Giving back. Have clothes, things to donate? Read on…

chennaigives pic

The #ChennaiGives campaign is back. The date, September 4’th, 2016. September 5’th is the International day of Charity as declared by the UN. Last year, celebrities from Tinseltown provided all they could, to make the event a success. Organizations such as “The Hindu”,  also joined and Uber picked and transported the charitable items for free.

chennai gives celebs

If you are in the dark about #ChennaiGives, here goes. #ChennaiGives is a charity campaign conceptualized by Madras Round Table 1 where Chennaites are encouraged to give away clothes, books, games, DVDs, sporting equipment, household items, stationery and other items that can be used by the under privileged. The good news is that all the items are picked from your home and transported for free by Uber. All you need is call Uber on September 4’th using the Uber app on your phone and they’ll pick your items from your doorstep.

Check out the video below.

You can also follow the #ChennaiGives page on Facebook for more details at https://www.facebook.com/ChennaiGivesbyRTI/

In my previous post I mentioned the last company I worked for in my earlier post, Bahwan Cybertek, located in Thuraipakkam on the OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road) and I have another reason for mentioning them in this post as well. At Bahwan, employees who have old clothes (not worn or torn but ones that are still usable) are encouraged to deposit them in a collection bin. These are then sent to us and we wash and dry them. BCT then distributes these clothes to the needy. We are happy to be part of this project.

After September 4’th, what?

If you have “clothes” to give away and you miss the September 4’th deadline, not to worry. At Laundroroom we’ll collect them for you. Just make sure you give us a call and we’ll pick them the next time you have a laundry load to give us. All you need is segregate the clothes to be given away into a separate bundle and mention about it to the person who comes to collect your regular laundry and we’ll do the rest. Just make sure you donate clothes that are wearable.

The Laundroroom story, how it all started…

How many times have we heard and seen this, pics of the garage where the first Mac was assembled, the interesting story behind the creation of the Velcro fastener, how the BMW logo came to be and so on. At Laundroroom, we have our own little story too. While we aren’t as big as the companies mentioned above I though it would be interesting to tell our story and to indicate how necessity has indeed been the mother of many an invention including Laundroroom. Most important of it all, we hope it serves as an inspiration to log your own super idea and who knows, maybe someday, start your own business too.

It all happened on that fateful Monday morning of November, 28’th, 2011. I was employed with Bahwan Cybertek (company name not changed) an IT firm, located on the infamous IT expressway of Chennai, OMR, in Thuraipakkam.  That day, was also the first time I saw someone faint before my very eyes. I will not forget the expression on Dhanya’s (yes, name not changed here too) face  before she blacked out and dropped from her chair. Little would she have guessed that day that a business was in the making. As she dropped to the floor, friends around her, immediately gathered her and laid her in a supine position (the best position to allow blood to flow back to the brain) on a desk nearby. Dhanya recovered soon and when the commotion around her ceased I found time to ask her why she had fainted. She told me how the Dhobi at her hostel was messing up laundry and every Sunday she would wash all clothes for the week. Sadly that Sunday she had gone to attend a wedding out of Chennai and when she returned to her hostel it was already 1:00 AM. Having no other choice she washed her laundry for the week and did not get her sleep. Early morning she ran off to work and in the process skipped her breakfast too.

As I sat on my desk I made a note of the day in my scrap book. That evening I did a quick search of laundry machines in India. I particularly checked out Maytag because for those of us who lived in the U.S know that Maytag has monopoly when it comes to coin-based laundry. I did make some notes in my scrap book about how I would go about doing the laundry and I am happy I didn’t throw away the scrap book.

Scrapbook where first note about Laundroroom started

Note about starting the Laundry business

The note reads,  “Maytag – coin/laundry and some notes that read give laundry to wash, collect (laundry to wash) and chart to check for things before giving”. Can’t believe where we are today after I made that note on November, 28, 2011.

Meanwhile I proposed this plan to sis who was considering starting an altogether new business in Chennai. Coincidentally brother-in-law had a similar thought. Next stop, we did research on established laundry services in the country particularly one in Delhi who were very interested to make us, a Franchisee. However we only bought the washing machines and decided we’ll create our own laundry service. This was in early 2012. The rest is history.

Not a “moral” of the story but I would strongly advise you to keep a small book to note down ideas. My friend Nick Staddon, in Athens, Georgia would tell me how a game he and sister would play when they were young eventually became a million selling game when it was discovered (somewhere else) and promoted by one of the leading Game manufacturing companies in the U.S. A record producer was watching a home made video where a young Jocelyn Enriquez was dancing to a song she was singing called “A little bit of ecstacy” and he knew he was looking at his next big hit. Even the Theory of Relativity came to Einstein in a flash of intuition.

So write down your ideas. They come to you all the time, while watching movies, reading books, listening to music, even while taking a bath. How many times have you told yourself, “Oh My God, didn’t I have a similar idea”. For some a rush of ideas happen on a particular day of the week as it is with me on Saturday morning and for some a particular time of the day. Jot your ideas down and very soon you could be on your way to your own new business.

 

“If you like us tell others, if you don’t like us, tell us”

I found this lovely statement in a photo frame sitting on the receptionist’s desk at my dentist’s place and I couldn’t help admiring the beautiful yet confident statement. I was only telling myself that it was only through word of mouth that I got to know this dentist.

At Laundroroom we believe that we’ve grown this way. And to provide even better service we ask you to write to us whenever you have a problem with our service be that the quality of wash, the delivery, time taken to wash your Laundry, ironing/pressing etc., Feel free to use our Facebook page or this blog to contact us (besides the telephone numbers) and we’ll make sure someone gets back to you.

And as mentioned in the title of this post, if you like our service do pass the word around.

Also be in touch with our Facebook page and Blog for upcoming events, promotions and other important news.

We are “app” ready!

The Laundroroom app on the Google Play Store (for the Android) went live last week.

laundroroom app sign in and registration page

While still in its nascent stage, we are trying to fix whatever teething issues the app is coughing up. Feel free to download the app, use it, and report any issue related to it and we’ll be grateful to you for reporting the issues.

Meanwhile here’s what you can do with the app.

1. Register

laundroroom app's sign in page

Note that you can also register on our website at – http://www.laundroroom.com/packages.php

You can also register at our factory location to register or ask the delivery boy to register for you on his app when he visits you. Payments can be made either via the app, via the website or by cash payments to the delivery person and at our factory outlet.

Once you login successfully, the following page greets you from where you can easily access all the awesome functions of the app.

Opening page of Laundroroom's app

2. Subscribe to any of the packages

laundroroom's app displaying packages

Tapping any of the packages will take you to the page with more details of that package as can be seen in the image below for the Gold package.

Laundroroom's gold package page on the mobile app

3. Schedule a pickup

Laundroroom's app displaying the pickup scheduler page

From this page you can schedule pickups and even check your pickup history.

4. Check approximate weight of your laundry

laundroroom app's weight calculation page

This is one of the coolest features of our app. As there is a minimum limit for the weight of your laundry you can easily check this via the app. You don’t need a weighing machine.

So if you have laundry you cannot be without the Laundroroom app.  As mentioned earlier we look forward to your comments, feedback and reviews.

Laundroroom paves the way for a successful business venture

Logo of Laundroroom

Laundroroom is in its fifth year of operation. When we started Laundroroom way back in March 2012, little did we know that in four years there would be a dozen competitors in Velachery alone. Words that we coined back then such as “Self Service”, “Staff Service” have become standards across the Laundry industry. We were even shocked at the way some our competition has imitated us by copying content from our website, naming their washers and dryers the way we had done at our store, using similar colors from our banner and particularly the usage of the “O” from our name, “Laundrooom”. The word “Laundro” from our name “Laundroroom” seems to have been prefixed to more than one laundry business. We were even surprised to find one laundry detergent maker also name their product with the word “Laundro” in it. One company even claims they were Chennai’s first Launderette. On a recent trip to Coorg and at the break of journey at Mysore while we were searching online for a launderette we were shocked to come across one such laundry business who has copied everything verbatim from our website, replacing Chennai in the content with Mysore. We will not be surprised even if they make a copy of our blog.

Several of these burgeoning new businesses in Chennai are either old clients or friends of our clients. Many of them have copied our business model down to the to the minutest of detail though we wonder if they can deliver the quality of service as we do.

All said, We are happy we have paved the way for a successful business idea and model. We have even been told some of the new launderettes are run by people from the IT industry who have quit their full time jobs. Companies who don’t run the Laundry business as their main domain have also ventured into the business. We only wish them success.

Of late even the media have taken notice of the boom in Laundry companies. The spurt in the number of articles in leading newspapers such as The Hindu and The Times of India are testimonials of this rising industry. We think the best is yet to come for the Laundry business. Watch this space for future events, freebies and exciting offers.