Home Human Asia Bond Thaiyanurak – Southeast Asia’s Laundromat

Bond Thaiyanurak – Southeast Asia’s Laundromat

Bond Thaiyanurak is the founder of WashBox24, a 24-hour laundry locker and delivery app.

Human Asia caught up with Bond to understand more about the business.

What led you to start Washbox24? Was there a pain point in society you were trying to solve?

Bond: When I was working for a corporation, I often worked long hours and there was just no time to do my laundry. My observation showed that there was no laundry that opens 24 hours. On top of that, traditional laundry services often lose items that we’re not even aware of until we need it.

What is unique about Washbox24 and your payment system?

Bond: Founded in May 2013, WashBox24 is the world’s first 24/7 laundry locker and delivery app. It’s as easy as sign up, drop off, notify, and pick up. Our locker, app, and payment solution will take care of the rest! We solve two problems – the inconvenient hours and locations of traditional laundry stores,  and the lack of transparency and trackability. This has plagued the laundry industry for decades.

Who are your typical customers and how do you reach out to them?

Bond: Whilst laundry and dry cleaning services are ubiquitous, we have clearly positioned WashBox24 to serve people who live and work in big cities along the mass transit line – subways, main roads, etc. Many of these people are 22-45 years old salary workers and urban families in the B and above SES (Social Economic Status). Our customers mostly live in high-rise condominiums, hang out in happening places, and basically hate doing their own laundry! So we place our lockers mostly in residential buildings, offices, and community centers to make our lockers accessible whenever our customers need them.

Tell us more about your business and revenue model.

Bond: The business model comprises of revenue from laundry and dry cleaning services with use of electronic lockers as a drop-off and pick-up kiosk. We also offer on-demand laundry delivery to homes and offices via a smart phone app. Since 2015, we have leveraged the locker networks to include additional services namely: MoveBox24 (Parcel Delivery), ShopBox24 (Convenient Shopping), DropBox24 (Package Deposit), PayBox24 (Bill Payment Kiosk), and AdBox24 (Ad Placement) –  all utilizing the same e-locker infrastructure. Since 2016, the company has re-branded itself to “Box24”.

You won the Seedstars Bangkok award in Seedstars World 2014. What has this done for your business?

Bond: Seedstars World was a great platform for us to showcase our technology and innovation to the world. We have come a long way from being a laundry only operators to a full-suite logistics provider focusing on locker technology and system integration. Focusing on home-grown technology and strategic partnership is really the two key drivers behind us maintaining our number one position.

Read also : Florian Hidayat – Strumming the Chords of Passion

What is the big picture plan for Box24 ?

Bond: Since we already operate 150 locker locations in Thailand (100), Singapore (20), and Malaysia (30), our short term focus is to strengthen our position in these three immediate markets. The longer term vision is to grow our network across Asia Pacific to really bolster our position as the number one locker company in Asia.

Bond, please tell us a little about yourself, your background, and what made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Bond: I was born in Bangkok and have lived in the US and the UK for both work and study. I started my career as a financial analyst for KPMG, had a spell in retail with Tesco, and ended my corporate life at Ipsos specializing in customer experience management. Corporate life was great but was never fulfilling, and I was lucky enough to find a business idea and fortunate enough to be able to turn that into real business. On a personal note, I enjoy sports a lot, I play soccer almost every weekend and I used to be DJ at a club since I am fond of hiphop music.

What is the main difference between working for others and working for yourself?

Bond: I guess the biggest difference is the level of freedom and self autonomy. Obviously with greater freedom comes greater responsibility, especially if you have invested your life savings into the venture. The goal of Box24 is not only to make a big business out of smart lockers, but also to realize our employee’s potentials and make sure they are excited to be part of the big vision as well. Nothing pleases me more than when we are winning and every team member feels that we are winning it “together”.

As an entrepreneur, how do you view risk?

Bond: I think risk is part of life. Risk doe not exist in isolation. It always comes with context. Context can only be understood and evaluated objectively with knowledge and experience. As long as the risk is taken in context, it is worth taking.

What is the hardest part about starting up a new business in Thailand?

Bond: It’s always tough starting business anywhere if you really want to be successful. Thailand is not going to be Silicon Valley, so we need to understand the market nuances in each local market we operate in.

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Bond:It pays to study risk carefully. But taking no risk is not going to make anything happen. Learn fast, fail fast, and keep hustling!

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Visit WashBox24 at https://www.washbox24.com/web/index.php

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