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Polished profits

The desire to be an entrepreneur prompted Raghav Gupta, 23, to start Mr. Car Bath, a cleaning service for vehicles in Mumbai.

Raghav and Anisha Gupta
Raghav and Anisha Gupta

The desire to be an entrepreneur prompted Raghav Gupta, 23, to start Mr. Car Bath, a cleaning service for vehicles in Mumbai.

Q. How did you hit upon the idea of Mr. Car Bath?
A. After completing my graduation, I picked up a job with KPMG in June 2007. Within a few days, I realised that I wanted to start my own business and began exploring avenues, including a coffee cafe. However, the idea of a car cleaning service appealed the most to me and I quit my job in November 2007 to pursue it.

Q. When did you set it up?
A. It took me a few months to get everything in place—marketing, stocks and employees. I finally launched it in June 2008.

Q. How much did you invest?
A. Initially, a friend of mine, Rishit Shah, decided to be a partner, and we put in Rs 2 lakh each. Also, he had an office space at Tardeo, so we saved on paying rent.

Q. What were the major challenges that you faced?
A. A month after we started, Shah decided to part ways. It was a difficult time for me even though he let me keep the office space. Six months ago, we shifted to new premises at Bandra. Also, I did not have any previous business experience, so there were a lot of hits and misses.

Q. What are the charges for the services you provide?
A. We are a doorstep service provider and charge Rs 700 onwards for a car wash, and above Rs 1,600 for polishing. We also provide innovative services like herbal pest control and interior polishing.

Q. How has the response been?
A. We have washed more than 1,000 cars till now. I’m hoping to have a turnover of Rs 25 lakh this year.

Q. What is your staff strength?
A. I have 11 employees. My sister, Anisha, has also joined the business since January this year.

Q. What’s in the pipeline?
A. We are planning customised packages for corporate clients and would also like to expand to other cities via franchisees.