You just came back from a wicked weekend trip in Dubai. It’s midnight on a Saturday and you suddenly remembered that business meeting at 9 am the next morning. You open up your closet only to find that your favorite suit is nowhere to be found, only to realize that it’s probably sitting pretty at the laundry shop. And, of course, they’re already closed.
Perhaps nobody knows this more than Masbagti app founders and brothers Athbi and Nouri Alenezi. Athbi recounts his horrors of laundry mishaps, “One day, I had to take a sick leave from work because I literally had nothing to wear. Imagine having to say that to your employee, so I called in sick!” Growing up in the UK and having recently moved back to Kuwait, the Alenezi brothers saw an opportunity with every failed phone call, late pick up and vague pricing structures when it came to dealing with many of Kuwait’s laundry shops.
Deciding to come up with a solution, not only as an answer to their laundry woes, but for a plethora of customers and laundry business owners alike, they came up with the smartly named ‘Masbagti’ app. Choosing to denote the Arabized name (Masbaga to Laundry shop), with an ‘i’ that literally means ‘my’, Masbagti brings together customers and laundry shop owners together in one innovative platform. Athbi continues, “Our promise is to find our customers a high-brand laundry service in Kuwait to perform the task at the time you want and at a price point that is agreeable to the client.”
Choosing to revolutionize how this extremely overlooked industry operates, Athbi and Nouri realized that the field lacked technology. Nouri explains, “When we decided to go ahead with the app, it took us time to get the idea across. It’s a huge industry, but it was stagnant.” They realized the problems local laundry owners faced and wanted the app to better serve both owners and end users. “Many laundry shops operate manually and simply, and this allows for many discrepancies between the owners, employees and customers. It was definitely time for a change.”
With Masbagti, both Athbi and Nouri embarked on a learning journey that is reshaping how the industry operates in Kuwait. “Both the laundry owners and customers enjoy complete transparency, where the owners monitor their operations via the app to ensure orders are handled swiftly, or customers agreeing on a final price for their chosen services prior or during the scheduled pick up.”
In using Masbagti, you are typically saving yourself both the time and the effort, and laundry owners can rest assured that receipts are all electronic, ensuring complete transparency throughout the entire process with an added customer rating feature. Athbi sums it up for us, “You can either fill in the clothes you need washed via the app itself, or when the driver shows up for a pick up, a receipt is created on the spot via the app. You can pay with cash or K-net. Simple!” Nouri adds, “With Masbagti, you avoid the hassle of driving to the laundry or waiting for a pickup. We’ve worked it out so that you can have your laundry handled in a matter of seconds!” This June, customers can even select a preferred Laundry shop via the app.
Before laundry owners can get on the Masbagti app, they are firstly vetted by Athbi and Nouri. “We have a strict checklist of requirements that they need to fulfill. If I wouldn’t want a certain shop to handle my personal laundry, why would I force them on our app users? We also do not favor one laundry shop owner over another.”
While the app launched a short while ago, they’re seeing a rapid rise in the number of downloads, and most if not all of Masbagti users are now repeat customers. Athbi says, “It’s not really about the money for us at this point, we all [developers and vendors] have to be in it together, and everyone needs to profit fairly.”
Locally made, from idea to execution, Athbi and Nouri didn’t look far to create the app and rather utilized the experts at Kuwait based web developers Design Master to see the idea develop into fruition. Furthermore, Masbagti is expected to operate in other parts of the Middle East. “Most people outsource because they don’t want their idea to be stolen. People fear local imitation when, actually, people in Kuwait are more than capable of developing great ideas to create a viable competitive environment.” If anything, the Masbagti brothers looked to local like-minded individuals to help them through the entire process. Athbi and Nouri conclude, “We owe a lot to the developers, our close friend Michael Fessy, an awesome team of young lawyers who helped us finalize our vendor contracts. We want people to rise with our success.”