Business services May, 31 2014

Cleaning dirt, earning fast bucks

This is the service industry where you may get your hands all dirty. But, the mollah you earn, they clean it all. Would you let this opportunity go out of your hands if it assures high returns? Obviously no, right? So, get into dry cleaning and laundry s

By Amanpreet Kaur, TFW Bureau
Chief Sub Editor
Cleaning dirt, earning fast bucks

Is it the time crunch, changing consumption patterns, growing number of high net-worth individuals or escalating salary structures of single or double breadwinners of family? As Indian market is rapidly growing, you will see every strata of the society now scout for extra choices to keep their expensive and branded garb spick and span. As dry cleaning and laundry industry is turning out to be more organised than before, the industry is now set to give local dry cleaners and launders a tough run for their money by offering a quality services at affordable prices to regular customers and corporate clients. Besides that, many established and emerging brands are also offering quick pick and drop facility to one’s doorstep. Seeing the trend, now many aspiring franchisors and franchisees are cashing in on the service industry to grab the massive market share by tapping the unorganised market that holds a huge untapped potential.

Serving to Laundry & Dry Cleaning Industry

As dry cleaning and laundry business in India is evolving at a brisk growth rate so, franchiseindia.com thought of catching the market’s pulse by getting candid with few of the industry’s leaders so as to offer feasible yet profitable business opportunity to aspiring franchisees. So, all those who are waiting with bated breath to get into a business of dry cleaning and laundry industry, can now avail best of business opportunity by associating with organised brands.

Take a quick look below:

  • White Tiger, its laundry and dry cleaning service has been instrumental in targeting the dominant share in India’s dry cleaning and laundry industry. So far, the brand has a strong network in Delhi, NCR and Punjab.
  • In the dry cleaning business, 5asec is France-based brand which has 2,000+ shops in about 32 countries with both company-owned and franchisee-owned and operated shops. In India, 5aSec made its entry through Master Franchisee – SB Fabcare Pvt Ltd which currently operates eight company-owned shops in Mumbai. The brand is in the process of opening its first franchisee shop in Bangalore soon. Talking about the market size they are planning to tap, Suresh D Bhatia, Director, 5asec (SB Fabcare Pvt Ltd -Master franchise for India, says: “We are currently focusing on our quality and services improvisation based on certain local market study conducted jointly by 5asec International as well as SB Fabcare. We aim to accelerate our growth to about 25 shops in next year in Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities. It would be difficult to gauge a specific percentage share but, we aim to at least capture 5% or more share in next 2- 3 years.”  
  • Another key player is – Laundry Project India Pvt Ltd, a venture capital backed organization with experienced professionals from retail, hospitality and laundry industry. They launched its retail brand ‘Wassup–Just Laundry’ that reaches out to consumers by providing professional laundry and dry cleaning services. The brand is currently present in Chennai and Bangalore with twelve retail stores including six franchises and six company-owned. Very soon, the brand would be expanding its reach to Gurgaon, Pune and Vishakhapatnam. Talking about the plans ahead for 2014, Balachandar R, Director, Laundry Project India Pvt Ltd, says: “Our retail expansion is through franchisees. We are targeting to open 50 franchisee stores within this financial year.”
  • Bangalore based–Wonder Wash is an established laundry and dry cleaning service that offers its services to hotels, corporate, institutions and retail segment. The brand has more than 18 outlets that cater to high-end quality conscious consumers.  Talking about the industry market size, SN Kumar, Managing Director, Wonder Wash Pvt Ltd, informs: “The laundry service industry in India is still dominated by the unorganised sector– the traditional ‘Dhobi’ and ‘Istri Wallah’ service. It is estimated that 95 per cent of the market is unorganised and only 5 per cent in the organised sector. There is a growing demand for high-quality services from urban customers. This has prompted a few organised players to set up state-of-the-art laundry facilities with ‘Retail Operations’ in all the metro cities.”
  • Quick Clean Private Ltd is another player which is well-known for introducing the concept of Laundromats, self-service laundry in India.
  • Swiss Laundry is another new brand that provides professional laundry and dry cleaning services and has years of experience in the European market too. The brand has plans to expand pan India.
  • Leading the way in shoe cleaning business is Mumbai based –Shoe Laundry which is all here at one’s rescue to upkeep one’s branded shoes and pair of stilettos. Talking about the unique industry, Sandeep Gajakas, Founder, Shoe Laundry, says: “Since 2003, we have spent more then a decade in researching, simplifying, perfecting and standardising the process and have started franchising since the last two years. The propagation of this knowledge to skilled labour is a slow and hands on process to ensure the service is as per our standards. There is tremendous untapped potential in this sector. In the next few years the service through our franchisee network will be more extensively available.” Currently, all the brand’s stores are franchised.
  • Spain-based Pressto marked its entry in India in 2008 and now servicing to more than 50, 000 satisfied customers across Mumbai and Delhi. So far, the brand has received many franchise related queries. They are expected to start franchise soon

Franchise for benefits

Be it any business category–retail or service, franchising has surely caught every aspiring franchisees’ interest to a great extent. As this business model rules the roost, now many existing and emerging franchisors are now set to offer the lucrative business prospects to franchisees and creating employment opportunities for likeminded individuals. Laundry Project India Pvt Ltd aims to tap Women entrepreneurs and professionals looking at setting up a parallel income. Whereas for 5asec, the target franchisees can be professionals, housewives, retired active couples, budding entrepreneurs, womenprenuers and others who believe in this business. On the other side, Wonder Wash aspires to target entrepreneurs with hospitality background with commitment towards quality.

Taking about the support they offer to franchisees, Suresh D Bhatia says: “We provide complete know how and turnkey solutions to our potential franchisees and support them in not only establishing the set- up  but also help and support them in day-to-day operations and service.”  While Sandeep Gajakas says: “We have a standard franchise program which enables a franchisee to be the exclusive franchise for a territory. The territory can be part of a city or the entire city. We have a special franchise program for tier-II and tier-III cities as we receive a lot of inquiries from smaller cities as well.” To maintain the brand’s standards, Shoe Laundry provides thorough training to its franchisee staff. The staff is trained with hands on training of all processes and techniques. Post training support is always available to the franchise and their staff if they have to execute a difficult order.

As market is turning out to be more competitive than before, it is anticipated that only those will survive that will offer quality service, convenience and best pricing in the industry. Talking about the strategies they follow, SN Kamar says: “We have 18 years of operational experience in laundry with state-of-art technology and process. We have trained manpower, better understanding of fabric care and logistics.”

The way forward

So far, high quality dry cleaning and laundry services are still rare although many industry insiders strongly feel that India holds a substantial potential as consumers’ mindset is swiftly changing towards going in for professional dry cleaning and laundry services.  As plenty of brands are entering the fray, the industry is turning out as a favorable business opportunity for franchisees who are seeking maximum returns on investment and attain higher profit margins. So, what are you waiting for? Go and capture the profitable business opportunity that assures RoI of 10-60%.

Franchise facts:

Brand

Investment

 Area (In Sq.ft)

Return-on investment (RoI)

Wonder Wash

Rs 1 crore

750-1,000

10-12%

Wassap Laundry

Rs 6 lakh

100

30%

5asec

Rs  25 lakhs to 1.2 Crore  ( depending upon size  and scale of shops )

Main shop:  750 carpet    Satellite shop: 300-400 sq ft carpet.

18 months to 36 months

Shoe Laundry

Rs 5.5 – Rs 8 lakh

300

40-60%

Related: Pre-Owned Cars Drive Sales

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