JAKKAPAN Noonpong has drawn on youthful energy and a Bt200,000 bank loan to make good on his plans to revitalise the laundry business he inherited from his parents.
Jakkapan, just 24 and still completing a university degree, owns the Rama 9 Laundry Service shop on Rama 9 Road Soi 13 in Bangkok.
“My parents had been running this laundry service business for 15 years. And over that time the business had its ups and downs,” said Jakkapan, who is studying for bachelor’s degree at Ramkamhaeng University’s Faculty of Business Administration.
“I took over the business from them about four years ago after I graduated from my final year at Surasakmontree School.”
The store was providing laundry services to three-star hotel customers in the Soi Rang Nam, Pratunam and Ratchadapisek areas in Bangkok, he said.
“But at that time the washing machines and dryers we had were quite old,” Jakkapan said.
“That constraint meant we could only serve only five to six customers a day, working out at around items, which was quite low for such a business.
With the washing machines being more than 10 years old, the quality of the service suffered, he said. “That’s when we started to lose some customers, from as many as nine before to only around three to four. Most of them are small hotels.”
“It was a time for us to add new machines machine and find ways to boost our income.”
With the business showing its age and in need of a turnaround, Jakkapan said that he finally secured the Bt200,000 loan from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives two months ago. The loan is guaranteed by the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation.
“With the new machines, we are able to serve higher number of hotel clients,” he said.
Now, Jakkapan said, the laundry shop is serving some eight commercial customers, including a big, 100-room hotel.
“It is my priority to increase the service quality as well as increase our laundry capacity,” said Jakkapan, adding that the machine were a key factor in the enterprise’s reversal of fortunes.
Jakkapan said is on the lookout for more clients, especially in the Pratunam corridor – with its many small hotels and hostels – for the business to take advantage of proximity and offer quick and cost-efficient collection and return of orders.
“It is my dream to expand laundry service to upcountry areas as well as to potential markets in neighbouring countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia to serve small and medium-sized hotels and other accommodation providers over there. I would like to achieve this dream by the time I am 30,” he said.