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Educating Local Dhobis will Lead to an Organized Laundry Sector

Premanth Kundurthi, Founder & CEO, PKC Laundries
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Premanth Kundurthi, Founder & CEO, PKC Laundries
PKC Laundries is a Hyderabad based on-demand laundry service provider offering quality ironing, washing and dry cleaning services to users at affordable rates, along with doorstep pickup and delivery of clothes.

For most of my adolescent life I grew up seeing laundry to be a weekly ritual which our maid takes care of. One day, I noticed my mother supervising our maid doing laundry although. When I asked my mother why she was micro managing the laundry activities of the maid, she said, "Maid does not know the correct measure of water and detergent to use. I will have to instruct her. Else clothes may get damaged". I was amused. Maid has been employed to save some time. Yet, my mom had to spend ample time in the supervision. My mom murmured, "Everything is available online these days. I wish laundry service is also available online," with a sigh. No, my mom does not dread laundry, in fact she never made us leave house without clean clothes. But all she desires is a simple yet skilled process which saves her time and gives value to her money.

Yes, this is a common story in almost every house in cities. With hustle and bustle of city life, people hardly find time to manage their laundry, thus looking out for feasible solutions. Laundry has been a conventional business. According to a Euromonitor International report, the unorganized laundry sector in India is worth Rs.200,000 crore annually, of which only five percent of the market is organized, while the rest remains unexplored. The pool of 12 million online consumers is expected to grow by 20 percent CAGR.

Don't these figures look lucrative? No wonder this sector is seeing an influx of startups. Technology aided on-demand laundry services are now established in all metro cities. During a talk through session on the very topic, one of my friends asked, "Why would I go for a service like this when the local Dhobi is cheaper and I already have a long term association with him?". This is a very common question, startups in this sector face today.

To answer this question, we will have to look at problems the local Dhobis are facing currently. In our one year of operations, we have understood that there are primarily three main problems which we should deal with in the laundry sector - water scarcity, usage of chemicals & detergents, and educate people on how we treat their clothes.


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