Welcome back to another exciting episode of Laundromat Resource! In today’s episode, we have a special guest joining us, Sukanth Srivastav, the founder of Turns. Sukanth shares his insights on running an effective laundry business, and discusses the future of the industry. From the importance of payment card systems to the potential of multi-location ownership, Sukanth covers it all. He also reveals how the laundry industry can experience significant growth, and how laundromat owners can leverage technology to enhance their operations. Get ready to learn some valuable tips and strategies for taking your laundry business to the next level. As always, we have some exciting announcements, including a live Q&A session with Sukanth and details about upcoming meet-ups. So grab your favorite detergent, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of laundry business with Sukanth Srivastav on Laundromat Resource!
And if you’re interested in joining us for the Live Q&A, it will be September 25th at 10:00 am PST. Join us here!
Want to send a video testimonial as a way to say thank you to our guests and share your takeaways? You can do so here!
Links from the show
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Jordan Berry [00:00:00]:
Hey. Hey. What’s up, guys? This is Jordan with the Launch Matter Resource podcast. This is show 127th, and I am pumped you here today. Because today, we have on the founder of turns, Succant is with us today and so much good stuff about how to run an effective laundry business, where the future of the industry is going. And one thing that he points out in here, and we talk about this a little bit, is that Having a $1,000,000 laundromat is closer than you might think for you. So super duper intriguing. This is really fun conversation. I know you’re gonna get a lot of really good stuff out of this. So I’m pumped about that for you. And in fact, so much so that I wanted to point out that on September 25th. This is 2023, and this is coming out. I’m doing a live Q and A with Sucan. Him and I are gonna go live. So make sure you check the link in the show notes or if you’re on YouTube down below, you can find the show notes with that link and all the links that we talk about today at lonermatresource.com. Slash show 127. Alright. That’s where you can get all the links and all the information and everything right there. Or if you’re on YouTube down below in the description. Okay. Two more quick things. I’m really excited to get into it. But I have 2 more very quick things I wanna do. Number 1 is if you are in the Southern California market, get pumped because we are meeting together live and in person coming up in October. So check out lawnredresource.com/events. To go sign up for that. It’s a small fee to join, but that’s just to kinda help us cover our costs and super excited to get together in person for the first ever laundromat resource meet up. And if you’re not in the Southern California market, if you’re in some other markets, stay tuned because my goal is that we started having these all over the place. So excited about that. And in in fact, if you’re interested in helping me host, one of those in your city town market, whatever, drop me an email [email protected]. But if you are in the SoCal market, join myself Andrew Cunningham and a whole bunch of other all all stars that are gonna be there at that meetup, in October. So a lot of my resource dotcom slash events or you can get the direct link in the show notes, or in the description down below. The last thing that I wanna bring up before we jump in, I know this a little long, and I’ve been trying to keep these short, I’m very excited about this. And just to set this up, all the time, I get emails and dm’s on the different social media sites and people in person who thank me for this podcast. And while I greatly appreciate that, it helps keep me going. This is a lot of work to do, so I do appreciate it. This podcast is this podcast, not really because of me. This podcast is is this podcast and what it is because of the people who’ve come on the podcast to share their stories, their wisdom, their insights, their lessons learned, their pains, their joys, their failures, their successes, all of that is because these guests have come on this podcast. And you know what is incredible to me is this podcast is in the top 1% of all podcasts in the entire world on all subjects. This is a little laundromat podcast here. It is it just blows me away. And I while I’m very proud of that, I also recognize has very little to do with me other than, this platform got created here, and it has almost everything to do with the people who’ve been generous with their stories in wisdom, who’ve shared on here. So here’s what I wanna try, and I’m hoping some of you guys will do this with me. If you want to say thank you to somebody for coming on this podcast, and I’m gonna bring this up for the next several podcasts. But if you wanna say thank you, there’s a link down below if you’re on YouTube or in the show note, there’s a link where you can click on it, and you can actually leave a video. Thank you. And I encourage you to leave a video. Thank you. To, specific podcasts, guests that’s come on that maybe has been very impactful for you and also share one thing that you learned from their episode I just know that that will bless so many people who’ve come on this show. And again, they they come on and they share willingly. They’re not getting paid for this. And and they do it just to kinda help you out. So if you’ve gotten something out of this podcast, go click that thank you link and leave a short video. Thank you. We’ll make sure it gets to the appropriate person. And, and who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to use your video and share it with the world on one of, you know, our social media platforms or something like that because I would love nothing else than to share how we by sharing our stories are impacting each other, helping each other grow our businesses, helping each other find financial freedom, I would just love, love, love to share that. So that’s something that you feel inspired to do to thank somebody for coming on this podcast and sharing something that has impacted your life. Go do that at the thank you link, down below or on the show notes page. Lautomatresource.com/show127. Okay. And that was a lot But just a quick recap, live q and a with Sue Kent coming up, you’re gonna definitely wanna, you know, be there for that, especially after you hear this episode. Number 2 is if you’re in the Southern California market, come to the live meetup that we have coming up in, October, with my cell Andrew Cunningham and a whole bunch of other people will be there. And then number 3, say thank you to somebody who has come on this podcast that has impacted you or you’ve learned something from, and not just say thank you, but tell them something. One thing that you learned and took away from their episode. Alright. Awesome. Let’s jump into it with Succan. Let’s talk about this industry, where it’s going. What’s so great about it and how you can do it even better. Sucanth, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for coming on. How are you doing?
Sukanth Srivastav [00:05:48]:
All well, Jordan. I or was waiting to get onto your platform, have been a big fan. I’ve been following almost all your podcasts and interviews with different people, partners, prospects learning from long termite owners across, and it has been a lot of help for us to try and understand where the industry is going even aligning our visions and learning from feedback on the ground and even building. So it it has been, I I’m a big fan. And, like, it’s a standby moment of you.
Jordan Berry [00:06:18]:
Thank you, man. Appreciate that. And it’s an honor to have you on. I am super excited about this interview. You know, partly to get to know you a little bit more and hear a little bit more about your story. And partly because you’re doing some cool stuff in this industry. So I wanna hear about what you have going on over there and how you’re trying to, you know, help propel our industry forward. And also because by the end of the thing, I also wanna hear from you about where you think we’re going as an industry because you know, I I think the industry’s changing quicker than it ever has before. And so I’m more and more curious, like, where are we gonna end up? So I’ll I’ll be interested to pick your brain about that. But before we do that, why don’t you give us a little background? Who are you and how did you get into this industry?
Sukanth Srivastav [00:07:09]:
So my name is. I basically was born in India, and I completed my engineering, like, half of India as an engineer. So I completed my engineering and had the opportunity to join 1 of the top tech unicorns in India, which is basically into mobile payments. I I am not that old. So but I’ve had experiences of being in the industry for a long period of time. So when I started off with Paytm, which is one of the data points that I work with. I had the opportunity to meet a couple of my co founders, which are even my co founders today. And we started off, and it was the growth phase of of internet services across India where a lot of people were trying out distal hotels, distal distal ways of booking cabs, So Uber was on the rampage. Airbnb was on rampage, and these are mega stars of tech unicorns. And we believe that something something very similar could be done in laundry and in creating, a service where users in consumers can consume and use their laundry services very easily and it’s completely vertically integrated. Like, so the idea was that I had the opportunity to open multiple locations in India and then use them as pick up and delivery stores, had my own complete stores which were building out and warehouses where we process these quotes. And it was a pretty successful pickup in delivery on drives multiple cities in India. Which I had the opportunity to scale to. Then I sold it off to one of the biggest franchises in India, like, in India, laundry, and dry cleaning, pretty combined as an ecosystem. So they combine as an ecosystem and also it’s primarily drop off and pick up. So it is a little different from US income in terms of the way the industry set up, but I think we are all going towards that space anyways because It’s much more easier since it’s a lot more dense. It’s much more easier and optimal utilization of resources for us. So had the opportunity to set up a very heavy duty processing plant where I was processing dry cleaning. I was processing laundry, setting up processes to make sure that thousands and thousands of garments every day are tagged in the away. Nothing gets lost trying to make sure that the consumers have the best experience and growing it. So at that at one point of time, we had closer to something like 25,000 users using our ecosystem and services that who used our ecosystem and services across the cities. India is a is a volume market. We and we were pretty strong. And that helped us to exit to one of the biggest franchises because at that point of time, I was more interested in realizing how I could improve the industry or how how could I improve the technology that we were into that ecosystem. And it was easier because India, as I said, has a lot of organizations and optimization in terms of franchisees. So we were able to sell them out. And that’s how I started off my 10 year decade stint with laundry. I’ve I was very young when I had the opportunity to work in the we understand how I understand my way around the machines, understand my way around the processes, understand my way around the tech, which is built specifically for contromats and laundry businesses. So that’s how I started off.
Jordan Berry [00:10:27]:
Yeah. That’s, that’s fascinating. So, I mean, out of curiosity, like, what So, I mean, you you studied engineering, right, and then you started owning laundry facilities. Like, where how What? How? Why?
Sukanth Srivastav [00:10:46]:
So the idea was that when I when we when we started off with laundry, there was a lot celebration on our end, what we should try and do at that point of time. And we always believe that excessive competition is something that creates great value for the customers, but it’s also something which is a very sand trap kind of a scenario for an operator to be And with the restaurants, this the amazing amount of competitions with Salon, the amazing amount of competitions that they face. I always felt that in industry, which would be more compact, but is extremely more pervasive is something that I wanted to be participating in at that young age. And I always believe laundry is something that is very pervasive in nature. For example, almost all the big restaurants, almost all the big hotels, even in India are not able to function without a functioning laundry service. Like, most of the big establishment, commercial establishments have an entry point into this business anyways. And then there is a massive pent up consumer demand. Like, nobody in the world, and it’s a laundry, taxes, and death. It’s everywhere laundry taxes and debt. Nobody likes doing their laundry, whether it’s in India, whether it’s in US. And I always find that this is a segue that this is where the world is moving. I always felt that this is an industry which is small at the beginning. And even today, this is growing pretty fast. But this is an industry which would help which would help me channelize my technology talents to the best abilities that I could do and then with my engineering background, I always felt more comfortable around machines rather than people, just brand people in salons. So I just felt And I was a mechanical engineer, by the way. So I always felt that being around machines would be something that I would enjoy, and I absolutely did.
Jordan Berry [00:12:33]:
Yeah. That’s funny. That’s like, probably not what you originally anticipated when you were going to study engineering or, you know, growing up as a kid. Right. But,
Sukanth Srivastav [00:12:44]:
if you would tell me if I had the opportunity to understand that this industry existed, I think I would have done this in my college too. Like, I I really believe that there’s an opportunity here, and this is a pretty extensive ecosystem and market, which needs to be developed even further. I think this can be a very, very big, builder also for for a lot of employment can be generated even with this.
Jordan Berry [00:13:08]:
Did you start by purchasing a business, or did you start it from scratch? How did that work?
Sukanth Srivastav [00:13:16]:
So, actually, it was pretty contrarian at that point of time because we bought a business which was actually working in Delhi at that point of time in India at that point of time, which was everybody was like, this is a internet based ecosystem. You’re trying to acquire customers via online. You’re trying to go up to 25,035,000 loan from our owners at at customers at one point of time. Like, why are you opening up stores? Like, this was a pretty contrarian view for them that why don’t you open dark stores? Why do you need to even have a consumer presence at all? How would it change? Why do you need to own the saying, why can’t you just outsource it to other laundromats? Why don’t you create a marketplace? But once we started our processing our own systems and initially, we had a couple of outsourced partners. I realized that there was no way that I could create a product proposition good enough for these consumers who have like, a competitor sometimes even at their home. Like, they could even watch their clothes at home or they could use dryers at home. So creating a compelling proposition and a compelling product for them so that they could choose. They could basically decide what time that they’re going to want to get it picked what sort of quality and finished are they expecting for? Getting it at the right place at the right time, getting into their hands, making sure that whatever the promises are, that consistently maintained. The quality is consistently maintained. And that would only be possible if you owned the end to end experience. And something I’ve learned is that when you’re at a location, it’s it’s very hard to probably playing it in terms of data, but a location with branding on Google and all on different platforms is a much better opportunity and a much better configuration than just being purely online in my opinion. That gives you the hybrid experience consumers need to feel like they spend probably they send you as a a a a Gucci farming quote, which might be a $2000 at the end of the day, and you might just be charging them $20 to process that out. So they need to know who is the person. They need to build out some sort of a relationship and trust relationship with the operator. And these are the thoughts that were there in my mind at the beginning. So we started off by creating our own ecosystem where we were able to process everything from end to end.
Jordan Berry [00:15:40]:
Yeah. That’s well and I love that because I love the sort of the contrarian you know, thinking of it and and going in and owning the end to end experience. And that’s, you know, really, that’s the only way that you can control the customer experience. Right? Like, you can have that face to face, you know, conversation relationship that you can build the customer. But if you give away the actual, you know, the actual service, you know, the the end product, you have no control over at that point, right? Cause somebody else is processing that laundry for you. Somebody else is folding that laundry for you. You know, you can’t control the presentation of the that laundry. So, I mean, I love that you went out there and you you know, you you bought it and then you built out your own, ecosystem for the whole thing. So that’s pretty cool. And then you were able to scale it from there. Right?
Sukanth Srivastav [00:16:31]:
So what we realized is that it was a very demand centric market. Like, India was a very demand centric market. So if I could, for example, just coagulate supply pretty well. If I was able to get my cost per pound down to an extent that I was in good business I would be able to badly reflect my service into multiple other hospitality industries. I said, right? There there were a lot of commercial contracts which are available So we went about it in a very technical manner that we felt that, hey, this is where we should first target out. These are the retail users that we would want to target out. This is the pricing that we would want to out, then we had some sort of semblance turns moving into our ecosystem at that point of time. Then we thought why not then just expand this into multiple commercial outlets which would be needing this. And what we knew at that point of time was that No. If you would ask any hotel, do they like setting up a laundry? They would say no because this is not their primary job. They have to hire new people. They have to make sure that the linen is not is not taken away by those people. It’s not they have to make sure that the inventory is managed in the correct manner and sense and form. It’s always presentable. It’s an accountable, and somebody needs to be very heavily accountable to. So we always saw that the this movement existed. Are here a lot of hospitals, a lot of Airbnb, a lot of hotels used to have their own setups to do this, but they started to outsource this very heavily. And we saw we see this movement not just happening in internal at the time with turns. I get to have an opportunity to have a bird’s eye view and almost 17 different countries of operators where that we work with. This is happening in Australia. This is happening in Dubai. This is happening in North America. This is happening everywhere. Like, I would say that laundry people are a race in itself, and we are finding our own path through our different places to one single goal. That would be a single connected ecosystem where a laundry would be much more than just a place where people could get there Clothes wash, but a complete end to end experience for them where they could get complete garment care.
Jordan Berry [00:18:38]:
Yeah. I’ve I’m definitely seeing that all over. Also, you know, I I the majority of people I talked to are obviously in North America, United States, and Canada. Then I probably Australia is number 3. But, I mean, I’m seeing it all over the place. And I’m seeing this kind of growth of, you know, specifically on the on the service side of the business. And and, I mean, you’ve already mentioned this. It makes so much sense to me. Right? Like, nobody likes doing laundry. Hotels don’t like doing laundry, but neither do people. Right? Like, nobody likes doing laundry. Yes. And so it makes all the sense in the world to me that, you know, eventually it’s gonna go the way of we’re all gonna let somebody else do our laundry for us, eventually or most of us.
Sukanth Srivastav [00:19:22]:
The idea is that it also creates a lot of efficiency for people in their lives. Like, To be honest, waiting, like, this is how things were done in the past is not a great reflection of how the things would be done in the future. And I feel that overall, even in current terms that we see, everything is moving towards either self or either premium. Even everywhere, you would see the things are being moved into extremes. So we see that operators would be moving mountains and going stream with their customer service, trying to make sure that the the people that they’re serving are happy and are returning back would be seeing premium returns whereas people who are probably not moving towards the direction very heavily getting realted away. Right? And this is happening across, and they have to consistently be the first touch point, like, for garment care. Like, I feel that these opportunities earlier existed in silos. And now the ability of risk taking off long termite owners is also increasing. They’re also seeing how, for example, in and around the areas where first quick service restaurants also became delivery restaurant serving you overnight in a COVID environment. So they believe that I I personally believe that a laundromat operator is somebody who usually is not somebody of a chance or an impulse buyer. Like, they usually buy a laundromat and a thought and the processes and the thought process is very different. So it’s not an impulse buy that. You just wake up on day and say, hey, why don’t I just open 5 round romance and then you do? There is a lot more art that goes in, and I appreciate that art. And that’s why I feel that a lot of nonprofit operators today are more risk takers who would be able to bring that future towards more clarity and more closeness than we believe.
Jordan Berry [00:21:13]:
Yeah. I love love what you just said. About moving to the extremes. I mean, I think this is like a huge takeaway, right, already. So I mean, dude, this is worth the price of the podcast already in my view, right, that things are moving to the extreme. So either it’s going self serve and letting customers kinda do their own thing, or it’s not service, it’s a it’s a premium experience. Right? It’s a premium service. So if you’re looking to add, you know, pickup and delivery or you have pickup and delivery, or, or a drop off laundry service or something like that. You know, I mean, I love what you said because I think that you should be thinking about how do I make this a premium service and and charge accordingly for it, for being that premium service. Right? Don’t do, you know, a half good job on the service side and just make it bland, make it a premium service, and go to that extreme, give people an extreme, extremely good experience with the service side.
Sukanth Srivastav [00:22:20]:
Like, I would say, for example, a lot of people think laundromats are safe businesses that inspire a lot of people actually end up buying them, but they may be safe businesses. They are not extremely easy businesses to get off the ground. Like, they are just not. So if somebody who’s looking for an easy time out, they usually choose different types of businesses. To to start off. For example, a restaurant or a retail shop or a C video owner or a C video shop. These are different types of stores that they could open up which are much more different to get a store off the ground like a laundromat. And that’s why I feel this is not just a safe business, but this is an eventually controlled risk environment. And I love the idea that when you’re taking a controlled risk, the idea here is that you have to go towards the extreme. And this is what is pushing this industry. And I feel that there are only 2 ways that would sit down. Like, even today, I had thought, like, we consistently have conversations with a lot of parallel industry, entrepreneurs, panel industry CEOs and heavy duty people. And we see them regularly mentioning, for example, that this is happening in every industry. It’s going either high end. You’re gonna be the you’re gonna be the person who’s gonna be solving the problems of probably 2%, 3%. But charging them exactly for that same amount and retaining 100% of them or probably going towards the lower end and trying to make sure that your self-service is as cheapest as possible as most affordable as possible and probably making trying to make money on the volume. So I believe that as a smart laundromat owner where the competition is far, far lower. Like, it’s a far less saturated market that you would see probably than in other markets. It’s a good it’s a good idea to be biased to the extreme to go completely full at it because At the end of the day, the cost for going full at it also is not that expensive in the full run if you would compare it to other business Like, they would need a lot more manpower here. At least there is a lot of automation just because of machines and whatnot is already available.
Jordan Berry [00:24:30]:
Yeah. So, I mean, I I didn’t wanna get into the weeds yet, but, I mean, you bring up, like, a a very interesting point here, which is, you know, if you’re going to the extremes and you’re either going, you know, more premium luxury and charging accordingly, or you’re going more self serve and, I mean, lean. You gotta be lean. Right? And you you mentioned, like, finding those efficiencies and stuff. What are some ways that we can find efficiencies if if we’re more on that lean side?
Sukanth Srivastav [00:25:05]:
So the idea is that if you are more on that lean side, the best efficiency that you could have is to have a payment card system which is affordable because what I genuinely believe is that coins is also something which is like a which is lied by a lot of people because it’s can be easily used. It is it is available everywhere, but the world has moved. Like, I believe that the next generation has already moved And if you’re still just on coin, you’re already a generation behind to the people who would you would be competing with. And it’s the idea is not that you should be spending 1000 and 1000 of dollars rebuilding your store. It could also be just starting off with a couple of machines and trying to understand what the data processing is telling you. Whether you should go ahead, whether your customers are liking this or not, And in laundry businesses, things are a little slower. So they are a little slower to ramp up and they’re a little slower to even wind down. So it’s not very easy if somebody has created a a very strong laundromats, and that’s why I believe that this is a very sexy industry, even though it’s called unsexy industry by a lot of people. I believe such opportunities give you the ability to invest. And this is where an investment mindset would be very, very beneficial to to loan to my owners going towards both the ends of the extreme. They would have to invest some money and make themselves as lean as possible, except payments on machines, try and make sure that they it is completely automated. They’re able to track all their machines there. They have a Hawkeye on top of this. So that they’re able to create those efficiency specifically for the volume based ecosystem. A lot of that would also be dependent on purely location. But when you’re going towards a premium end of the service and when you’re charging for a premium end of service, you can basically pick and choose your customers. And when you’re able to pick and choose your customers, you’re able to also determine a price which you’ll be able to pick and choose. And what I have believed is if you’re able to solve problems of customers specifically in laundromat end, customers are not very are not very easily lost or they’re easy to move away to any other loan domain. So the idea is that, yes, some work is required. Some work would be required to go to both the sides, whether it’s just extreme on premium and luxury. Or whether it’s extreme on just pure unattended operations which are priced to the perfection and price and price to the volume perfection, but it would both require a strategy, which would require some long term thinking and some investment for some time.
Jordan Berry [00:27:43]:
I’m I’m gonna put you on the spot here. Do you, do you think that one model is better than the other? Or do you think you can be I mean, I’m sure you could be successful at either. Right? But do you do you feel like one model superior to the other?
Sukanth Srivastav [00:28:00]:
I would not say both. Like, there is one model is superior to the other, but the opportunity of making money in one model is much, much more. Like, the opportunity if you’re going towards a premium service is that you would be able to touch both the self-service customers also plus the new demographics that you would be able to touch. When you’re doing a self-service tool, obviously, and I would never say you cannot make money because there are a lot of successful only unattended store operators who are absolutely live and die by the by the idea that this should be unattended. Like, it’s the best idea is to have unattended. But I believe that that number of operators and that sort of hog eye precision in mind is not is not available to everyone. And I think for people, they should try and attempt to make their store more valuable by adding furthermore services which can cross sell and upsell to their customers. Like, I genuinely believe that this is the era of do it for the customer. This is not thereof. This might be some era that some people would find success where they would find motivated people who would do it by themselves. But this is the era of making money by doing it for the customer, doing it for the end user and doing it how they like and then asking them the right payments for this.
Jordan Berry [00:29:18]:
Yeah. So you mentioned something. I’m just I’m gonna ask you just for the benefits so that we’re all on the same page that everybody’s listening because we got people who are brand new. And we got people who are veterans here, but you you mentioned cross selling and upselling. I know that those are great ways to drive revenue. Can you give us some examples of each? What is you know, a cross sale for a laundromat owner and what is an upsell for a laundromat owner?
Sukanth Srivastav [00:29:43]:
So Absolutely. For example, a lot of laundromat owners that we even work with today. Like, I would give you an example of one of our laundromat operators or a laundry operator who basically handles multiple stores and also has a very successful pickup in limit service. So initially, a lot of their customer started off with self-service, but then they were able to upsell them into adding more services and adding more specific product for their services. For example, adding fragrances for their specific customers. They were able to add some modifiers, add ons, and charges there. Then she also started dry cleaning, and this is where there is a lot of margin that is available. And the customers that usually are involved in tracking are premium customers. These are this is exactly an example of adding. Why do you have Apple? Focus on Apple based customers rather than Android? Because if you have a dry clean customer, the propensity for them to spend on your ecosystem is much, much more higher. So these are the things that you could do For example, when people are at your store, there are a lot of people who sell retail items, water, vending. These are the even arcade games. That they are able to cross sell to the people who are at the store at any point of time. And I see in the future, a lot of things happening. For example, wifi that is available for free can be monetized, can be monetized in different ways. And there are things that are coming in. There can be multiple more partnerships where this the laundromat could be all pervasive with a dry cleaner with an alteration guy with a tailoring person where they could just become the end to end store for anything that happens with clothes, that should be the first person you should call. That should be the first service that you should call. That should be the first ecosystem that you should be trying to call, hey. I am having problems with this. Should I do something else? Just even becoming a guru for that for that garment care in that community since laundromats are so and right now they’re so embedded. I think it’s a great opportunity of cross sell and upsell for all the operators that are And even whether they are new or veteran, I think people love getting their problem solved and clothes are one of the biggest problems. That I feel that there exists in the market.
Jordan Berry [00:31:59]:
Okay. So I I wanna become I wanna become a guru. In my community for garment care stuff. What are some things that I can do to become the go to person in my community or or the guru of my community when it comes to garment care that makes people think, hey. I’ve got this garment problem. I gotta call Jordan or whoever’s listening.
Sukanth Srivastav [00:32:23]:
So there are so what I’ve learned across is first, it requires a an interest in doing this. There has to be an interest in moving towards this direction because what we’ve seen is that most of the laundromats and are successful because and and this is my anecdotal experience, but I have learned it across that people love people who are there who are processing it with them. People love work working with a partnering with a person. It’s not just the service, but it’s the person who’s included in that deal and that’s the whole bundle. What I believe. So upscaling yourself by even taking courses, learning online, and even probably working very hard on making sure that you’re able to count out all things that are being processed in your laundromat and even learning on the job is something that I would expect if people do they would be able to become a laundromat or a laundry or a dry, you know, a customer cloth care guru very easily because there are so many things to learn in this industry. There are so many things that you should be we can learn and we can be upskilled, and we are very rightly placed to be upskilled because we work with these machines. We work with the operation and scenarios in these kind of places that I believe would be a great great way to learn. For example, there are CLA courses. There are tracking laundry industry courses. There are a lot of people who are actually dry cleaning gurus and laundry gurus whom you could learn from. I I would consider you to be a guru. Like, a podcast, like laundromat resources. If you if you watch it for the last 3 years, I think it would be a group by itself.
Jordan Berry [00:34:04]:
Yeah. Awesome. I I love the garment care guru. I love that. I think we should all just have t shirts or something that say garment care guru on it. Be great. Okay. So alright. So we dude, this is such good stuff already. Like, I thank you you for coming on and sharing this stuff. This is really good and really good perspective, and ways of thinking about, business. And I I mean, I love the extremes. I love being a garment care guru. I love the, you know, the focus on becoming the go to the go to person, right, the go to guru, of this. So so good.
Sukanth Srivastav [00:34:44]:
And even passing it on your team. Like, if the team believes this, there are more influences on the team in the community, the better it is. I I just believe that usually the industry, as I said, we were mentioning that it’s moving towards 2 extremes. One is whether you where you’re gonna have self-service where you need to be a half machine slash laundromat grew anyways because people would have 10 different problems, how to use that machine, How do I get it done? I have put more soap in. How much soap should I put in? What’s the right chlorine value? What’s the right bleach value? Etcetera. So you would need to be a laundromat for anyways. But if you’re going premium, building that reputation, and building that know how is is absolutely golden so that you’re able to present yourself as a premium operator in front of good paying demographic customers.
Jordan Berry [00:35:36]:
Yeah. I love that. Alright. Man. So gosh. So good. Okay. Alright. So let’s go back to, your story. Okay. So you, you built up this laundry business and you ended up selling it to a franchise and you were like, okay, I want to get I want to help sort of the the industry as a whole, and I want to think a little bit bigger picture. You know, for to help other business owners basically, do that. So what was the what was how what was the process like getting from you know, being an owner of, these laundry service businesses to transitioning to figuring out how to integrate tech into all this. What was that process like?
Sukanth Srivastav [00:36:22]:
So once I sold off my business, I was a little lost, and I had the opportunity to rejoin some of the tech unicorns. And I had the opportunity to manage extremely big businesses. But what I always love in this industry is that the there is an arbitrage in laundromats. There is an arbitrage in dry cleaning. It’s not that easy in technology. At the end of the day, anybody who’s doing a laundry business knows something more than a regular person on the street. Like, if you would ask them, do you think laundromats are a great money making business? 70% of them say, maybe not. Not exactly. But then if you would ask a veteran and you would always say, I’m just saving money so that I can buy the 13 store. I’m just saving money so that I can buy the 5th one. So these people are anyways in the know. So they understand something which usually normal people are not able to understand in the way. So and I saw what was happening in the panel industries COVID came in. And at that point of time, I felt that hey, if my system was still live where it was primarily consumer acquisition online, pickup and delivery, this would have been a mega mega superstar business in. Like, at that point of time, I felt that why am I not doing this and if I’m not doing this, how can I get more people to do this? Because I see this is an opportunity that is existing in this market. We saw, for example, how much immensely the restaurant industry has grown over the last 10 decades because of 3rd party delivery and pickup and delivery. Like, it’s a 10 x mode business industry right now. So with this, all this information and all the tech know how and all the my co founders packed into a bag, I thought that we should build something out because we had the experience of building this out and we know how a laundromat owner would feel like when they would be opening a pickup and delivery business We could also help them guide to grow them in the first initial trench phases and because it’s not easy. Like, it’s not something that everybody gets immediately. It’s not something that is very out there. It’s very easy to do. But this is, as I said, this is an industry where once you start growing, it’s very hard for you to de grow. It’s it’s very it’s it’s a very software saas kind of a business where once you have good paying loving customers, they just don’t want to change. Like, it’s it’s a big hassle for them to reestablish that trust with anyone. So I told my cofounder, Vishal, who is also with me who has, like, 15 years of hard core technology experience, building out technology platforms for decacorns in in Asia. We thought we should build out something that would reflect where this future where the world is moving towards where the world is moving towards more premium. The world is gonna be moving towards more partnerships, more delivery firms, helping these these companies grow their existing businesses, grow their locations out. So we thought we should build out something and we started building it out. And then one thing led to the other. We had some existing contacts in the industry that we were able to work with. We started working with them, started supporting some of the top franchisees here in India. One thing led to the other. We raised some more investment, and then we were specifically focused on to North America because I genuinely believe that usually, like, it’s a business. The maximum amount of value that can be extracted is is in North America because is an industry which has self-service already existing. So there would be addition to these businesses. These these would be new revenue channels, which would be like cell services like 50% of our business, add drop off, 30% of my businesses added again, add pickup and delivery, 20% of my business added again. I can just double my business. So I felt that North America would be a great location and a great place for us to build out the ecosystem with. And that is what we’ve been focused for for past couple of years. Had the opportunity to work with some of the top partnerships. Like, we are partnered with Payrange, which has allowed us to be in front of 1000 of laundromats as their default watch trifold partner. And I believe that we all are aligned towards a single goal where we see that this industry would be a much bigger industry in the next ending in the next 10 years than probably in the last 10 years. I think this would be a growing at at least double or triple the pace that we’ve seen in the past 10 years.
Jordan Berry [00:40:49]:
Yeah. That is, that’s a bold prediction, but I like what you’re saying, and I like what I mean, It was interesting watching when when COVID happened. Right? And it was, you know, at least here, a lot of people saw their pickup in delivery businesses really start to take and their drop off businesses, but really start to take off here. So it was almost like a jump start to that business. I mean, that business was around before COVID, but there were very few people doing it well, at least, before COVID. And I think sort of post COVID. So it’s only been a couple years, 2, 3 years. Right? And that side of the business. I don’t know the stats on it, but it’s had to have grown by multiples, you know, in the last couple of 2, 3 years.
Sukanth Srivastav [00:41:40]:
No. Absolutely. What we can see at least on the ground, there is a lot more action where people believe this is a lot more possible now. For example, you have things like Copeland, which are coming up. Which are which believe in the idea that people would be looking for pickup and living services for this kind of extraordinary, a little premium services. So I say if you’re competing with the likes of such providers, why would the person who actually has invested most amount of their money and who has most amount of skills being invested. Why not turn this into a business which could actually grow on the back of drop offs and pick up in delivery also? So I am a firm believer that and what I have seen is I I’ve actually seen this in in real life also. Like, for example, some of the people that we work with initially, they were young new owners started off with us. Had hundreds of questions. Why would this work? Even some of them are very reticent or reluctant owners. Like, I don’t think so this would work a lot. Should I really be spending my money? Should I not just be investing money to getting that 80 pounder so that I could probably solve a little for my unattended customers, but then we kept pushing them. And this is all a search. We have some customers who have grown a 100% in 6 months on their drop offs and are doing multi $1000 worth of multi $10,000 multi to have $10,000 decade, $1000 worth of wash dry fold just by starting in a few months and growing this and taking the reviews and taking the feedback and consistently making sure that they’re going back to their customers consistently asking me why not back What should I make sure that you’re back? What can and it’s a retention business. As I said, this is one of the very few businesses where you don’t need to go and acquire the word. You need to acquire a very certain specific line. I I have a number which might sound very weird, but if you have 2000 customers of drop off, across your ecosystem, you would be a $1,000,000 puppet. You would be a $1,000,000 business. There is very low reasons you would not be.
Jordan Berry [00:43:45]:
That I love that. I love that. And, I mean, listen. That should get you guys pretty excited because two thousand people is really not that many or 2000 customers really not that many, customers. Now, I mean, it’s not gonna be no work to get there, right, gonna take work to get there, and it’s gonna take a little time to build that up. But like you’re saying, I mean, the the rewards can be huge for a relatively small client base. And I think that’s where the power of this comes, this comes in, right? And specifically here, right, in North America, a lot of the western kind of countries, you know, where we have self serve laundromats already in place. The the startup costs are relatively low. Right? You’ve got you’ve got the assets already. You know, you might need, like, a vehicle although a lot of times people start with their own vehicles, early on. You might need to hire some employees or you might have to do it yourself for a little while until you have enough scale to do it. But, I mean, the the big expenses, which are the assets, the machines, those are we already have those a lot of us. Right? And so and if you don’t, we have multiple people who have been on the podcast who have found some by using other people’s laundromats until they can get their own, which is also not an easy way to go. And in fact, most people who I know who started that way or like, man, I don’t know if I recommend it, but you can do it. Right? So, I love that 2000 customers to have a $1,000,000 business. Yes.
Sukanth Srivastav [00:45:20]:
Yeah. The the idea is that most of these customers are, like, out of 2000 customers I genuinely believe that you can get 1000 customers to repeat every month because this is a monthly need. This is a need which is gonna be served at least two to three times a month. For many of these customers. So making sure that you are just very clearly focused on what your customers are, where they are how can you make sure that they’d never move once you’ve acquired them and even spending some money, like, when we sell software and since I’ve been the technology industry and this is where I get to merge some concepts. So in software, when you would see a lot of technology firms are are valued very high, They’re valued very high because people talk about quality of revenue. Like, the people who are paying them, would they keep paying them after 5 years? Would keep paying them after 10 years. Put the value be same for them. How would they and this is what reflects in their valuations. Like, you see multi $1,000,000,000 valuation ones. They might just have very few customers who are very sticky. Laundromat is a very sassy business, and it’s not a sexy. It’s a very sassy business. So the idea is if you have two thousand people, it’s gonna take arms and legs of somebody to try and get you wittle you down from that 2000 thousand people if they’re gonna go and acquire it because they would have to go so much. They would have to differentiate themselves from you so much. And if you’re going and if you’re trying to be a differentiated premium provider, you would be making sure that these two thousand people are going nowhere and actually bringing in 2000 new people because of word-of-mouth. Like, I believe that these businesses, the businesses that we are in are, have a very good opportunity to be selling for a lot more in the future because people will start realizing how good this quality of revenue is. A $3000 worth of a restaurant and a $3000 worth of a laundromat are not seen. They would not be valued the same.
Jordan Berry [00:47:20]:
Yeah. I, actually, I could not agree with you more because, I mean, I think I’ve said this on the podcast before. Once or twice, but I will not be surprised when, not if, but when the multiples for laundromats, which have traditionally been around 3a half five times the net income. I mean, I expect them to go to double digits, in Yes.
Sukanth Srivastav [00:47:44]:
I expect them to go to 7 to 10 because That’s what SaaS companies are, like, on top of revenue 7 to 10 when private equity firms buy you. And I can see this coming into laundromat Industries too, for example, see private equity companies which are coming up, setting up massive locations, massive franchisees, tons of stores, this is what they’re looking for. They understand that the quality of revenue that you’re generating is gonna stay. Even if you’re not gonna stay there, the revenue is gonna day because the location, because the people, because the team, because the processes that you’ve established are very hard to be copied.
Jordan Berry [00:48:19]:
You know what I love about talking to you right now is that, first of all, you’re saying a lot of things that I think and say, but you’re saying them so much more sophisticated sounding. Know, and you’re talking about quality of revenue. And the way that I’ve talked about this is a lot of bets are very habitual business, right? People get in the habits of, you know, I go to the laundry every Tuesday at 9 o’clock or whatever, right, and it’s habitual. And they don’t think about it anymore. Right? When we develop a habit, we just do the things. We don’t think at it anymore. And really, the customers, once you have them, they’re yours to lose. Right? And as long as you take care of them, you’re giving them that premium service. And you don’t give them a reason to think about what they’re doing, they’re gonna stay your your customer. Right? So when you give them a reason to think about what they’re doing, like allowing your laundromat to deteriorate, become a lawn, zombie mat. Right? Now all of a sudden I start to think about, do I really wanna go there? There’s I saw a cockroach there last Right? Or last time I was there, it was not very clean. Now they’re starting to think about it. And once you started thinking about it, that’s when you’re at risk. Right? So they’re your customer to use. And that’s why I liked when you’re saying, hey. Let’s go to the extreme or, you know, the the industry’s moving to the extremes. And on that sort of premium side of things, And what you’re saying here is, you know, it’s it’s a high quality of income. It’s not equal to a lot of other types of income because as long as you’re providing the good service, you’re gonna keep that business and probably, like you said, get referred new business. So I like that you’re saying similar things to me, but just in a much more sophisticated way.
Sukanth Srivastav [00:49:56]:
Like, I would say, for example, like, in SAS, we use use terms like customer acquisition cost lifetime value of a customer. The lifetime value of a customer in a laundromat, like, this is again a very weirdly bold answer that I write with you is something like $5000. So I am assuming that our our wash dry food or a person stays with you for 5 years and every year spends a $1000 on your laundromat, which is very, very possible. So every time you lose a customer, you’re probably losing $5000. And every time you gain a customer and you gain them for good, you’re probably at least earning $5000. So I think as I was mentioning, right, thousand people or 2000 biz 2000 customers can get you to your $1,000,000 deal or can get you to your $1,000,000 evaluation pretty fast. And even in the revenue. The quality of revenue is very excellent. And let’s say I’m just saying in the future, the idea is that finance people, like, not us. I’m not saying that regular people of the store would just start valuing a lot more, but smart people would and this is where the industry would move because I could because I see a lot of people and since I have the opportunity like a biased opportunity to meet a lot of laundromat operators across North America and a lot of places. People with money are moving into this ecosystem because they believe that they can organize this And when money man move in, the first thing that they look for is the multiples that they can generate and whether this is a good enough existing business in the 1st place or not. So that’s why I’m very confident that the multiples are gonna raise when it’s gonna be very competitive and you have that sort of customer profile with you because as I said, it’s very hard for you to grow, but it’s extremely hard for you to be growing as a laundromat.
Jordan Berry [00:51:51]:
Yeah. Man, you, like I said, you just keep saying things so much more sophisticated than me, but you’re absolutely right. And I’ve been saying, you know, a lot more sophisticated and savvy business owners and investors are coming into this industry. And a big part of the reason of that is because of technology that’s coming in that’s allowing us to manage more laundromats, right, used to be like, hey, if you own, like, 3, 4, maybe 5 laundromats, Just going and collecting the quarters and making sure your machines are running pretty much eats up your entire week. Right? But now once you have digital payment systems and you got some software to help you manage, your business and, you know, things like being able to remote start machines or like, whatever. Right? Like, this is allowing us to scale And I think one of the other things that we’re gonna see because of that is more owners owning more laundromat Right? And so
Sukanth Srivastav [00:52:51]:
Jordan Berry [00:52:53]:
You know, there’s we’re gonna have a lot less onesie, two z, mom, and pop owners, which there’s nothing wrong with that. But we’re gonna see less of that and more, you know, Willeford Brother type. You know, we own 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 laundromats and, you know, are able to run, you know, our laundromats like a business.
Sukanth Srivastav [00:53:14]:
I would say, for example, I I would not be that pessimistic on mom and pop stores, but the idea would be that these mom and pop stores would start making money that they become multi location owners. So I was just reading a survey, for example, 25 percent of current owners exactly own more than a couple of stores already. So the idea is and with this business, like, when when even I was doing this business, even during the site of pickup and living, not just including solves up. It sells up. This becomes a no brainer. But even with pickup in Livia, the more locations that you have, the more total addressable market that you can attract is what builds that brand. It’s what builds that recall. So I believe that if you have a laundromat and if you’re able to saturate that small block or small community with a goodwill for your laundromat for your services that flows through the next community. So when you go ahead and buy another laundromat, let’s say 10 miles or 20 miles away from that laundromat, It builds in that brand towards that area. And it you become a small mini laundromat brand or a mini cleaning brand for that area. And that gives you the opportunity to do a lot more things, lot more upselling and cross selling. Like, what I realized is earlier, the business used to be a bit hard that there was things called as route operators. For example, people did not use to have their own locations with machines. They would ask somebody to go get machines set up and then count coins and then pass them a percentage. Now such opportunities are giving them their spaces back that Hey. I don’t need a loud operator to manage this for me. I can probably get financing on my machines too, and I could also probably have complete information about all what’s happening at my store from a single dashboard. If I have a if I have a watch dry fold attendant that I have to hire, how do I manage them coming into the place at the right time how do I make sure that they’re not keeping me. They’re not running a random second business on my property where I have no ideas. These are all things that you would be able to track and you would be able to grow with. While this is happening, you would be also able to establish a digital or even more intimate engaging relationship with their existing customers and your new customers. Like, they expect you to be on mobile. Everybody is, like, every big store which is succeeding, every business which is succeeding has a mobile plan for their customers, has a way to be engaging with their customers, in places where they are. So with technology, you can get into that completely. You can you can show your best foot forward to your customers and also give them a trust that you would go that extra mile to make sure that everything is good for them. Like, you’re good. You’re you’re good for that money that they’re gonna be paying you for that premium service. You’re good for that. And as I said, once you get into minds and hearts and wardrobes of such customers, it’s it’s gonna be very hard for anybody to replace you until unless you mess up and not messing up is a great way of making sure that you’re a $1,000,000 laundromat property owner.
Jordan Berry [00:56:19]:
Oh, man. That’s so catchy too. Make sure you’re a millionaire laundromat property owner. I love that.
Sukanth Srivastav [00:56:25]:
Well, it’s not just the idea is that I the I understand that a lot of people are not into the idea of building this as a $1,000,000 property. A lot of them that I need are just very happy for them to be a retirement segue or a extra business where they get more cash in from. And I believe that this is a business which gives you the ability to do that. Like, a lot of people, I’ve I’ve seen this regularly happening. A lot of people saying that they want this to be a passive income. Yes. They this may not be a passive income, but this may be the most passive income that you can get in SMB or small medium business. Like, you would not want to be a passive restaurant there. You would not want to be a passive CBD shop owner. You would not want to be a passive water shop owner. You would want to be a passive laundromat owner because At the end of the day, you would have spent enough money. They can actually see you’ve already spent so much money in making sure that the store is correct. The technology is correct. The people are oriented. Right? And you’re nice and your team wants to win. They will win.
Jordan Berry [00:57:28]:
I love that. I love that. Okay. So I’m dude, there’s been so much good stuff. So I’ve, like, taken so many notes, and I’ve written down so many quotes from you. So so good. So, I mean, we haven’t even touched on. Can we talk about can we talk about turns? Like, how did you guys launch And what are you guys? What do you guys do? Can you kind of give us a little bit of background on turns? And then then maybe I can ask you some questions about what it actually is and what do you guys do?
Sukanth Srivastav [00:58:00]:
So turns is a next generation laundromat and a dry cleaner business management platform. And it is built by couple of laundromat and laundry business operators who have done this business at a large scale. So we have an understanding of what it needs to grow. We have an understanding what it needs to be done. The idea is that we want to be the single from where a laundromat operator can completely run, promote, and manage, and even grow their business from. The idea is that our partnership with Payrange, like, we are exclusive partners of Payrange in North America. So all the Payrange data that flows in all the payment machine machine on payments all goes to our system too. So we are able to track that as well as give you some very sniffy ways in which you could attract parents customers that there are 6,000,000 plus range users already onto making sure that you are their default choice laundromat. So the idea is that we want to be an affordable ecosystem of tools for the laundromat owners for the future. And we believe that there are there are so many workflow, so many ways in which we can help a laundromat owner, not just gain their initial base of customers, but also try and retaining them, making sure that they are taking care of in the right way, sure that making sure that they’re doing their employees right making sure that they’re managing them correctly and making sure that their overall laundromat represents the value of trust represents the value of modernity, represents the value of being an ex generation full service ecosystem.
Jordan Berry [00:59:42]:
Yeah. That’s awesome. And, you know, I I I kinda like the, sort of the elevator pitch, right, of, hey. You know, next generation here and you know, I’ve been saying for a long time, this this industry is ripe for, you know, development of technology, implementation of technology, and, you know, Savvier business owners and investors are coming into this space. And that’s gonna demand, you know, that’s gonna demand, you know, tools to help us So the I those things. Yeah. Yeah. Go ahead.
Sukanth Srivastav [01:00:19]:
Yeah. The bar is going up. The bar for any new log. The owner is going up and it’s going up very fast. If because everybody understands that this is a controlled risk environment where you can’t take a risk this is not a business where you go to boom. So there would always be a lot of people who would be ready to take business risks into this environment. And I believe now with post COVID, a lot of people’s eyes have opened up, they’re now able to realize that they’re able to pick up a lot of these for a lot cheaper and they can build this out into a much bigger business. And I believe with more and more formal introduction of money, more and more laundromats opening up. I think the competition in the backward, there is just one direction to go up. It’s just gonna go up. Like, at the end of the day, you’re gonna have to provide better service than the laundromat, which is just three miles away. And just wish that there is not gonna be another one after within a couple of years, 5 miles away because if both of you do well, there would be a smart person who would think, hey, I can make some money too.
Jordan Berry [01:01:24]:
Yeah. Well, I wanna get back to turns, but that brings up I mean, can you can you talk about, like, what is distinguishing you know, you’re seeing tons of laundromat operations, you know, North America, but also elsewhere, India, obviously, Australia, you know, all of Dubai, you mentioned Dubai. What’s distinguishing the top tier owners from your average run of the mill owners that you’ve seen.
Sukanth Srivastav [01:01:52]:
So what I realized is that the top tier owners are extremely obsessive about making sure that they are able to acquire and retain those customers that they’re getting in and how to make sure that everything is geared to make sure that they’re able to bring that first customer in. And they keep a lot of close eyes on making sure that all the operations that are going through their stores, all the employees, all the behavior, and all the customer experiences that they’re doing for is absolutely maintained. To these hit at consistently regularly. Also, what they are doing is they understand where the future is. Like, they understand that you need to acquire these customers, not just via flyers, not just via small partnerships, but probably online also. They would also have to look at ways in which they can get more consumer data flowing through their ecosystem so that they have an idea where that ship is going towards. Like, you don’t want to be in I I’ve I’ve had the opportunity of talking to a few laundromat owners who were so behind in their numbers that they did never understood whether their problem had actually made money. Like, they just just they said it works. I maybe make money, but maybe I also don’t sometimes, but I actually have no idea. So these are the operators where if somebody gets an idea, I would be the first guy who would be trying to open up a store next door because I know that when the going is gonna get tough, probably the first person to fold would be this person who would has no idea what it would need for them to do. So I think people who are just more aware and are into the game that they want to grow this business would be the ones who would be surviving a few years from now. I think people who have half given up are too much into passivity. Like, even people who have unattended stores are not usually passive income people. They try and make sure that their stores are speak in span. They’re regularly going to their stores, talking to their customers, talking to their regular customers, trying to make sure that they’re motivating their employees, trying to make sure that the store has more services. I think the owners which would go towards that extra mile would be the ones which succeed. And I believe that turns helps them get that transition much more easily. It makes it easier for them so that they are able to go full hog on their on their businesses.
Jordan Berry [01:04:22]:
Awesome. Okay. So a good transition way to bring us back to, turns because I do have more questions. So, I mean, can you just Can you tell us, you know, very practically, like, what is turns doing for, what is turns doing for owners how is it helping them, you know, manage their businesses, better?
Sukanth Srivastav [01:04:43]:
Absolutely. So the idea is that turns is a complete ecosystem with which man it’s a platform that manages all parts of your business. So there is a consumer facing portion where you would be able to get your integrated website You would be able to get integration with DoorDash. You would be able to rank top on Google. Use that location as your real estate online. To get the traffic in, to divert the traffic in, and then even get a complete end to end conversion engine, which can get you live with pickup and delivery orders that you would want to do. All of that is integrated with our next generation POS systems, which are very easy to use available in Spanish, English, extremely built out with the thought process that the attendance that we get in our ecosystem are not usually the top tier attendants that we see are usually operate are are usually operators and on and workers who are not that extremely well read and probably would need some help for them to be able to process, build out that complete ecosystem, which is integrated with a business manager which has AI insights built in. So for example, you can just and this is what I love about. For example, you could ask and we have an AI model that is completely trained on your laundromat and your dry cleaning business end to end. So you could ask it any questions like I made this much money last week. What do you think would be a right segue for me to offer to my customers? And it would give you back an answer, which would be pretty much actionable insights and inputs, reading your own data from coming in from laundromats. So these are the these are few ways in which we differentiate and help our customers to grow themselves. And this is an, as I said, this is a growing system. We are consistently adding new things. For example, we added page integration. We became exclusive partners with them so that we are able to bring a complete self outlook onto the ecosystem also. Like, you’re able to see what kind of self-service customers that you have. You’re able to market to them. You’re even to convert some of them into drop off customers trying to understand what all schemes your laundromat is running, how much money you can make, just managing that complete piece as well as promoting yourself and retaining these 2000 plus customers is what turns is built for.
Jordan Berry [01:07:02]:
Yeah. That’s awesome. I love that you’re integrating the AI, into into the system and help.
Sukanth Srivastav [01:07:08]:
It’s already laid. Yeah.
Jordan Berry [01:07:10]:
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Maybe, so I know we’re gonna do a live Q and A at some point. So maybe we talk more about the AI and, you know, that you’ve got integrated in there and how how to best utilize that because that’s, you know, 11, it’s one thing to have access to the AI and to have, you know, the the ability to use it there, but it’s another thing to have sort of the skill set on how do you actually use it in a in an optimal way. So maybe Absolutely. We can talk about that in the queue.
Sukanth Srivastav [01:07:39]:
The idea is Yeah. Yes. The idea is that the ecosystem should be an AI is massively improving every day. From a technology perspective, we see that it’s getting easier and easier for a layman to be able to use this. And as a I respect a laundromat entrepreneur. They’re usually smarter than the general people. They bought a laundromat. They did not buy a restaurant or a or a random service. So these guys are very resourceful in the first place and and pretty much single workers. Like, I’ve seen them individually contributing themselves. But the turns ecosystem is built in such a way that AI is not it’s it’s completely pervasive and there are so many templatized ways and we get you up. We are a 247 support based ecosystem. Our main job is to try and make you grow because if you grow that is how we grow too. And that’s the underlying principle of any SAS business and any laundromat business also. For example, if their commercial clients grow if their retail clients are able to better present themselves with the clothes that they have, with the garments that they have, it’s always a success for a laundromat or a dry cleaner. Similarly, we also believe that if you’re able to make our operators grow, it would be a success in the end for us too.
Jordan Berry [01:08:54]:
Yeah. I love that. And and I love that you’re aligning yourself with with the laundromat owner. Right? There’s, you know, when our interests are aligned, you know, then it builds a lot of trust for 1, and it helps both of us to help each other get better, right? So now, you know, as a laundromat owner, I wanna give you feedback on, hey, here’s some things that I would like to do that I don’t have the capability doing yet or, you know, and give you guys feedback and and for you guys to, you know, take that information and improve the product so that we can do better in our business. Right? So that’s I love that.
Sukanth Srivastav [01:09:32]:
The idea is that we are a team Jordan. At the end of the day, we laundromat operators and us we are tackling the same goal of making sure that we grow and this industry goes by 3 to 5 x in the next 10 years. And we take the technology part of this. They take the on field and on ground part of this. So we work in tandem, but we are a same team working for the same goal. So I think we would be able to achieve this goal to an extent because more and more people join the bandwagon of using tech for their laundromats. And more people who use this see the benefits and are able to relay this on to the newer owners which are coming in. So I believe this industry would also hit an inflection point. So a lot of a lot of people that you would talk to. If you would talk to them on the ground, they would say a laundromat is usually a dim lit place. It’s not the most experience, see place where you could get a great experience. But once the industry in a hole in a mass starts moving, that impression of consumers also would change. And once that changes, that would reflect in a multitude growth in itself for the industry.
Jordan Berry [01:10:43]:
Absolutely. Yeah. And I it’s it’s exactly right. It’s that hockey stick growth. Right? Like, I think we were pretty plateaued for decades where we didn’t really do a whole lot. We kinda had the same mindset. I think the mindset has been shifting over the last 3 to 5 years. And we’re seeing the steady growth, but I think at some point, you’re right. We hit that inflection point and the growth just kinda skyrockets, from there because of a big mindset shift in the industry, right, that scarcity mindset, that whole, I don’t wanna share what’s working for me. Mindset is it’s gotta go away. It’s going away. You know, the whole not embracing technology. It’s gotta go away. It’s going away. The whole I’m not gonna reinvest in my business. I’m gonna let it kinda deteriorate and then just try to dump it on the next owner. Still there, but it’s going away. People are starting to reinvest in their businesses because they’re seeing that with 2000 customers, I could have a $1,000,000 business. Right? So Yeah. So, I mean, I think a lot of that stuff is changing, and it’s changing quicker and quicker. But like you said, we’re gonna hit a point where the avalanche just goes. And it’s just gonna break loose. And
Sukanth Srivastav [01:11:52]:
I believe that we would see, like, in hotel, in restaurants, in hotels, in Airbnb, we’ve seen franchisees and chains and very valuable businesses come up. I think laundry currently lacks some of the marquee businesses which are gonna come out. Like, they’re gonna be marquee businesses which is gonna come out in the 10 years in the decades and probably they would drive the industry forward. We believe that I believe we would see probably a $100,000,000 valued laundromat or a laundry and dry cleaning business in the next two decades.
Jordan Berry [01:12:31]:
Oh, $100,000,000 business in the next 2 decades. I love that.
Sukanth Srivastav [01:12:36]:
And I think that would be very possible if you have a hundred locations. And this is something that has not been tried out. And I think there would be people coming in. The technology is gonna make sure that somebody is gonna take a hook at this. And I think there are a few franchisees and few multi locations which are trying to go towards that goal. I think you would see a $100,000,000 plus businesses being into this industry a lot more pervasively in the next decade than probably ever in the history of London industry.
Jordan Berry [01:13:05]:
Yeah. Man. That’s I that’s awesome. I really love that. Okay. Let’s just Okay. If you’re listening to this right now, just put your ear muffs on. Don’t listen. Okay. So if I wanna be the one to be, you know, the one to bring in the $100,000,000 business, like, what do I gotta do here? I’m just
Sukanth Srivastav [01:13:23]:
The idea would be that and and I’m I’m and this is something that this is what I’m saying. Right? As the end of the day, these are the risk taking entrepreneurs which are gonna build a $100,000,000 laundromat, location, different business. The idea would be that you would need a a lot of capital. So if you would need a lot of capital, you would need a lot of partners and you would only get partners where you’re able to give them predictability. And predictability will allow you and even give you more strength in your heart so that you can invest money. And you can only get predictability if you’re able to track and track it thoroughly. So that involves technology that would involve you to use technology for its right purposes in your laundromat and using it to the heat. Not just for using it for the sake of using it. But the idea is once you do that, you would be able to even convince partners or even investors or even banks in the future that, hey, I can see my business and this is how SaaS businesses grew to a $1,000,000,000 valuations. Like, they say if I’m doing 2,000,000 today, I know I would be able to do 4,000,000 just because the business is so sticky that this is gonna grow by itself. By the word-of-mouth in itself. So I think we would see, as I said, we would be able to see a $100,000,000 business in the next decade, but it would be less of a very specific moment pump laundromat but would more look like more a technology firm which also does laundromats.
Jordan Berry [01:14:58]:
Yeah. I love that. I love that. Okay. If you’re if you had earmuffs on, you could take the earmuffs off and listen again. I’ve got my game plan in place. Here. Okay. I mean, the so, I mean, we’re we’re kind of talking about it right now. So is there What else are you seeing for the future? We’ve been talking about this whole thing, right, but what else are you seeing for the future of this industry, and where we’re going? I mean, obviously, technology weighs heavily into the future of this industry. You know, can you talk a little bit more about that or any other direction you see this industry going in the future?
Sukanth Srivastav [01:15:34]:
So what I see is I what I I personally feel is that as I was mentioning, this industry is moving towards and trying to get more capability on itself. It’s trying to find out more ways that in which all the ways we currently are spending money our expenses for your laundromats or the way that you’re growing revenue, how can you make sure that that stays the same the next month? And if you invest $1 or invest $10. How do you get $4 to $5 back within the 1st month? If you are able to find those answers and that answer can only be found through integrating all of your ecosystems that you’re doing with. For example, self-service integrating them into a single ecosystem where you do drop offs. Where you do pickup and delivery. So once you do all of that, you would get an idea of what my exact business is right now, what my exact business mix is, what kind of customers does my laundromat entertain? Like, this is a great information just to have. For example, if you have a 1000 customers, what is usually the heat maps of where your customers are coming in from, just marking them and making sure that you are trying to spend most amount of your money on getting it right. So I see the future moving towards, as I was said, a bigger store with a lot more cross selling upsell services, a premium store, or the other way where you would have volume based unattended stores, with complete end to end technology mapping where they would be able to track who is in, who is out, and nobody’s able to mess with the machines and able to pay easily.
Jordan Berry [01:17:10]:
Dude, the future is bright. The future is bright. Absolutely. Right now. Okay. So You mentioned this already. I just wanted to kinda pick your brain on this a little bit and just get a little insight into this. But you mentioned that you guys are partnering with pay range. Can you tell me, like, what does that look like practically and what does that get for you know, what what’s the benefit of that for for you guys, and your company? But and then also, what is the benefit of that for, like, a laundromat owner?
Sukanth Srivastav [01:17:44]:
So the biggest benefit for us is that it benefits laundromax owners. So now I’ll just move to why it benefits laundromax owners. So the biggest way it would benefit laundromat owners is that currently they have to manage 2 or 3 system and workflow systems completely throughout their ecosystem. This tires people. So in SAS, it is said your revenue usually drops when the founder is tired. And usually, the founder is tired because he has to do too many things for too long period of time and then try and make sure that he’s able to rather the ship in the right direction. With us, what you get is the ability of all the parents devices flowing in through our ecosystem. So you would be able to assign washer, you would be able to understand, for example, which of your washers are making. How much of money you would be able to take understand which washer of yours is taking which payment, which dryers, you would be able to do remote starts. You would also be able to integrate this business completely with your thing drop off business. So now you don’t have to go through 2 different locations and find out where how much money did I make should I buy a 20 pounder or should I buy an 80 pounder? Should I use that for wash dry food or should I use that for drop offs? Should I designate that chain, or should I use it for my customers which are coming up front? How many turns did I make last week? Can I grow that turns by point 5? Like, All these questions will only come if you have questions worth that data. If you would be collecting that data and data would guide you to move ahead forward and find the answers to basically making sure that you’re able to grow at a certain level. And as I said, predictability would allow you to do you need more attendants? Would even having more attendants solve your issues? Would investing money into marketing, solve your issues if you have a retention problem. For example, even if you bring a 100 more customers in, What if 90 of them never come back to you? So you probably don’t have a marketing problem. You have a retention problem. These are the kind of details that they would be able to focus upon. And also even consult ex experts upon. Like, for example, there are so many industries which have had so much of ancillary support systems being built in where people are teaching them on how to make sure that they’re able to retain their customers, give the best experience to their customers, but only right questions get you the right answers. So finding the ability to ask right questions from data is where I believe that the market is moving towards and I believe that the people who would be asking the right questions of their business to write people and trying to answer them would be the ones who would be coming out in onto the top into the next decade.
Jordan Berry [01:20:28]:
I, I I’ll I love that. Again, so much more elegantly said than what I say. But, I mean, I you’re right. Like, it’s the data that, you know, our, you know, our our KPI or key performance indicator is is turns per day. Right? That’s what it’s been forever, which is okay. It’s okay. But it’s not very specific. Right? Like, we that doesn’t really tell us retention versus, you know, are we do we just have a cycle going in where we’ve got new customers coming in, but we’re also losing we’ve got a hole in the bucket somewhere, right, and it’s leaking out customers in But we don’t really know that because terms per day is sort of this general, you know, unspecified numbers.
Sukanth Srivastav [01:21:12]:
Like, even understanding, like, I see laundromat, like, operators. Like, for example, paying spends about half a $1,000,000 on keeping their customers engaged every 6 months. Right? These are partnerships that they could expect out of, and they could use those customers that per inch is paying to keep on their platform to be utilized for their own laundromats. So building a network effect for themselves is also that what parents and turns allows This also allows them to completely track all their wash dry fold transactions, who was responsible for them, who started the machine, what was the order details, what was the exact costs. So you can go down to granular details also. For example, when that money man, if that money man comes in calling, when you’re trying to grow You can tell them why you need that late late lower or why you need that more money simply because you would have this data. If you would have this data, this would give you more optionality also in what you would want to do in the future, whether it be continuing buying new stores or even moving a few stores for some other
Jordan Berry [01:22:17]:
Yeah. Man, I my mind is just going a million miles a minute. Like, you’re just all the things you’re saying just caused me to think about so many, exciting things that are happening in the industry right now and that are coming down the pipeline. And, and, you know, the big changes are going in here. And I don’t wanna, I mean, I could probably just talk to you all day about it. But, I, first of all, thank you for coming on and and taking the time to share all this, genuinely, I this has been a really incredible episode for me personally. I don’t know if anybody else will enjoy it. I’m sure they will. But what really matters is that I am taking a lot out of this. And so, no. But, just so good. And What I love most about this, I think, is that the future is bright. Right? You’re painting a very bright future for our industry, for owners, And, and for our, you know, our businesses and our communities even, right? And I I I say a lot like our communities, you know, they don’t have a lot of places where they still get together. And laundromats are one of those community gathering spots still. And you know, our our industry has this reputation of not valuing that. And the way that we don’t value that is by not taking care of our laundromats, right? And and it basically communicates, you know, just the existence of so many zombie mats in our a reputation of being dark or dirty or, you know, unsafe or whatever. You know, inadvertently or maybe inadvertently. I don’t know. Communicate Hey, we don’t value the communities that we’re in, right? And this reputation, we have got to change. I mean, we’re working towards it. Right? And, you know, the mindset shift, all that stuff that we talked about. It’s all shifting. Going in a good direction, the future is bright. But for me, even a bigger and and maybe this is just my sort of idealistic brain thinking here. But the even bigger thing than just the industry, is bright, is that we have the opportunity as an industry to really impact our communities, whether that’s our communities here in North America or in India or Australia or Dubai, wherever you’re at, right? We have this opportunity to make positive impacts in our community and to communicate to people, even if it’s only through taking care making sure all our machines are working and smiling at customers when they come in, you know, even if it’s just through simple things, we have this opportunity to communicate to our community. Hey, you matter and we care about you. And we, you know, we wanna take care of you. We wanna we wanna do our best to serve you well. And, I I love that. And I think that that’s what it means, you know, to have a bright future in our industry. It means we have this opportunity to make positive impacts in literally hundreds of millions, if not more, lives, around the world. So I I don’t wanna get too, like I don’t know. Sappy or 2, like
Sukanth Srivastav [01:25:22]:
So the idea is that I completely believe your facts and the in in I’m just giving you anecdote, which might not be even useful for a lot of North American businesses. But even for North American businesses, if you would look at some of the dry cleaner ages, Like, they’ve been there for 80 years. You would see a lot of dry cleaners. 80 years, 90 years, 6th generation, 7th generation. There are very few businesses in the world which give you an ability to pass it to 6th generation and it to be still alive. Like, you would very rarely hear a restaurant which is open in 1920s, still functioning and banging it out in 2022. But trust me, I’ll find you 5 trackingers and 5 laundromats would probably be able to do that. Yeah. So I believe that as I said, the laundromat operators, like, I I I I came from an engineering background And I believe that this industry is something that can consume whole of us. Like, there is the the the industry is big enough to absorb 10 people or hundreds of people like me who would be coming in, bringing in their flavor, bringing in an understanding what the operators and what the owners would and what the customers would need and try and make sure that the industry is growing. So I I believe that overall laundromats and dry cleaners have a bright future ahead only if they’re ready to compete very strong. And as a community helping each other. As I said, it’s very hard to de grow a laundromat or grow a laundromat in the first place. So the idea is that you would not be ever competing with each other, but probably making sure that you’re able to service your customers to the so that you’re not competing with the 3rd guy who’s gonna be coming and trying to kick both of your ass.
Jordan Berry [01:27:15]:
Yes. I love it. I love it. Okay. Okay. So number 1, we’re gonna be doing a live q and a. I just I think there’s so much there’s so, there’s so much to talk to you about so many questions to ask. You have a very unique kind of perspective, both on the operation side, but also sort of that, you know, bird’s eye view of seeing all over the world, really, seeing different operations, different operators, different ways of running this business, and you see what works and what doesn’t. So I think there’s a lot there. I, you know, so if you have questions about that, I mean, you gotta be at this Q and A. If you’ve got questions about turns, obviously, you gotta be at this q and a. I think Michael from, pay range is gonna be with us. Hopefully, fingers crossed, for the Q and A too. So if you got questions about pay range, you gotta be at this Q and A. And if you got questions about the turns pay range partnership and integration, you gotta be there this Q And A. And if you just like laundromats or laundry, you gotta be there. And if you just you know, you just wanna hang out. You want some friends. You gotta be at this q and a. So,
Sukanth Srivastav [01:28:28]:
like, this is what this is why I started this. I think making laundromat owners friends is the easiest way because they’re always over and looking for making sure that they have all the help
Jordan Berry [01:28:38]:
at home. Yes. So this is a spot to be. So come to the q and a for sure. Lawnmatresource.com/events you can find out information about that. Outside of that, if somebody wants to contact you or maybe they wanna learn more about turns, what’s the best way they can get ahold of you?
Sukanth Srivastav [01:28:56]:
They can just email me at [email protected], or they could just go to our website and then just schedule a call with me.
Jordan Berry [01:29:02]:
Awesome. And the website is And what’s the website?
Sukanth Srivastav [01:29:06]:
Turnsapp.com. So it’s turnsapp.com. And you can just search turns laundromat on turns laundromat management on Google, and I think you would reach us.
Jordan Berry [01:29:16]:
Awesome. Awesome. Well, again, this has been in credible, episode. So much good stuff. I have I I usually try to, like, collect a couple of quotes you know, from people just so I have like this collection of quotes. I’ve got like 30 from just this, this thing. So, Sorry to everyone out there who might be seeing quotes pop up on different social posts and stuff, but so much good stuff. Again, Thank you so much for taking the time to come on. Looking forward to doing that q and a with you. And, hopefully, you guys listening will join us on that q and a. And, Yeah. Thanks, man. Appreciate it.
Sukanth Srivastav [01:29:57]:
Thanks, Jordan. Would love to meet more more people and would love to discover more ideas on how we can build the product better and work with the with our partners to make sure that we are able to get the laundromat industry on the right way.
Jordan Berry [01:30:10]:
Love it. Let’s do it then. Alright. Appreciate it.
Sukanth Srivastav [01:30:13]:
Jordan Berry [01:30:14]:
Alright. I hope you loved, loved that episode. I know I did. I came out for that episode super jazzed up about the future of the industry and where we’re at, where we’re going. I loved it. Just a quick recap. I’m gonna give you 3 different things that you could consider as your one main takeaway to put into action. Number 1 is come to the live q and a in October. No. In September, I think 25th, go to alarm at resource.com/events or on the show notes page in alarm at resource.com/ show 127. And, make sure you get the details for that live q and a. Number 2 is, hey. If you’re in the Southern California market, come to the live meetup. We’re gonna have a great time getting together and hanging out with each other. And number 3, click on that thank you link. And thank somebody who’s come on the podcast and tell them something that you have taken away from their episode that has changed your life. Alright. Those are your 3 takeaways to pick from. Pick 1 of those 3 and get after it. And until next week, we’ll see you later. Peace.