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Are Indians spending too much on laundry?

delhi Updated: May 16, 2012 10:37 IST

It may not be laundering the way the taxman would salivate to read about increasing number of Indians are spending money on laundry but thanks to the hectic city life and efficient services offered by chains that are opening shops.

Laundry services across the country are becoming popular with working people and bachelors.

'Four Seasons,' a dry cleaning company in the capital says it continues to make profits despite charging high rates for its services.

Rates for shirts range between Rs 60 and Rs 80, trousers are charged Rs 110 per pair and charges for dry-cleaning one panel of curtain costs Rs 160.

"Many people come to our shop for laundry and dry cleaning and most of them are working couples. We also have home delivery facilities at nominal rates," says a staff member.

Market Research company A C Nielson pegs the country's dry-cleaning and laundry industry approximately between Rs 3,000 and Rs 3,500 crores.

The latest to open a chain in the capital is 'Wardrobe,' a chain in collaboration between Australian dry-cleaning and laundry major Brown Gouge and Delhi-based Diamond Fabcare.

According to B L Bajaj, Director of Wardrobe, the daily demand for laundry is expected to rise at 20-25 per cent annually.

Laundry care in India, he says has grown 8 per cent in current value terms in 2007 to reach Rs 84 billion.

While laundry services make life easy for people it also bring profits not only to dry cleaners but also to local dhobis. Usually people living in residential areas fix dhobis to wash their cloths and pay them a monthly fee.

Another popular company Bee Kay Dyers and Dry Cleaners say that people nowadays are spending on laundry and dry cleaning happily and without remorse. "We get many sufficient orders from customers for dry cleaning and laundry. There is not a single day when we do not get customers," says a staff member.

"Both my husband and I are working and I cannot spend my time washing clothes after office so I don't mind paying money to dhobi or laundry as it is big relief for me and my family," says Divya Nair, an executive.

Similarly, Mayank Dohare, an engineer feels that it is satisfying to avail of laundry services.

"I am a bachelor, and I find it very difficult if my dhobi doesnt come to wash my cloths even a single day. Nowadays laundry is like a lifeline not only for bachelors but others too," says Dohare.

Raju, a local dhobi in Sarita Vihar is very happy because his dhobi business is flourishing by each passing day. "When I began the dhobi business in Sarita Vihar, I never expected that it would be profitable but now people from all blocks give me clothes to wash and it leads to good amount of profit," he says.

Sushma Mehra, a housewife and mother of two children says she cannot imagine a life without a dhobi. "Everyday I have bundles of cloths for washing, and I am relieved that dhobi services are available in India. Money is not a criteria, and I really dont mind paying but services should be good. Dhobi services are big relief for everyone especially for housewives."