold on the sales field Pradeep decided to try his luck in the dream city Mumbai and soon found a job with the Strategic in 2000. “I was into selling space and mostly dealing with foreign clients,” says Pradeep.

But tough times were in store for Pradeep as the company went bust in the year 2002. “It was very shocking as after the company went down under, suddenly my career too came crashing down,” adds Pradeep. He didn’t get his salary for six months and was forced to search for a job merely to make ends meet. 

Badly hit by recession, Pradeep was forced to join an advertising company on a petty salary and, after that, a business center. But to make his own fortune and career Pradeep decided to turn to business. “After being badly hit by the recession I decided to start a business in order to protect myself,” says Pradeep.

Mechanical Engineer Turns to Laundry Business 

As a mechanical engineer Pradeep Sharma never thought that it would take a recession that shattered all his big dreams to be successful in life. The man turned to the Laundry business and started working on a business model by helping his cousin in Pune who runs a laundry there. 

After he had learned the basics Pradeep initially started his laundry in Pune and later shifted his base to Vadodara. But it was never going to be easy for Pradeep to start a business in Baroda. “With an initial capital of 1 lakh borrowed from my family I started my laundry, ‘Balaji Dry Cleaners’ from my home in a single room. My parents helped me at every step of the struggle in starting the laundry,” said Pradeep. He added that they washed the clothes on the ground floor and took them to the third floor terrace to dry them.    

Today after all the hard work and initial suffering Pradeep Sharma owns his laundry in one of the industrial estates of Vadodara with 14 persons working under him. His clients include all the major hospitals and hotels in Vadodara. Pradeep has been working very hard on his business model over the years to earn a branding for his laundry. He said, “I want to do this business in a professional manner and hence working on it, especially the branding, is the biggest challenge in my business. The idea is to use maximum machinery in the process of cleaning and drying and creating a clean and hygienic environment in the laundry.”    

Pradeep plans to build and extend his business in the form of retail outlets in Gujarat in the next one year. Pradeep says that after choosing to be an entrepreneur he is now free to think and do what is best for him and his company. Now he plans to spread his concept of a clean and hygienic laundry to the other states.   

Pradeep has conquered all his challenges and mistakes in the initial stages of his business and given a new meaning to the ‘Dhobi’ job. The business he started in the time of recession is running well and even growing in the recent recession period. His success mantra for upcoming entrepreneurs is “Never give up and save for the future”. 

YourStory sincerely hopes that Pradeep’s pioneering efforts to organize and institutionalize the Indian laundry industry bear fruit.