What are the common mistakes made by newer service providers in this field?
Not all dry cleaners accept every type of fabric for cleaning. And some of the ones who do, mostly run a trial-and-error process that could end up in damaging the fabric. A customer only reacts to visible damages; however, the ones that are invisible are even worst. All garments require thorough regulation on the pH levels, TDS, water hardness, processes and chemicals. The more delicate the garment is, the more stringent the above requirements become. Unless you have the technical know-how backed by industry experience, damages will keep occurring or cleaners will keep refusing certain garments.
What are the challenges that are being confronted on a day-to-day basis and what solutions have been resorted to?
Technically speaking, the biggest challenge is to deal with high-end or designer-wear garment processing and finishing. The delicate trims and embellishments used on such pieces require expert supervision along with a gentle cleaning process. We have developed various chemicals and procedures specifically for this purpose. These specially formulated cleansers and processes are tough on soil and stains but gentle on the fabric colours and weaves; thus, extending fabric life without compromising on quality.
On the other hand, we unfortunately work in an industry that has until now been highly unorganized. Due to which, we come across a lot of customers daily who have had terrible experiences in the past. This underlying lack of trust prompted us to open a transparent production unit, where our customers could come and witness for themselves as to how their clothes are being handled and cleaned. This move has helped us build a strong word-of-mouth and has even warranted multiple repeat orders.
We have engaged a senior consultant, Vijay Rodda, who has helped in obtaining and setting up equipment and processes that are essential for running an efficient laundry system – Right from recommending the best machinery available to developing to sourcing detergents and chemicals that are gentle yet effective on different kinds of fabrics. An efficient 6-step laundry process has been introduced to minimize human efforts as well as errors. An expert supervision of resource hiring has ensured that we only deliver the best quality output to our customers.
Since the very inception we have worked keeping one key principle in mind, which is treating every garment with utmost care (like it’s ours) and avoiding any kind of damage to it. We are constantly involved in researching and developing newer solutions that can enhance our processes and boost the quality of our output.
What are the future plans?
With the rising need of convenient, quick and reliable service, fuelled by scarcity of time faced in urban areas, the laundry industry has been estimated for being over a `2000 crore opportunity; thus, making it a promising and lucrative sector.
With that scope in mind, The Laundry House has already opened its franchising module to public and is inviting investors who can replicate its existing success model pan-India. We will shortly witness the brand’s launch in Delhi by April this year and subsequently at other metro towns and cities. We see this as just a small step towards the brands journey of becoming the country’s most trusted laundry service eventually.