In an exclusive interview with Startup Hyderabad, ‘PK’ CEO of PKC Laundries also shares his insights on how should parents change their thoughts to let their kids enter into entrepreneurship. Here are edited excerpts
First of all congratulations to you and your team for acquiring 2 laundry plants in Hyderabad
How has your journey been in the last 1 ½ years?
The journey was a roller coaster ride but I really loved it. The biggest point is that I have no regrets in what I have done so far (grins)
We have heard that PKC Laundries has acquired 2 plants in Hyderabad, can you tell us more on that?
Yes, we have acquired two plants in Hyderabad. One is Sphoorthi Krupa Laundry Services in Tellapur(now PK Sphoorthi Krupa Laundry Services) and the other is Laundro Shine near to Chintal(now PK and SR Laundry Services). As a part of our long term strategy we have acquired these two plants. These plants are in 2 halves of the city and help us run our operations more swiftly without any delay in our delivery timings.
I heard that laundry aggregation is one of the toughest model to deal with, do you agree?
Every business model has its own challenges. Coming to the laundry aggregation model, we are mainly dependent on our suppliers. Before taking any big order we should first confirm with the supplier whether he is willing to do, if yes, does he has the capacity and manpower to complete that order. So basically we have to take the consent of our suppliers first before taking the order. The other biggest pain point is that, 99% of the supplier’s do not work on Sunday’s. Whereas we get maximum traffic on weekends, due to this we had to forego a number of orders.
Did you raise any funding till now?
No, we are a bootstrapped company. There are many reasons for that. To some extent we tried to raise funds but totally we didn’t put our 100% efforts on it. We are working out a different model from which investors can believe that we have a successful model.
Why are you giving importance to the plant at the moment?
Anytime a plant is always a plus to a laundry services company. We came into the laundry business to make it into an organized business and give a feel of the quality to the customers. After 1 ½ years of aggregation we knew how to use the machinery, what time of chemicals to use and most importantly the management of the workers. We feel that the timing of we acquiring a plant is perfect.
Why are you acquiring plants?
At the time of aggregation we used to take the consent of the suppliers before taking any BIG ORDER. Especially none of the suppliers work on SUNDAY and we get bulk orders mainly in the weekend. Because of this we have foregone many orders. This made us to think why can’t we take over a sick unit and develop one ourselves. Now we take our own decisions and we are the only laundry services who work on Sunday’s
What’s the turning point of your life when you have to take major decisions in your life?
Instead of running around the investors and doing the work after we raise funding, we have decided to take over some of the sick units and bring them into existence again. Till that point of time we used talk with suppliers and take orders at this point of time one of our suppliers was fed up with the laundry business and he wanted to sell so we got an idea that why can’t we buy the same and run the show. This is one of the most critical decision I have taken in our business.
What were some of the challenges you have had to deal with?
Whenever our workers didn’t turn up we used to wash the clothes and deliver it to the customers. As we were new to the industry we had to do many trials where we lost some considerable amount of money. In spite of these I feel happy as all these were like learning points and at no point we felt like we were losing upon something
Tell me more about on your Franchise model
We are rolling out franchises from the next month. In the last 1.5 years of operations many people have asked for franchises, but we didn’t roll out them at that point of time as the backend operations was not in our hand. Now as we are taking care of the operations we are floating enquires for our franchise model. The franchise value varies in Hyderabad and outside Hyderabad depending the size of people in that particular location.
Anybody interested to take PKC Franchises can call to +918331938224
What do you see as your strengths?
Team. We take our team’s views and take those points further. As our team is the face of our company we take each every minute detail very seriously and fix it ASAP. For every 10 days we have a meeting for this and make the bound between our team a bit more stronger
What are some of your life philosophies or life views that you would like to share with others?
Do what your hear says. Don’t wait for anyone to come and help you out. Move out of your comfort zone and see the world outside you. After all entrepreneurship suits for the brave heart and not the weak.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Employees recruitment was and is a big challenge to us. We invest considerable amount of time and money in them. But at the cusp of the moment they will leave the company without any reason. We have taken some safety measures to overcome this and are moving forward
What motivates you?
Customers bad reviews, an employee who doesn’t turn to the office when there are many orders motivates me. Any negative thing motivates me. Such things absolutely brings the best out of me (laughs)
How do you define success?
My definition of success is proportionate to the no. of families dependent on PKC Laundries. As of now 50+ people are working with me and I am really happy for that. This itself takes me forward and my ultimate satisfaction lies in generating employment for the people who are willing to work and make a better living for their family
How are your revenues at the moment?
At the moment we are generating revenues of about 8-9L per month and we are targeting a revenue of 20L per month by the mid of 2018
Tell me how different are you from your competitors?
Our main USP is working together with Boutiques/Designer stores etal., in the coming months we are planning to tie-up with many others to spread our services throughout the city
Do you have any stores in the city?
At the moment we are having 2 stores in the city-
1. Dammaiguda, nagaram
As many people are now willing to live or build a house away from the city, we have chosen the places in the outskirts to provide laundry services to such type of people. In the coming months we are opening some more stores in Hyderabad.
What 3 pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?
- Students now a days are becoming risk free. Youngsters should be like generating employment rather than seeking employment. Instead of working in gas stations abroad students can work here in India and be an inspiration to the next generation
- My sincere advice to all the parents is that don’t make your children stick to a 9-5 job. Give them room to think out of the box. They should inculcate the habit of giving rather than seeking. I am a bit fortunate as my family has inculcated such habits in me and I have further developed them. Habits like these will change the nation and our nation will be an example to many other in the world. Ask your children to take risk, at the end what happens? Either they will win or lose and learn a life lesson.
- Set a goal, take calculated risks, work hard, motivate yourself and be an inspiration
Lastly– There is no business in the universe like WRONG business but there might be people who are not suitable for that particular business. Choose a business which is suitable for your personality. As I always say ‘entrepreneurship in not for the weak heart, but for the brave heart’. Entrepreneurship is like riding on the back of a LION, you need to struggle to sit on its back and at the same time struggle even more harder while riding it
Here is our previous article about them
PKC Laundry Solutions: You care for your family, we care for your fabric http://startuphyderabad.com/pkc-laundry-solutions-care-family-care-fabric/