Washho is a Bangalore based startup founded by Lenin Linga and Suruchi Anand.
Our services are offered across 12 major cities of India i,e. Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Noida, Chandigarh, Delhi, Pune, Gauhati, Jaipur, Kanpur etc. says Suruchi.
We got an opportunity to talk with Suruchi, the co-founder of Washho. Read her full interview to know more about her journey as an entrepreneur and about her startup.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Washho is one stop destination for all kind of cleaning needs, be it laundry, dry cleaning, home cleaning, sofa cleaning or pest control! Washho operates across 12 cities through its curated partners and offers best in class services. Users book services through website, call center or mobile app. The services are rendered through well trained professionals to meet the customer expectations.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
Prior to Washho, we were running startup called vLokal. vLokal was the logistics and customer interface partner for Housejoy, Doormint and few other large laundry players in India. vLokal was integrated into the portal of partners and we used to handle complete customer lifecycle.
After Housejoy and Doormint exited laundry space, we realized the huge opportunity in this space and vLokal pivoted to become Washho. Within few months of operations in laundry space, we realized cleaning services as one of the biggest opportunities in India. Urban population does not have time to do house cores work on regular basis. Today in India, no company is addressing this market. Washho’s objective is to become market leader by offering wide range of household cleaning services and great customer experience.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
Washho has been started by myself and Lenin Linga. I have 10+ year of experience with multinational companies while Lenin is fresh engineering graduate in mechanical engineering. I take care of business strategy, partnerships and marketing, while Lenin looks after customer services. Prior to Washho, i was running vLokal, the integrated logistics & customer services startup for reputed companies like Housejoy, Doormints , Oyo and Zorooms etc.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Our head office is in Bangalore, while operations are run from Hyderabad, Pune and Karimnagar. Our services are offered across 12 major cities of India ie. Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Noida, Chandigarh, Delhi, Pune, Gauhati, Jaipur, kanpur etc.. The Washho and partner team is spread across all these cities and we e-connect all through the day. We developed a mature communication model to seamlessly connect with partners, customers and among us. This model works very well and helped to become an all India player, within a short time.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Delivering a great customer experience, keeps me and my time on the toes. I am very particular and extremely paranoid about this. Being in a highly competitive space, customer retention is always our top priority. Since every customer need all services of ours, we make sure to deliver best quality and aspire to be their preferred service provider for a long time.
I constantly work around this to ensure every customer feedback is captured and duly analyzed by us. Lenin personally handle all escalations and addresses all the queries.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
The cleaning space has huge competition both from organized and unorganized sector. In home cleaning segment, we compete against big players like Urbanclap & Housejoy. In the laundry space, every city has multiple players.
he USP of Washho is our quest for great customer experience. Right from the time of order booking to completion, Washho agent is just a call away. Customer can reach us any time and get their queries and concerns addressed. We ensure that the services are fulfilled ontime and to the satisfaction of the customer. Though, home cleaning is done by blue collar workers, our team ensures their professional behavior and ontime performance.
How hard is it to have a work life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
Very Difficult ! Being a mother of 2 year daughter , it is really difficult to manage both at the same time. Still, I am passionate about making Washho a pan-india service. This vision drives me and motivates to do great work everyday.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We have raised a seed fund from our previous investor in vLokal. Pavan Kumar, who is an angel investor in quite a few Indian and foreign startups, has funded our venture. In addition to funding, he mentors us to scale this venture. His involvement and support has helped to launch Washho and make it cash positive in a very short period.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
A women from middle class family becoming a successful entrepreneur is the great misconception people have around me, I want to break that myth. Many women entrepreneur has proven this wrong , but still that number is not significant. I feel, women are equally entrepreneurial and families need to create opportunities to help them launch and succeed.
What gets you excited about this company?
In this business, every day is a new learning and every customer interaction is a new experience. We learn on daily basis while onboarding new customers, understanding their needs and deliver as per their expectations.
We get excited when the customer places a second order or orders a new service from us. This reinforces their trust in us and helps to build a long term relationship. The complements and positive feedback from customers brighten our day and gives energy to aspire and deliver lot more for them. This is the key to our success in a short time and survival against big players in the market. Customer prefer us, due to the personal touch and human interaction that happens with every order of Washho.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Great! Get up at 8AM, prepare breakfast and get Shanaya(my daughter) ready for play school. Then I start looking into order tracking tool and review performance with operation team. Follow it up with evaluate new partnerships, calling existing partners, address escalations etc.. Around 4PM my daughter get back from School, prepare snacks for her and then get back to work after feeding her. Till 9 PM, I review the day’s orders, customer feedback and escalations. After dinner, I review next day strategy with Lenin. Around 12 AM, I go to Bed.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
I started Washho from Bangalore with Laundry services. Got acquainted with Lenin, a fresh graduate from college with an extraordinary skill and passion for entrepreneurship. He joined Washho as co-founder and we launched our services in Hyderabad. Pavan Kumar is our angel investor and mentor. Karunjay Anand is a serial entrepreneur and an advisor.
Then Vinisha, Pooja, Pragathi & Roja joined us as employees and based in different cities. I should say, with their zeal, passion and commitment, they are far beyond employees and take complete ownership, which makes Washho different for our customers.
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