Q.Please introduce yourself.
I am Aditya Jain, I co-founded WashKart with Aashish. I joined Accenture after my B-Tech in Computer Science and Engineering but soon took a leap to star my own entrepreneurship venture. My goal is to break new ground in the most basic industries by collaborating with ingenious minds and engaging novel technologies. At WashKart we are continually looking for street smart and perceptive solutions to our problems.
WashKart was founded on the simple pretext of integrating and optimizing various laundry services with the basic aim of providing expeditious and quality service. We are currently working towards optimizing the supply chain and achieving a lower carbon footprint while increasing our outreach in Bengaluru. We are constantly in search of newer, more efficient technology to improve customer satisfaction and standard of service.
Q.When and how did you guys think about WashKart?
During our undergraduate studies in VIT University, Vellore, we always disliked doing our laundry. It was a tiresome task, using up precious time that could have been spent with friends or studying. Even when giving the laundry outside the campus, there was always the bother of carrying bundles of clothes to the laundry shop, then picking them up later. Sometimes, there would be altercations with the laundry person for not delivering the laundry on time. Or being careless and losing the bill, there would be trouble getting our clothes back. The service wasn’t good either, I thought it was impossible for water to tear through jeans but they managed to that too, somehow.
We never found a solution which would take care of these simple problems that we and most of our friends faced. We saw this opportunity and came up with a simple plan. Our plan was rather simple, and so is the intended outcome. Most people use the internet everyday, whether on their phones or laptops. So it is here that we decided to set base. We put our idea on paper, then in HTML, set up all the required groundwork, and called it “WASHKART”
The university officials were averse to the idea though the business incubation center helped us increase our network and put us in touch with mentors. Accenture gave me an opportunity to join its Bengaluru campus, the job was gratifying but we felt WashKart deserves to see the light of day and we worked towards it. WashKart was launched in Bengaluru on 1st August 2015 after doing thorough market research and validating the idea through our pilot model.
— Washkart (@BeBusyWashEasy) June 2, 2016
Q.Introduce your Co-Founder and Team.
Aashish Gulabani is my Co – Founder graduated from ISM Dhanbad. He worked as a Data Analyst in Musigma and Software Developer in Trisys IT before Co founding WashKart with me. Coming from a strong analytical background, he has a very focused approach supported by logical solutions derived from data and facts. He built the whole technical structure for us to work upon.
Vivek Srinivasan is the MD of VSPRUDENCE ADVISORS and Co- Founder of startupsclub. He is our mentor who make sure that WashKart is running on the correct path and guides us towards a sustainable business and a structure driven towards providing convenience. He brings with him over 10+ years of experience in mentoring young startups in various industries.
Q.Explain more about WashKart, what makes you special and how is it different from others?
WashKart.co.in is an on-demand laundry provider which works through the integration of intensive ground work and technology to provide a convenient and affordable laundry service at your doorstep through the means of multiple platforms. All that is required to avail our service is one click.
WashKart functions through its three legs: operations, logistics and technology to solve three major problems with traditional laundries: Long turnaround time, inconvenient services & poor laundry practices.
Usually Local dhobis and other laundry services takes minimum 3-4 days of delivery time. We had reduced it to 48 hours. Then there comes the inconvenience of dropping of the clothes and picking them back when ready. In case of doorstep services people have a hard time explaining the route to their home. In case of local dhobis the quality is not maintained and in case of online aggregator again the back-end is handled by local vendors with minimal interference of the said companies. We at washkart also outsource the laundry to vendor but manage the whole processes and no cloth is delivered back without the quality check.
In short, WashKart works towards providing users with a more convenient immersed and expedited laundry service through the use of better technology and eco-friendly means.
We have maintained unit economics on our orders using better logistics and on ground equipment. Our goal is to optimize and automate the process further maximizing the profits per order hence, giving us the room to deliver much better customer experience. Through our innovative techniques and optimization algorithms, we have already cut our logistics costs by a factor of 20.
Q.What challenges did you face while setting up WashKart?
Challenges are inevitable in any venture. We at WashKart love challenges not only because they are adventurous but because they are great learning experiences. We indeed faced many challenges, I would like to throw light on a few of them.
Our first challenge was to find a reliable vendor who could process the laundry in 24 hours and help us meet our promise of 48-hour delivery. The market has many laundries but none could provide it on time, giving the quality and turnaround time at the affordable prices that we wanted to provide. After thorough market research and walking through the streets of Bengaluru for almost 15 days. We finally did find a vendor who was willing to give us the autonomy to use his facilities to provide our service. There were times when we thought of giving up and finding alternatives, but we made slow but lasting progress.
The other challenge that we faced was the cost of logistics. We found it difficult to reduce the cost of logistics in spite of simulating various models in our scenario. Several other laundry companies had already shut down and the reason was the higher operational cost. After a lot of brain storming sessions, we decided to implement our own optimization algorithm through which we were able to reduce the cost of logistics significantly. We researched and experimented several alternatives before settling with the solution which was most reliable, cost effective and eco-friendly.
One of the selling points of WashKart is the packaging which we provide to keep the clothes wrinkle-free during delivery. We tried different materials which were not satisfactory either in terms of quality or cost. After much frustration, we finally found a solution which helped us reduce packaging cost significantly.
To sum up I would like to quote it in this way: Keep moving because perseverance does conquer all. Never say die, never let the fire die, never get satisfied and you will touch the sky.
Q.What’s the current path and future plan?
We are serving around 30 areas (washkart.co.in/#areas) in Bengaluru providing a slew of laundry services such as Wash & Iron, Iron, Wash & Fold and Dry Cleaning.
WashKart is longing to move towards its next stage of expansion to include the whole of Bengaluru in its service sphere and further expand to other tier-1 cities. We also plan to introduce few more add on services like Shoe Cleaning, leather refurbication, etc. We plan to achieve this through a staged approach wherein we overhaul our technological capability at every stage and make our system error free and improve the unit cost economics of the system allowing us to deliver better services at lower cost.
Our main aim is to change the conventional laundry system to provide a more convenient service to our users wherein we can be more accountable
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Visit : Washkart.co.in
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