cafebiz

Economic Times Catapoolt Change Makers Mr.Sameer Jain

The Moustache Laundry is a tech enabled platform for on-demand and locker laundry service. We aim to provide the most convenient and hassle free way to get your laundry done. Using our android app/ website, you can schedule a pickup any time between 10 AM and 10 PM, any day of the week. We’re real quick, we’ll pick up your clothes and do all the cleaning required by you. When your clothes are ready, we’ll send you a notification on the app or call you and you can schedule a delivery at a time convenient to you.

While working in Bangalore, I faced the problem of washing and Ironing clothes. Also, one of my friends had a relative having a laundry in Delhi, which was bought by Jyothi Fabricare at a hefty amount.

This business idea excited me and I decided to start my own laundry startup. Being a chartered accountant and having worked with multinational firms, I already had the business acumen required for the startup.Initially when I came across this company, I thought it was something to do with male grooming, given the moustache in the name and how your website opens in our browser, which by the way I absolutely love. So since you basically provide laundry services, why did you name the start-up The Moustache Laundry?

This is an interesting story, my partner and I were looking out for a cool name when we decided to setup. On a particular day, I woke up with a dream about moustache (I didn’t remember what exactly the dream was). I discussed with my partner about this and we thought why not keep an abstract name, the name has actually helped us create a good recall value. We also discussed that our delivery guys have a compulsory moustache and then our tag line got evolved “A real man shouldn’t do his laundry and shouldn’t let his women do it either”. Initially we did get queries as to – do you wash only men’s clothing or is it for women as well?

Once, we did get a query from a woman saying my husband washes his own clothes and mine too, so do you mean he isn’t a real man? 

What challenges did you face when you decided to start-up? Initially we faced a lot of problems with everything right from managing employees, quality of service and various issues like missing clothes, fabric burns, misplaced deliveries etc.

Our very first complaint, wherein one of the shirt got burnt, it was of Hugo Boss. The customer gave me an advice “Detach from agony and move on with the intention to care. Let loose from the past”. This has helped me a lot and I remember those exact words. Touch wood, we have had wonderful customers.

We have grown much now, it’s just that the kind of challenges have changed over the time and we hope to continue being challenged as these have helped us grow

What sort of support did you receive from your peers and family members? Alternatively, you could also talk about what sort of support you wish you had received.

Being a Marwari, my family was never interested in this business and never wanted me to get into it. It was really tough to explain my family about it. However, they did come around eventually and supported us.

We also had continuous support of friends and our angel investors. We have had continuous brainstorming and mentoring sessions to devise our business strategies and also to solve the day-to-day problems

Tell us something about the core-team of the Moustache Laundry. My partner, Gurdeep Singh and I are the founding members. We both are experienced chartered accountants. However, Gurdeep’s interest and passion lies in operations and technology whereas marketing, sales and strategy is my area. We currently employ about 20 people, typically for blue collared jobs involving managers, pickup and delivery guys, tagging-packing team ,ironers and washer man. The team has been very supportive and has been together in the thick and thin of the business. Right from working extra hours to extra days and doing things out of the defined job lines. Without their attitude and contribution, this growth wouldn’t have been possible. We also have a marketing team (though outsourced but works quite closely with us), which have been very supportive and helped us a lot including giving advice to us on related aspects

Where is Moustache Laundry currently? (Base of operations, clients served, any statistics to show Moustache Laundry’s success.) The Moustache Laundry is based out of Pune, we are currently serving about 12 localities with a customer base of about 5,789, we are currently growing at a month on month average of 11.5% since inception.

Tell us something about Sameer Jain, the individual. Being a chartered accountant, I have been a moderate risk taker and conservative about spending and speed of growth. To me the growth doesn’t mean growth if it’s not sustainable. We have been really careful in managing our cash flows and I aspire to add hundreds of employees and help them create a better life for themselves and their families.

Any individuals that you draw inspiration from? This would be a very strange answer, one of my competitor has been my inspiration. I have seen him pass through all the odds of this business, all alone. He has managed to build a genuine and self-sustaining business.

What advice do you have for the youth? I have seen a lot of businesses shut down, I believe the key to success is perseverance, smart work and right timing.

What next for the Moustache Laundry? Last 24 months, we have focused on building a strong foundation. Now that we are quite there, we want to rapidly expand across Pune. I believe eventually, Pune could have a market size of 5,000 orders a day and we aspire to have a large chunk in that pie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.