It will not be too far off the mark to call this generation ‘Uber for X. Young people ready to pay for on-demand services to save time. This is the reason for so many on-demand services popping up and doing really well across various cities in India.
On-demand is the future of businesses for delivering goods and services. We already get video streaming on demand (Netflix), cabs are available on-demand (Uber & Ola); even our grocery is on-demand (BigBasket). I haven’t used the service but am told there is an astrology on-demand service as well. What about on-demand laundry for our clothes then?
Mywash is Bangalore-based online on-demand laundry service currently operating in and around Koramangala. The startup sends its delivery boys to pick up clothes, gets them washed and sends it back in a brief period of two days time. Its services are giving customers easy and convenient option to manage their laundry chores. The team has been running operations for the past 25 days and has successfully completed 260+ orders
Laundry services are just not an organized one but also very comfort driven market. You won’t give your clothes to the next-door ‘laundrywalla bhaiya’ if you know he doesn't do the laundry well. Mywash is trying to organize laundry guys thus saving the consumer the hassle of dealing with them directly. Their current user-flow is very easy and doesn't need any formal customer onboarding training.
The team has earlier been involved in startups, and is well acquainted with the perils of scaling up. At present, Silus Reddy has taken up the marketing front, Raghu takes care of the product and tech while Balaji Ashok Kumar is their design concierge. Silus and Raghu have known each other from their college days at BITS Pilani. Balaji underwent the Young India Fellowship in Delhi. One thing why this team looks promising is their speed of execution and stress on quality. They have planned and started operations in merely two months after their idea phase, which is commendable given the market they operate in.
Having started their operations in Bangalore, Silus, Balaji, and Raghu believe that they will be able to acquire more users in the coming few days, and at the same time believe that they will have to be strict on quality assurances.
Asked what really made them start up, Silus replies, “When I was studying at BITS Pilani a ‘dhobi’ would come only once every week. We never felt doing our laundry a dull chore until I started my professional career in Bangalore. I had to go to the shops in peak traffic hours to get my laundry done. Today when you can find a house at the tap of a button, or order groceries from the comfort of your home, I would wonder why it was so difficult to find a good, convenient laundry service. So my friends and I started working on this and the result is MyWash.in.”
He adds, “We did enough research of the laundry industry, spoke with industry experts and came up with a set of essential guidelines, ‘MyWash Partner Guidelines’, for our partner laundromats to meet. We advice them on the guidelines and do a constant and timely inspections to make sure they maintain quality at all times. Failure to meet the quality standards will not be tolerated. We take pride in maintaining high standards.”
Essentially, Mywash is offering laundry and dry cleaning services at the tap of a button. As soon as you ‘Schedule a Wash’ on the website, a pickup guy is at your doorstep to collect your dirty clothes and returns them clean and ironed within about a day or two. As a user, you can also pickup suitable pickup and drop-off time slots, which is another level of added ease.
Pricing is the most important parameter that makes or breaks startups these days. The Mywash team charges customers Rs.19 and upwards per piece of clothing, a very competitive pricing given the services allotted per order. The team is giving Rs. 100 off on every order worth above Rs. 200, a marketing campaign to acquire users quickly.
Speaking further about pricing, Silus states, “We have <1% churn rate and this proves many things about our service and pricing. At present, we operate on a pay per use model, and our charges start from as little as Rs. 19 per cloth. Within the first 20 days of our launch, we got 1000+ signups and 10,000+ eyeballs. We are introducing subscription packages very soon.”
People have been outsourcing their laundry needs for a long time now. According to a recent report by KPMG, the organized laundry market in India is currently around Rs 5,000 crore while the unorganized one is estimated to be around Rs. 2,00,000 crores. The working population in Bangalore is about 65 lakhs, and each person on an average spends abut Rs.500 on laundry every month, this makes Bangalore market alone worth about half a billion dollars.
Times are changings, we travel more in cabs these days instead of the auto, and the age-old industries are evolving. There is no reason for the same evolution to be expected in the laundry market very soon. As of now, MyWashcovers entire Bangalore, and is growing at 50% week-on-week. Its average order size is also increasing daily but an interesting fact to notice is the churn rate, <5%.
The consumer may soon require the same experience on their mobile phones to track their laundry status. With the recent surge in mobile usage in India, customers also wouldn’t mind paying their bills via wallet; payment is slowly becoming invisible. Considering the huge opportunity in this market, the team wants to expand to major metros by December 2015 and then scale their operations in each of these cities by 2016/17.
The team is actively looking for funding to fuel their presence in Bangalore, and expansion plans beyond Bangalore. They still have to build efficient and reliable logistics network coupled with technology to improve their delivery times across various areas of Bangalore.
On-demand services or ‘Uber for X’ is a fresh emerging trend riding the next wave of so-called innovation in India with dozens of startups doing exciting use cases – Grofers is doing hyper logistics, Loginext is into logistics analytics, Alok Jain has started Yumist to cater to the on-demand food needs of people, which is at a pilot stage in Gurgaon.
Do you think that such on-demand laundry service will work?