We are publishing an interview of Mr. Premanth Kundurthi (PK), Founder & CEO, PKC Laundries.
Please tell us about the founders.
We are two founders. Myself & Chaithanya Ammeneni – COO. Both of us met in our B.Tech 2nd year. I am good at business development and marketing. Chaithanya is good at operations and getting the work done.
Give us a brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture.
We both worked at good MNC companies. I worked in the areas of marketing,business development, sourcing and purchase. Where as Chaithanya worked in the departments of operations and product planning.
List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles.
- PK – Marketing & Business Development (CEO).
- Chaithanya Ammeneni – Commercial Operations(COO).
- PremK- Domestic Operations.
- Chaitanya Sista – Sales Manager.
- Maheshwari Chaya – Technology Analyst.
- Sandeep – Security Analyst.
They have been working together since long time. They now have all the tricks to run the show and we are very confident about these two guys.
What is the problem you are trying to solve?
We are trying to make the laundry segment organized. We want the dhobiee’s as to lead a decent life by giving them a decent salary and make them lead a happy life. At the same time we want the customers to experience the quality what we provide them. Now-a-days as they are 2-pay cheques per house, there is no enough time for people to do this mundane task. People want to spend quality time with their families in the weekends rather than doing laundry. So this is the major pain point which we want to solve using our robust technology.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
Market survey was the first main challenge. During our trial run on the commercial side we used to pay our suppliers what we have taken from our customers and on the domestic front we didn’t charge the customers to gain their trust. This did cost us a bomb as we had to manage our logistics on our own. When we didn’t have even a single penny in our hand we had to do this to get the confidence of the customers. Identifying vendors was also one of the biggest problems as nobody believed in us.
How did you get the initial capital? What returns does it have? Tell us about the investors (if any).
We are a bootstrapped company at the moment. We founders have saved some money while we were with our previous companies. That money came in handy for us to start our business. Later on our family and friends have supported us in moving forward. At the moment we are in talks to raise a Series – A fund to take PKC into other cities.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution.
We have our PKC APP in Android and iOS. We also have our website. We will receive orders through these 2 media. The other medium through which we receive the orders are- CALL and WhatsAPP. Earlier it was a bit harder for customers to get adjusted to an APP for ordering to us, so we have introduced the CALL option also. But now they have got used to the APP and we have increased our APP orders as well.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
We assumed that we could grab the domestic market. We also thought that we could go near to the customers through our technology. The old and established players have established a deep relationship with the customers despite of their low quality service. It took us around one year to convince our customers that we have a superior quality than their original service providers. We are also going traditionally by tying up with the already established stores and helping them improve upon their quality. This strategy is slowly but surely improving our customer base. We also thought that with very less investment we can grab the market. But when we entered the market we understood that it is hard to go to the next level, the expansion phase if we do not have investment.
We are trying for a Series-A fund to spread our brand to various cities and strengthen our technology and back-end operations.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
We basically educate people on the processes we do which most of the competitors won’t. We tell the customer for this cloth laundry/Dry-cleaning is preferable and then leave it on the customer to decide.
We also have a free pick-up and drop facility which none of our competitors have at our prices. As on today as most of them our working, this feature of us is really making us penetrate into the market.
The main USP’s of PKC are:
- We tie-up with boutiques, designer stores, spa’s and various others to spread our brand.
- We help customers to know what they actually and process the clothes accordingly.
- Recently we have launched a PKC – Promotional Song, the song explains the in and out process of PKC Laundries. It was sung by Em’ck a.k.a PremK the rapper. Below is the link::
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations?
Our team is our core strength. Without this team we could not have achieved what we have done so far.
Educating and Understanding the customers is also one of our core strengths.
At present we have two divisions in our operations. One is for retail(domestic) and other is Commercial. At the moment we our processing 300-500 clothes per day.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
Revenue Model – We charge the customers on a per piece basis/per order basis; we also have a subscription model, where customers can pay us 50% upfront and 50% at the end of their monthly plan.
Coming to our commercial segment- clients pay us on a monthly one time basis.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Our main customers are people who are living in – Villas, Gated Communities, Apartments, Group Housings et al. We will setup a stall in the communities we patch up which helps the customers to drop off their clothes in that store which is inside the community and stay care free.
By this strategy customers won’t have any problems about their laundry and they can concentrate on some other important work.
How did you get your first customer?
A friend of mine has ordered – I have taken the order via CALL.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
We want to go into next cities. We want to work as an aggregator model and generate employment to the most deserve people. We want our foot print in all the major cities in India. For this we are rolling our franchises very soon.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
In the next 6 months:
- We want to spread into 5-6 cities.
- We want to collaborate with big brands like Raymonds and Manyavar etc.,
- We want to patch with at least 20 Villas, 10 gated communities , 10 physical stores and 20 boutiques and spa’s.
- We want to roll out our franchises in Bengaluru, Tirupati, Vizag, Pune and Kolkata.
- We want to raise a Series-A fund which will enhance our technology and also strengthen our back-end operations.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is not about making money. If that is the sole motive, then we believe that you are better off not doing it. The work we do has to be involving; it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts. Entrepreneurship is not for the weak hearts, do what your heart says is what PK what to tell the budding entrepreneurs.