Success Master Class Session Building Franchise Business – Photo: Amar Ujala
In a master class session on Building Franchise Business organized by Success.com, Industry Expert, Co-Founder, Marketing & Product Head, Uclean Gunjan Taneja shared the story of taking Uclean to 100 cities in the last 7 years, opening more than 350 stores and selling 200+ On the question of opening more franchises, he said that when Arunabh Sinha and I started the Uclean business, at that time no one had thought about this type of business or if anyone had thought, it had not worked on the plan. So when we started the UClean brand, we did not think that we would bring a culture like the US. Where people go to the laundromat with clothes. There are many colonies in the country where drying clothes in the balcony is prohibited. Also, the culture of living in apartments built in high rise buildings is increasing in the country. In cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru and Gurugram, there is a trend of living in high-rise buildings and apartments. However, this will happen in Delhi in the coming years. So when we saw these problems, many people are very busy and it is very difficult for them to find time for laundry these days. Apart from this, when I got married in 2015, I was a newlywed. So I had to do all the clothing work. Because in the life of a business consulting, in the corporate sector you have to wear good clothes. My mother always managed all that for me. But after my marriage, I realized how time consuming it is to manage all kinds of clothes. So one reason is this, secondly the washermen nearby do not know which type of detergent to use for which clothes. Or how to clean different stains.
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It is not easy to wash individual clothes, dry cleaning is very expensive these days. So we came up with the concept of bulk lottery where lottery is being done on the basis of kilos. Which people are liking because it is cheap and it is a profitable deal for them. We also named it U Clean so that you come and use the laundromat and get your clothes cleaned. We also increased sustainability, meaning if you clean your clothes better, they last longer. We prepared to use green detergent keeping the environment in mind. Because the detergent used in washing clothes at the ghat is not good for the water bodies there. So our brand Uclean solves many such problems.
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There is huge scope in India’s retail landromat industry.
In response to the question where she sees Uclean in the coming 7 years, Gunjan Taneja said that we have just created the foundation. The building is yet to be constructed. He said that there are 25 thousand laundromats in the retail laundromat industry in India. Therefore, the scope for us is huge in India alone. Giving the example of 2005-06, he said that at that time people’s drawers were full of menu cords. All the nearby restaurants and shops that were doing delivery used to give a card and leave. Whenever you felt like eating, you used to take out menu cards and call different restaurants, but many places would refuse you for various reasons. So Zomato came and solved this problem. Similarly, we have opened live laandromats in a very small space of 200 to 300 square feet. Which was not easy to open. Because earlier the equipment of laundromats used to be very big. We also brought shoe cleaning.
Don’t lose courage, try to move forward
Telling the story of the first store, he said that we opened the first store in January 2017 in Vasant Kunj market. But in February the store caught fire. The store was gutted. There we had two options. There were only two ways, either lose courage or try to save the Rs 20 lakhs invested in it. Then we mailed the machine to the company. From where we got support and from there the work started and the result is in front of you.
Youth should not run after things which are not under control.
While telling the youth the way to get out of the situation of confusion, he said that there are two things in life, one which is under your control, you can keep it under your control. And secondly, that which is beyond your control, in such a situation the better option is to handle what is left. Don’t let it get worse further.
To make a career in digital marketing, it is important to build a portfolio.
On digital skills, Gunjan Taneja said that experience in digital marketing is important because you are investing someone’s money there. Just learning digital skills is not enough, you have to become result oriented. Because the company you go to will invest money on you for results. It is important to deliver whatever long term returns you set. Digital marketing is an area where it is very important for you to build your portfolio.
Once you’ve built a portfolio, no number can define your skills. It is very important for you to prove your creativity. He said that when you start a business to solve a problem in the market, many players will come into the market. But it is not certain how long the people who copy you will remain in the market. Like when Ola Uber taxi came, many companies came and started services in this area but today only two big brands of Ola Uber taxi service are left.
Before starting a business, know completely about that area.
There should be an overall vision in business. If you start from the first day thinking that you will do this or that, then all the moves are not planned according to the vision. Sometimes your luck is not on your side, sometimes things happen differently. I believe that along with hard work and targeted effort, your luck plays a very important role. Because to move ahead in life you have to start the right thing at the right time, at the right place. When you create your business, you must think about what problem you are going to solve. On starting a business, he said that you cannot start a business by sitting in a room and thinking, you will have to go to the ground for this. If you want to start a business in any field then first learn it by going under someone. It is better to take risk on someone else’s money than to take risk on your own money. For example, today if someone wants to open a laundry business, then I recommend that he has to learn it first, for which he can learn it by joining Uclean as an employee. Or you can try taking Uclean franchise.
Money management is important
He said that if you have Rs 10 lakh then you should try investing only Rs 2 lakh in business. So that you have savings of Rs 8 lakh. So that if you suffer loss in business, you can start it again with the help of those 8 lakhs. He said that one should not do business by mortgaging one’s house, selling land or selling jewellery. He stressed on the youth to learn financial discipline. He said that whether you are in business or in job, you must be financially educated. In today’s time, you can do any degree but you will have to learn how to manage finances.
It is important to convey the brand’s USP and brand story to the people.
On brand building, he said that brand creation is very important for this. It is very important for your brand to be recognized. You should be successful in explaining your USP to your target customers. After deciding the target customer, you can work on SEO. You have to work on this from day one. It is very important to create basic 5-6 videos about your brand which convey your brand story, USP, product etc. to the target customers. After this you can go to paid marketing.
Do what you feel is right, don’t decide your career on social media.
He told the youth that all are young minds who read and watch on social media, we feel that this is the right thing that I should do. But when it comes to career, there is no right or wrong thing. There is no formula to do job first and then do business and it is also not a formula to do business first and then do job. Do whatever feels right to you.