Co-founder Kenneth Tan advises entrepreneurs to go for a culture that is receptive to mistakes
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Many new parents find it highly inconvenient to clean their babies’ prams and strollers.
Soiling, stains, and spills on a baby stroller or infant car seat not attended to can create breeding grounds for mould, germs, and bacteria over time and threaten the immune system of a child. Food remnants can also get stuck in hard-to-reach areas. The rapid growth of bacteria creates an unhealthy environment for new-borns and toddlers.
A young Singaporean couple discovered a gap in the market — there was no service that specialises in the cleaning of baby equipment — after speaking to many frustrated parents who echoed the same thoughts and sentiments.
After months of planning, Kenneth and Shixian Tan launched Singapore’s first ever stroller cleaning service PramWash in September 2016.
“We found out from many new parents that they found it difficult to thoroughly get rid of all these stubborn stains that have accumulated over time. They are mostly busy, working adults,” says founder Kenneth, who divides his time between PramWash and his day job in DBS Bank.
“We wanted to provide a quick solution for them,” added Kenneth.
Their signature cleaning method does not involve throwing the car seat into a washing machine as that would damage it. Bleach is a definite no-no for cleaning an infant seat because you will dramatically reduce the integrity of the material and any foam inserts stitched into the fabric.
It all boils down to good, old scrubbing and the use of water.
You may not think much of this laborious method but this effectively removes most, if not all, of the stubborn stains.
The service starts at $60 for stroller cleaning, which is a mere fraction of a $700 stroller. They do cleaning for baby carriers and carrycots as well, starting at $25 and $40 per wash, respectively.
PramWash employs housewives part-time for their meticulous cleaning standards and commitment towards the optimum health of their loved ones. The home-grown startup has since relocated to a larger space at Sunview Road to accommodate their growing customer base.
The startup, which celebrates its one-year anniversary, commits towards its mission of providing high-quality and professional cleaning services of prams and other baby equipment so parents can have a peace of mind and more time to enjoy the precious growing up moments of their little ones.
However, it has not always been a bed of roses in the couple’s entrepreneurial journey.
There were people around them who were sceptical about the business idea and did not support their endeavour. Though it was disheartening, Kenneth and Shixian did not let themselves be deterred from their mission towards bringing joy to children.
It turned out to be a rewarding move as the business was well received from parents alike.
To date, customers have nothing but praise for the service and have given their experience 5/5 in both PramWash’s Facebook and Google reviews.
Throughout the journey, Kenneth revealed that it has not been an easy expedition. After welcoming a baby recently into the family, Kenneth juggles multiple roles as a father, bank executive & entrepreneur. Having some personal time seems almost a luxury now. However, he makes it a point to head home at the end of his day at work to spend time with his son before he heads out for his evening appointments.
He has a few words for budding entrepreneurs: “Create a culture that is receptive to mistakes. An open culture with an emphasis on teamwork and knowledge sharing encourages staff to flag any problems quickly and resolve them together timely. This saves time and ensure customers receive prompt service.”
“PramWash prides itself on customer satisfaction. We will continue to work tirelessly towards delivering customer satisfaction and happiness to parents and children,” Kenneth concludes.
PramWash aims to set up operations in Jakarta by end of the year as its first overseas venture.
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