A problem to solve
Several hygiene-related factors made Amandeep Bhatia realise that a local laundry delivery service was the need of the hour. “We realised how disorganised this space is when we used to attempt getting our laundry done by the neighbourhood washerman. Local vendors operate according to their convenience, and not according to the needs of the customer. Given the kind of clothes clubbed together to wash, and the way these clothes are washed, it is safe to say that hygiene is not properly maintained either. Many times we saw local dhobis make small children going door to door delivering the clothes. Laundry is such an essential service of the urban daily life. We recognised a huge potential in starting up a customer-friendly hyper- local laundry delivery service and Presso was born,” he says.
Amandeep was working as a product manager with multinational companies like Honeywell, Renishaw and Cognizant, but is now wholly dedicated to his startup. Born earlier this year, Presso works as an aggregator platform for local vendors. Amandeep says, “Customers place order using our app. Our algorithms assign the nearest delivery boy and vendor partner to every order and they get picked and delivered as per the selected time schedule by customers. Customers can update and track their orders from our app only.”
In just four months of starting up, the Delhi based Presso is feeling the pinch of a disorganised workforce and a lack of awareness of local trends. He says, “There is a huge and essential market between regular services and premium services both in terms of quality and convenience.” Amandeep’s plans to tackle this challenge is by scaling his business across India: “Our focus remains to provide a platform to both vendors and customers to achieve our promise of quality, cost and convenience. We intend to scale by partnering with small and big vendors for different type of services. Our vendor management team liaisons with vendors. Our customer app, operations and delivery infrastructure is set up for replicating the model at scale from area to area,” he explains.
Amandeep says that two factors have cropped up to characterise urban Indian population today: increase in disposable income and decrease in time. “There is also an increased demand for quality services. The scope and potential of organising this market is almost limitless,” he adds. Presso had 5,000 orders within the first three months of starting up and is growing rapidly week by week, Amandeep says.
The firm was initially bootstrapped. “Then we got angel funding from Sunstone Capital which helped us put our systems in place and scale fast,” he explains. Presso is run by Amandeep and Co-founder Subhashish Pattnayak. Amandeep says, “We have complementary strengths which helps us target different aspects of our startup.”
According to him, the best part about starting up has been the ability to take decisions fast and execute them. “This was one thing we always missed in bigger companies where decision making was very slow and lot of time just went into talking over things. I came from a lean product mindset and here in our startup we finally got a chance to implement it fully,” Amandeep says. The best advice he has got was to build a company for customers and not investors. “We get almost 40-50% of our customers from referrals which is a big push for us,” he adds.
Amandeep says that with the opening up of the Indian economy, the future of startups like his looks bright. “With deep understanding of hyperlocal areas, there is always scope for introducing new services and growing big,” he adds. His advice to fellow aspiring entrepreneurs: “Look for a co-founder who shares your vision and complements your skills. Focus on understanding real pain points of customers and what they want. Stay lean.”