DhobiLite Journey

The Conversation

Summer of 2011 Somewhere in a Tech company office, Noida

"How hard can that be ?" (Original rights of this statement go to TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson) said one of amongst the two adventure deprived and corporatized IT engineers. Question of the debate was simple, let's start a business and a Laundry one at that.

Why Laundry? Laundry, because both of them did not quite like to spend their precious weekends on doing laundry and then pressing it and then folding it.

IT engineers usually don't keep pens with them because it is not required. Why keep a pen when, if you want to write something, open a notepad and type it there. If you want to remember a day or an occasion Google Calendar or Outlook calendar is there to rescue. But, on this occasion, a quick list was made on a paper.

The list was to jot down the requirements to start a Laundry business, and the question in mind was simple what do we need to get going? Washing machine, washing chemicals (big boxes of Surf Excel maybe), water, electricity, a place to keep all these things, some people to work, the name of the company and that's it.

And they lived happily --- Oops, (Offline & then Online)

Little did they both know that fulfilling this simple list of requirement is going to be one hell of a ride. As 2011 rolled by focus was on catering to the Consumer/Retail business but, as they say, building name and trust is a time-consuming activity and it needs a lot of patience. So, one day while roaming around in a wholesale market in Delhi a learned businessman asked them to venture in B2B business as it is constant money churning section of this business. So, while keeping Top-line in mind B2B vertical of DhobiLite was started.

The years kept on rolling: While shifting between 2011 changed to 2015, by this time DhobiLite was a name that few people knew in few areas of Noida but, what was lacking in the brand name was made up with the impeccable service quality. During these few years, one thing was clear that B2B was although a constant revenue source, there was no scope of "Innovation" in this vertical.

B2C was a vertical which had many challenges but, if one is able to take on these challenges head-on then in a country of 130 crore people with a huge chunk of population now flocking to the big cities there was a huge slice of pie to be had. October 2015 was when DhobiLite went the software and online way. So, one can say the last 4 years (2011-2015) were a requirement gathering exercise for the upcoming software.

Noida is the comfort zone, lets move to Gurgaon

It is really nice to build up a platform and sit on it to build up a tower but, moving away from your place of comfort creates a new set of challenges and this was exactly what DhobiLite needed.

In April 2016 DhobiLite started its Gurgaon operations. Initially, the plan was to set up a new plant in Gurgaon but, it was decided to serve Gurgaon from Noida plant. This opened a pandora's box, a big unknown known as "Logistics" added into the equation. To keep on its promise of a turn around time of 48 Hours all the orders were picked up transported to Noida during the night time, processed next day in Noida and then transported again during the night time so that they can be delivered in 48 Hrs. Any, slip up meant slipped timelines and unsatisfied customer. Add to this problem there were many unforeseen issues such as vehicle breakdown, machine breakdown, rains, winter fog etc. All this meant DhobiLite had to work like a clock to keep customer commitments.
But, thanks to strong fundamentals DhobiLite was able to meet these challenges and in May 2017 DhobiLite Delhi was launched, the same Gurgaon model again worked very well for Delhi as well.

Mathematics in play

Let us go back a little bit to a Mathematics class of grade 11th.

Topic: Mathematical induction Mathematical induction is a technique for proving a statement -- a theorem, or a formula -- that is asserted about every natural number. It is essentially used to prove that a statement P(n) holds for every natural number n = 0, 1, 2, 3, . . . ; that is, the overall statement is a sequence of infinitely many cases P(0), P(1), P(2), P(3), . . . .

Topic: Point of Inflexion An inflexion point is a point on a curve at which the sign of the curvature (i.e., the concavity) changes.

Why maths here and what it has to do with DhobiLite, DhobiLite is after all a laundry company? Mathematical induction tells us that if a statement is proved using 1 number and then using the 2nd number and then 3rd number then the statement is correct. Hence, Noida, Gurgaon, Delhi proved that our basics are correct but, the big question was now how to expand operations across India?

Franchising - A new chapter

Expansion on its own takes a lot of time and resources but, if you can find a person with the same kind of thought process and enthusiasm then expansion becomes easier and faster.

Therefore, DhobLite (Experience + Expertise + Processes) + Franchise Partner = A perfect solution for expansion of DryCleaning and Laundry business to new cities across India. This was the "Point of Inflexion", in November 2017 DhobiLite's 1st Franchise started its operations from Dwarka, Delhi.

Cut to present

With all the ingredients present for a perfect "Laundry" recipe DhobiLite is poised to take extend its reach in multiple cities across India. Many people ask us why we are so selective in franchising our answer is that of a classic "Elephant Paradigm" .. Take 5 steps forwards and 1 backwards after that, reflect on what went right and what could be worked upon and improved. Then take 5 steps again... The other point is that we are not in the business of Franchising we are in the business of Drycleaning & Laundry is we know our core perfectly our solution will be perfect and hence whosoever partners with us shall reap the rewards of a fruitful partnership.

But, there is one vital point we can share here it is the whole package of DhobiLite Franchising is based on a classic "Plug-and-play" model. It has proven to work in many places till now and it will work in a lot of new areas in the future.