David Papaskiri: “It is interesting to do business in Russia”
18 years ago, when David was just thinking about starting his own business and looking for a free niche in the market, he was inspired by the self-service laundries in student dormitories in Sweden and Finland.
The idea was to open something similar in the dormitories of Russian universities. The first network was called “Student Laundries of St. Petersburg”. The business began with two laundries, one of them was opened on the campus of St. Petersburg University. Now 18 year after the network includes about 40 laundries in St. Petersburg only.
What attracts customers to the Prachka.com self-service laundries? Firstly, the competitive price (it is much lower than in traditional dry cleaning &laundries). Secondly, the possibility not only to wash things, but to dry them in special machines. Thirdly, one can also wash large-sized things like blankets, bedspreads, mattress pads, pillows and the like.
It is also important that the laundries have administrators who are always ready to help if there are any questions or problems. Moreover laundries provide a number of additional services, including cleaning of sneakers.
Today, self-service laundries are used not only by students, but also by a variety of people. The network’s enterprises operate mainly in residential areas and shopping centers.
In general, 60 self-service laundries operate under the company’s management in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Novosibirsk, some of them are 100% owned by the company, some are in a shared partnership (60-70%).
Working with entrepreneurs on the terms of franchising, the company prescribes the type of equipment they should purchased, what services they have to provide, and scrupulously advices for a laundry location.
It takes 3 million rubles to open a basic self-service laundry. The payback period is approximately 3 – 6 years. If the business is properly organized, the monthly income from laundry is 100,000-200,000 rubles.
The minimum set of equipment for a self-service laundry starts from 5 pairs of washing machines and dryers. The standard initial equipment includes 6 washing machines and 6 dryers for 5-6 kg of load, two large washing machines and 2 tumble dryers for 15 kg, as well as an ironer.
As David Papaskiri says, they have tried the equipment of most brands that offer machines of the required capacity, and settled on Electrolux Professional washing and drying machines that provide comprehensive performance. Now the company’s equipment fleet consists of about 1400 machines, all of them are produced by Electrolux Professional.
The uniformity of the machines simplifies their maintenance and operation. Taking into account the successful experience and long-term cooperation with Electrolux Professional, the company requires partners to install equipment of this brand.
“Why Electrolux Professional?”
David Papaskiri: co-owner of Prachka.com network
“We have tried the equipment of most brands that offer machines of the required capacity, and settled on Electrolux Professional washing and drying machines that provide comprehensive performance.”
In recent years, Prachka.com has mastered new forms of work, now we prefer to use the title “express service laundries”. In fact, our company has stopped practicing self-service in its pure form, the share of complex services is steadily growing: now, for example, it offers dry cleaning services by using Lagoon machines from Electrolux Professional. The company switched to the aqua cleaning technology instead of conventional dry cleaning.
David Papaskiri says: “It is interesting to do business in Russia. It’s great to be the first and inspire followers.”