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DhobiLite – building block of organized laundry sector in India

Have you heard anyone saying that they love doing their laundry?  But yes, there is a company who loves doing your laundry. Today we will talk about one of the leading online player who has emerged as a premium online dry-cleaning and laundry service provider with presence in more than 17 cities and more than 30 outlets. The company was launched to capitalise on the unmet demand for quality laundry services in the largely unorganised laundry segment. Over the years, DhobiLite has arisen as a pioneer of the laundry industry. It disrupted the laundry market by using smartphone technology to provide online services. Bringing paradigm shift from providing services offline to providing services online and on-demand.

DhobiLite offers laundry and dry-cleaning for the consumer/retail segment and takes orders through its website, app and callcenter. It picks up laundry from the customer’s location and delivers it back within 48-72 hours. Mr. Nishant Tripathi, Founder DhobiLite quoted “We get 60% orders via mobile app which has much lower acquisition cost and higher penetration”.

Before entering the laundry business, Nishant researched and analysed the future of laundry and dry-cleaning in India and laundry functionalities in other countries. After due diligence, he realised laundry is a less-trodden path in India but has a high future potential. Hence, he entered the industry with a challenge to change the concept of “Dhobi” in new India and be a prominent face of laundry service in India.

He validated his business idea by researching and learning about the laundry industry. Initially, he was unsure of the market’s response. He also saw a possibility of their service offering going unrecognised. So, to test the demand and traction for the offerings, the company started catering to only one sector in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. In 2015, he revolutionised the laundry and dry-cleaning industry by rolling out the app after gauging the potential and demand for laundry and dry-cleaning services.

Mr Tripathi is an engineer from IIT-BHU and had software development experience but he had no experience in the laundry industry. So, he utilised the initial years to understand the laundry market and experiment with his ideas. He learnt the ropes of the laundry business only after entering the industry. After gaining knowledge and understanding the business model, he leveraged his expertise in software technology to automate processes to scale and replicate them. Mr Tripathi quoted “this is common in any business that stakeholders find blockers / issues in operations and than they find a solution which is when followed, that issue will not come again. But what we do is we transform this solution / process into technology and automate that process, so that atleast we do not face same problem again”.

DhobiLite started as a laundry and dry-cleaning service provider for garments only but presently offer a gamut of services, including sofas, carpets and rugs, shoes, leather, and more. Mr Tripathi added “new value added services like Shoe Cleaning are gaining high traction in all kind of cities and our latest and innovative cleaning processes are differentiating us from traditional players by big margins”, he further added “when we started their were hardly any organised players, and it gave ample opportunity to experiment, learn, and explore the market and technology. It also provided us with the right exposure. Today, the laundry market is set to explode, and we are in the best position to exploit the fruits of this expansion”.

The future of the industry is bright and promising. The online traction for DhobiLite’s services further strengthens its expansion plans. The app has over 125k+ downloads on Android and 40k+ downloads on iOS.

Moreover, company has adopted franchise model for expansion. “With the automation of processes we have developed a plug-and-play model, which reduces chances of error and hence higher success rate. We have recently launched our operations in Panchkula, Varanasi, Orissa, Hyderabad and Rajasthan.” Mr Tripathi added. DhobiLite has three types of franchise models. First, is the master franchise of the city where the factory is established. Second, is the retail franchise, which are pick-up and delivery points and they help in penetration. The third is a standalone model where live cleaning is done and machines are installed within stores.

Through the franchise model, DhobiLite gives the right over its brand name to those seriously interested in entering this business. Before awarding a franchise, they conduct due diligence to analyse the area’s potential where the franchise has to be opened. Thanks to the strategic vision of Mr Nishant Tripathi, DhobiLite is expanding into new markets and the expansion plans are in full swing.

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