India’s leading tech enabled chain of laundry and home cleaning stores, UClean, has become the fastest retail chain to touch 200 franchisees. UClean achieved this key milestone in 2019 and currently has a presence across 17 states in India, the highest for any retail chain in India. Here are the key corporate milestones and business metrics for UClean in 2019.
- Total Number of franchisees in 2019 vs 2018: 200 vs. 70
- Number of profitable stores in 2019 vs 2018: 84 vs 23
- Employment generated in 2019: 500+
- Pieces of garments, upholstery etc handled in 2019 v 2018: 26 Mn vs 5 Mn
- Revenue growth in 2019 vs 2018: 30%
- Retail store footprint in sq ft in 2019 vs 2018: ~50,000 Sq. ft.
- New states expanded to in 2019: Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Rajasthan and Kerala. Opened up Nepal
- Partnered with Chemdry international to acquire their master franchisee rights for developing the brand across the country based on the franchise format. Launched Delhi NCR with multiple Chem Dry franchises based on a “man & van” format
- Acquired White Tiger Laundry in Delhi NCR to consolidate operations in Delhi NCR. Unlike UClean, White Tiger works on the hub & spoke format
- Expanded footprint to international markets in South East Asia – Nepal
- UClean currently operates over 150 stores across 45 cities in India and multiple stores signed up in Bangladesh and Nepal, and has over 100,000 users availing its services. UClean offers home pick up & drop as well as a DIY model where customers can visit their nearby UClean laundromat to address their laundry needs. The hyperlocal model of UClean ensures that customers are within a 2 to 3 kms radius of their nearest UClean store. Using technology, UClean is able to address the needs of its users better by offering a real time status on a customer’s order and pay via digital platforms.
The key corporate milestone comes at a time when the retail industry is under extreme duress given the economic slowdown. As per market experts, India’s laundry cleaning services industry is largely fragmented and is worth more than $76 billion annually, which includes both the B2B and B2C segments. Talking about the key corporate milestone, Arunabh Sinha, CEO and Founder, UClean, said, “Touching 200 franchisees without burning cash and in a sustainable manner is unheard of in the Indian startup ecosystem. Our franchise led model has allowed us to remain asset light and focus our time and energies on driving profitability at the unit (franchise) level. Despite the requirement for the franchises to invest upfront in the store setup, we have worked closely with our franchises to focus on business fundamentals and concentrate on forging partnerships driven by a strong business model that generates profits and allows franchisees to break even in about 15 to 18 months.”
In 2020, our plans are as follows:
- Ramp up our presence even more aggressively and have 500 franchises in the system by 2020
- Ensure our footprints are there in each and every state of India. Establish our presence in states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and major parts of North East India, which are yet untouched by the UClean revolution
- Focus on international markets which are immediate neighbours or display behaviour or character which is similar to India. Immediate focus are Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand and Indonesia
- Work on reducing the typical gestation period of our franchise stores from the average 3 months and bring it down to 1 to 2 months
- Increase the bouquet of services that a typical UClean store offers and increase it to include all possible cleaning services required by a household