Digital Dhobi to wash off Manipal’s laundry woes?3 min read
Manipal: With a vision to improve the local laundry services and bring an end to laundry troubles for students, Digital Dhobi – a professional laundry service has tied up with Manipal University (MU) to help out students at the campus and in the hostels. The Digital Dhobi app was launched on November 17 at Fortune Inn Valley View Hotel.
Digital Dhobi is an initiative by Ashutosh Mishra, Chandan Singh, Anjani Mishra and Snigdha Mishra. Prior to starting Digital Dhobi, Chandan and Ashutosh were studying in the Department of Commerce (DOC), MU and constantly faced problems of missing and misplaced clothes, as well as tampered laundry. Coordinating their time with the laundrymen was another issue they faced frequently, as they were involved in several extracurricular activities.
Following such unpleasant experiences, the urge to start-up grew stronger within them. After much discussion, they decided that instead of setting up their own plant, the job should be left to the local laundry who have been doing it for years. “Lack of professionalism, bad washing quality, proper track record and unreasonable rates – our contract with the local laundry services ensures that all these errors are removed,” said Chandan Singh, co-founder of Digital Dhobi.
After getting in an official tie-up with the local laundry, they decide before hand on the total number of tie-ups they want with the local laundry based on a number of factors. Rates are mutually decided between them and a MoU is drafted. The pickup and delivery, tagging and packaging is provided by Digital Dhobi, while the local laundry is only responsible for washing, ironing and dry cleaning. Based on feedback, washing/service quality, price factors, clothes are given to the local laundry. “It is an effort to standardize the local laundry system, through which they ensure fast and reliable services,” said Chandan Singh.
Though they set their own price, regular deals, discounts and cash back would be provided. They have different service categories, and delivery can be done within 48, 24,12,7 hours. Rates are different for each type of service. “Digital Dhobi aims to combine technology with laundry services and standards have been set for the local laundries with respect to time, quality of services and professionalism so that no one faces the same problem again. All the clothes go through a quality check before it is delivered to the customers,” added Chandan Singh.
So far they have ten pickup/delivery employees and are planning to hire a minimum of 20 employees before kick-starting their operations in Manipal. In due course of time, they are also planning to hire employees for technology and business development.
“I like the idea of this venture. But I do have my apprehensions regarding the accountability of my clothes. It would be difficult for them to keep up with the delivery timings requested by different students in different blocks. I think it’ll be best if they ran a sample cycle once and then figure out the loopholes and fix it to make it even better,” said Suruchi, a first year MIT student.
However the founders are confident about their initiative. “The response which we are getting from most students is really appreciable. Every day we are getting so many messages and feedback on our Facebook page, and they even provide us with suggestions for us to implement,” said Chandan.
The team is also in talks with colleges in Pune and a couple of other cities. They are also planning on expanding services to other MU institutions as well (Sikkim, Jaipur, Bengaluru), depending on the response. “The only thing we don’t do is put your clothes back in your closets,” they add.
Edited by Shriya Ramakrishnan