Khushbu Agrawal, a proficient industry leader and Director at Diva Laundry, and CEO of Laundry Box brings expertise to the table. Her profound passion for managing and running a business led to the advent of Diva Laundry. Khushbu Agrawal has established herself as an adept professional by associating with some of the leading companies in this industry. In this insightful interview, we delve deeper into Khushbu’s vision and perspectives gained from her journey in this field over the years.
Observing the huge potential in the Dry Cleaning and Laundry business in Dubai and applying knowledge to meet the same, reflects Khushbu Agrawal’s expertise and profound understanding of market trends. Join us as Khushbu Agrawal shares her insights that are visionary, process-oriented, and people-centric.
Could you share the narrative of your career path, focusing on significant experiences or turning points that influenced your direction?
I started my career in the Oil and Gas industry in the UAE. I always had a passion and a calling to run a business. While the premium Dry Cleaning and Laundry business showed potential in Dubai around 12 years back. My husband and I took our chances to enter the industry. From then on, it has been a great learning experience for me. I have added manyfold to my knowledge and understanding of market dynamics, customer satisfaction, and employee management. Every day is a new challenge with exciting opportunities. I believe strongly in running a process-oriented setup. It goes a long way to make it sustainable and successful.
The turning point that influenced my direction was managing business, costs, and revenues during COVID-19. However, challenging it was, it forced us to get a fresh perspective on our business model.
What factors influenced your choice to delve into this industry?
Just the sheer thrill and excitement of providing excellent retail service to customers was good enough a reason for me to select the laundry and Dry Cleaning industry.
How do you stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in your field?
I keep in contact with my laundry partners and other laundry owners to discuss new trends and how the market is changing and evolving. Also, we keep a close watch and monitor activities and strategies for not just laundry and dry cleaning but also for other related retail industries.
What strategies do you employ to motivate and lead your team effectively?
We keep all communication channels very open with our team at all points. We make sure their concerns and queries are addressed and resolved effectively and quickly. We encourage our first and second-line supervisors to provide regular feedback on staff performance based on clearly defined KPIs. High performers are rewarded accordingly. We then also devise training schedules and plans to improve the performance of low-performers.
Can you describe a challenging situation in your career and how you navigated it?
For us, COVID was the most challenging situation as managing costs and still ensuring that customer experience is not affected. It was a great learning experience as it taught us how to manage business effectively with limited resources a hand. It pushed us to dive deeper into ensuring better quality and attention to detail. Eventually, this helped us in the form of better sales and revenues when the market opened up after COVID-19 and customers appreciated our efforts.
How has your firm pivoted or adjusted in light of the digital age and technological leaps?
We implement technical upgrades from time to time to reduce operational costs and bring efficiency. Bar code scanning, tracking items’ journey end to end through technological intervention, and reducing error rates of laundry service, like damages, mix-ups, etc., are something that we have already managed to achieve. Our overall error rate for laundry services is less than .02 % which is fantastic. Our laundry App is very user-friendly.
Customers can place orders very easily, select types of services, and preferred time slots for delivery and pick-ups, and even set their personal laundry preferences.
What are your thoughts on networking and building professional relationships?
This is very important for the growth of business and market knowledge. It is a great support for each other at times of difficulties and crisis. We make sure that we maintain good relations with our competitors as well and we all support each other when required. Working in collaboration with each other makes the journey very smooth and easy for all.
How do you assess the emphasis on green initiatives and corporate ethics in the prevailing business milieu of the Gulf?
We are in the market not just to build a profitable and thriving business but also a sustainable business that follows environment-friendly practices. We use cleaning agents from EcoLab and Beufa who are world leaders in eco-friendly laundry supplies. If you visit our plant, you will find the most modern laundry equipment and machinery which help with power and water saving. Our supervisors follow clear SOPs to check and keep waste within reasonable limits.
Looking back, is there something you’d do differently in your career?
It has been an amazing journey of learning, failures as well and success for me so I have no regrets at this point and I am grateful for what I have achieved. I took the right opportunity at the right time, so I don’t believe I would have done anything differently.
Connect with Khushbu Agrawal on LinkedIn.