How about an app that helps you manage the most thankless of chores – washing and ironing? Throw in top-quality dry-cleaning and it’s hard to say no. Presso the app promises to do all this without you having to step out of the house, with pick-up and delivery at your convenience. You can have your clothes picked up anytime between 8 am and 10 pm – within an hour of placing the order — and delivered within 24-26 hours. Developed and founded by Amandeep Bhatia and Subhasish Pattanayak, Presso is currently available in Pune and has more than 1,000 customers. “We have had 4000-plus orders since we started three months ago,” shares Bhatia, adding how the company plans to reach about 10-15 neighbourhoods in the city in the next few months.
More about the duo
A techie for several years, Bhatia had always wanted to be an entrepreneur and tested waters in 2008-09, when he looked at developing products – hardware and software – for marines. It didn’t work out, however, but Bhatia gained some valuable experience. His time at Sunstone Business School honed his aspirations and skills further. Pattanayak, who worked with him in their last job, gets his kick from business analytics and business intelligence and can be seen poring over the venture’s marketing strategies at all times. Pattnayak also takes care of technology and analytics at Presso.
The idea evolved
The idea of Presso came from a bigger scheme of catering to the demand for hyper local services needed in any household. Apartments and localities are always looking around for service providers such as plumber, electrician, dhobi, water supplier, and so on. His plan was to manage the supply of such services, especially water supply. “But we got so much traction with laundry, we diverted all our attention there,” he says, with a smile. And now that competition in the space is heating up, the duo can’t afford to take their eyes off the ball.
How it all works
Launched in May 2015, Presso liaises with dhobis for ironing and washing, and with factories for dry-cleaning. The venture works on margins and economies of scale. Dhobis and drycleaners are supplied with branded Presso bags for delivering of clothes, which are then delivered to homes. Presso-branded bags are tracked through the operation network and the delivery boys have an app to make sure things are in sync. Thus, when an order is made, the delivery boy receives the order on his app. There, he can fill in details such as number of clothes, cash paid, and so on. There is also Presso money, which is like a prepaid coupon that customers use for cashless transactions. At present, 30 per cent of the customers pay through Presso money, and the company is encouraging its use by rewarding referrals and offering discounts on Presso money.
Funded by Sunstone Capital, the company is also slated to launch Presso Prime, a premium service. “This will cater to premium players such as luxury hotels, although we will also explore the possibilities of retail – customers who want the service for weddings, for instance,” says Bhatia. He also has his eyes set on New Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and NCR for launching the app.
Any issues that need to be ironed out? “We need to ensure our quality doesn’t falter under any circumstances,” says Bhatia, adding, “We have also realised you can’t market a product such as Presso only through online media.” “On the business side, taking complete ownership of the venture and learning everyday have been the biggest learning,” adds Pattanayak.