As truly it is said, “Marriage is about the most expensive way for the average man to get his laundry done!”, but holding on to this quote at present times might not seem appropriate. These are the high times and enough measures have been taken to cater for the general needs. Serving one such problem of Laundry and Dry Cleaning comes Dhobistore.com.
Started by Shahnawaz Siddiqui a.k.a. Gabbar and Mudassir Siddiqui aiming to serve the regions of Delhi and NCR, Dhobistore.com is the India’s First Dry-Cleaners MarketPlace having more than 400+ Dry Cleaners on board! It’s the only laundry and dry cleaning startup that does not white label the vendors. It enables the user to choose a vendor of their choice according to their price, rating and reviews.
“We openly disclose their contact details. This is how we create a transparent environment where the customers get to choose their preferred vendor for their general or special washing needs. This is our Unique Selling Proposition.” “Dhobistore.com is the India’s First Dry Cleaners Market Place having more than 400+ Dry Cleaners!”
Dry cleaning and laundry were never that easy! We let users build their cart, compare vendors & select the best quote, schedule pick & drop as per their convenience and complete the order. Dhobistore.com will take over from this point till you are completely wowed by the experience. Like we say ab stress bhi dhodalo…
The bright side of our marketplace is to provide a new business opportunity for our partners and enable customers to compare prices & select vendors and simplify their daily washing needs. For eg. if you are living in DLF Gurgaon, which is an upmarket area, the pricing is usually according to the lifestyle of the locality! But now with Dhobistore.com, the other less popular dry-cleaners or located nearby can also get a chance to participate in the fulfilment of the orders. This would make the process more economical and stable for both customers and vendors.
When and how did the idea behind this startup came into being?
“Basically, we started in the month of July and we got ourselves registered on 14th October. And Dhobistore.com was launched on 14th of November. While giving my laundry, I realised that the visibility of stores is quite confined! We would only run to the same dry cleaner over and over again despite on-time delivery and service issues.
Having a young daughter (Maira), I really felt it was quite challenging to drop and pick up her uniform every Wednesday from the dry cleaner. The guys couldn’t drop the clothes on time or never had enough runners for timely delivery! After some research we at Dhobistore.com realised that Laundry is such an essential service of the urban daily life, and recognized a huge potential in starting up a customer-friendly hyper- local dry cleaning / laundry pickup-delivery services.
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.
Can you trace the path from each of your earlier projects towards reaching the development and establishment of your current startup?
It’s been a long journey of 16+ years in e-commerce vertical. Headed & consulted various challenging positions at Amex, MakeMyTrip, Nokia, Isango (TUI) etc.
Around the end of 2005, I started my first company under the name of WebLaunch.com specialized in Travel Automation serving US and UK market which was shut down after 2 years of operations because of recession! After that, I moved with MakeMyTrip.com as Associate Vice President User Experience & Automation where I truly realized the power of e-commerce in India. In 2010 post-MMT IPO, I moved to the U.S. and consulted for Amex (Ipay Inc) for about one-and-half years, came back after realizing that India was the land of opportunities and I have been unnecessarily living the old American dream. It took me some time to understand the gap and need of the market and hence Dhobistore.com came into existence.
Do you have entrepreneurs on-board? Please provide a little intro about the core team.
Beside me (Gabbar) there is Mudassir Siddiqui who was my colleague and also happens to be my cousin. He is the co-founder of Dhobistore.com. He comes with a decade of experience working with brands like Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Tata Tele Services looking after Distribution and Retail Sales. He now looks after the operations and sales at Dhobistore.com. Reducing turnaround time in this business is as critical as Customer satisfaction and delight; this is his #1 priority and he ensures that it becomes a part of Dhobistore.com’s DNA.
What is the total team size? How do they manage the workload?
We are a team of 11 & growing including tech, digital & operations. The laundry pick-&-drop is managed in-house by our 4 champion runners this is where we are trying to create the wow effects. The dry cleaning orders are picked up by the selected vendors themselves.
We have strategically divided NCR into regions and allocated sub-regions to it; this way the customer always gets a min of 4 and a max of 35 vendors to compare and choose from.
“Each and every of sub-regions has a minimum number of 4 vendors to 35 vendors per sub.”
Who are your current competitors?
How are you building trust? How can a first-time visitor trust your service?
As already said, we have made a transparent environment where the customer is fully aware of the fact to which vendor his/her clothes are going to. Each and every vendor at Dhobistore.com is personally inspected & verified. We also have a contract with them which binds the vendor to pay up to Rs. 10,000 as a claim guarantee for any mishaps or damages.
Once you place your order, you can check it and track it in real-time over the app. We have provided these vendors with tools to update the order status. Users can check whether the order is out for delivery or still under process or its expected delivery.
What was your family’s reaction when you decided to become an entrepreneur?
Well, there were obvious questions about stability and comfort but they also understood that I was trying to solve the need of the hour. By the way, this is not the first time they had to go through such an experience.
On a separate note “this is the best time for startups in India; if not now I believe never”
Are you looking for an investor? If yes, what are the qualities or requirements you seek?
Yes, we do, right now we are completely bootstrapped and are in talks with a few investors. We have been given a mandate and we are working towards the same. We would love to work with investors who would bring value to the table in terms of large user base and influence the local consumer.
Currently, the focus is towards securing orders and spreading customer delight. In this process, we are also focusing on optimizing resource utilization by making good use of technology and automation.
Does the workload get over you? How do you unwind?
Yes, it does! (laughs). Since the time we have launched Dhobistore.com we have stopped getting Sundays or Fundays! We just take rotational weekly off as someone from the team needs to guard the base always.
There is no work-life balance for now. All we have been focusing is to get dhobistore.com to the right direction. There is a long list of holidays which I am sure will happen in the future along with our startup.
What are your Future Plans for Dhobistore.com?
We are aiming at expanding the platform pan India. Two teams have already been deployed at Jaipur & Pune to expand Dhobistore.com. We are also aiming at opening up the franchise stores and are currently in talks with a few vendors who want to co-brand “powered by Dhobistore.com” and are ready to consolidate! We are soon to launch about 8 such stores in Delhi & NCR region.
Finally, what are your suggestions for wannabe entrepreneurs in India?
“Do your homework (well); find the pain points; assemble a world class team it will make or break your company. Take a deep breath, and jump! It takes time but it’ll happen. Do not look for quick gain! Stay focus and rest will follow!”Like this press release? Submit yours here.