Start-up UClean hopes to bring laundromat culture to India

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 17, 2017

Arunabh Sinha, founder, UClean Concepts

Ropes in celebrity couple Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu as strategic partners, brand ambassadors

Tech-enabled laundry services start-up UClean is hoping to usher in the ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY) laundromat culture to the country. The company has roped in celebrity couple Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu as strategic partners and brand ambassadors to promote the concept.

This month, it opened two laundry stores in Delhi-NCR. The start-up had recently raised funds from franchise and retail solutions group Franchise India, and will focus on expanding through the franchise route.

By March, the company is targeting to have about 10 stores in Delhi-NCR and 2-3 stores each in Mumbai and Hyderabad. Consumers can either request for the pick-and-drop facility or walk into Wi-Fi enabled UClean stores to avail themselves of DIY laundry services.

The company expects India to become a big market for the DIY laundromat concept in the long term. “We are committed to drive the DIY culture in India and expect it to become popular like in Western or South-East Asian countries. Soha and Kunal will help us reach out to the target audiences and promote this concept,” said Arunabh Sinha, founder, UClean Concepts.

For the company, the two celebrities are not merely brand ambassadors but also strategic partners. Their compensation structure is closely linked to the company’s growth and scale-up plans. Initially, the company expects about 20 per cent of its business to come from this revenue stream.

Sinha, who founded the company last year, said the firm hopes to enter cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Kolkata by the year end, and have 50 stores.

“We will have 3-4 company-operated and franchised-owned stores in each of these cities; the majority of our stores will be franchise-owned and operated.”

He said that unlike other laundry start-ups that work as aggregators, UClean has full control over the back-end to ensure quality. The company has also roped in commercial laundry equipment maker Alliance Laundry Systems as its technology partner.

Specialised services

Besides targeting households, UClean hopes to set up stores in college campuses and also service commercial consumers such as hospitality players.

The company is also gearing up to offer specialised home-cleaning and dry-cleaning services, which it believes will be an additional revenue stream for its franchisees.

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Published on January 17, 2017
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