While I was studying at university, I realised there was a lot of potential in an organised laundry system. I had it at the back of my mind, but it was not my immediate priority. I wanted to work and gain experience in the corporate industry. After working for few years, I wanted to start working on my dream.
I came to Nizamabad (Hyderabad) in 2017 with a dream to transform the laundry industry in Tier II cities. And I had a passion for improving the living standards of people through quality services. There was a time when I didn’t know how to wash my own clothes, but then I started washing clothes for my customers. When I began, lot of problems cropped up, and complaints came from the customers’ side. It was because we didn’t understand how to treat linens and other fabrics. My team and I were still a little unskilled. Every day we used to Google articles on how to wash things correctly, and we implemented the same, but it didn’t help us too much. There was no skilled labor for stream ironing. Business was shut down for two months. We then decided we all had to receive training, as I was very adamant on having the perfect process in place.
After the training, we decided to tackle each problem steadily and started capturing our business segment-wise. First, beauty salons, then hotels, then education institutions, industries, transportation, theater, and also domestic customers. We had picked up the pace, but we still didn’t know a few things. As we were not using proper phase electricity, the department fined us for ₹80,000! That’s when I connected to The Indus Entrepreneur’s chapter in Nizamabad. They helped me with documentation, networking, and also increased my business.
People in Nizamabad didn’t see laundry as a profitable and process oriented business. They know it only as dhobis’ work. There is a cultural stigma in this business. I dared to make a change.
We blame our parents for not seeing the change, but it’s for us youngsters aiming for new heights as this is a new India and a young India. All I had was an idea to start with. A lack of money or education can’t be a reason to not take initiative. Though I didn’t have all the knowledge I required when moving into this venture, for change to happen I worked with many people, professionally and personally. Change never comes to you, but it follows you.
I streamlined my laundry business in Nizamabad. As an entrepreneur I created an ecosystem that earned me a contract from the government for my laundry services. I approached other professionals with a project file and explained the work I do. Today we are working with over 25 commercial clients and more than 70 domestic customers. Our net profit is in five digits.
Where does the value of the business lie? It’s my customers who made this enterprise happen. If I take their remarks as needless criticism or even as sarcasm I wouldn’t have made it this far. The happiness on a customer’s face is more valuable for me than the money they pay. We should stop running for greed and value providing services more.
When you do anything out-of-the-box in this country, there a is cultural and moral stalemate. People ask “Yeh chalta hai kya? (Does this work?)” or “Yeh hota kya (Does this happen)?” This very attitude demotivates you.
This has been my takeaway: Anything new always comes with its own anxieties. But avoiding something new is the biggest mistake of your life. I don’t fight with what I fear. Even though there are setbacks, continuous efforts will lead to success.