APPKAR is an innovative business in Iran that addresses the large amount of water consumption for washing cars, especially in large cities. The water crisis is one of the very important issues in Iran and so many other countries. The founder of APPKAR coined an initiative to lower water consumption in the carwash industry and at the same time, she decided to work on an idea for a better quality of service and more convenience in the carwash sector.
TIAS School for Business and Society
“We use an eco-friendly chemical nanomaterial for washing the cars without even one drop of water”, the founder explained. This Nano cleanser can clean all greasy stains and dirt easily and effectively. Also, they set up an on-line platform by which customers can set the date and time for carwash service in their places. Hence they do not need to go to a carwash service center and in turn, fuel is saved and it can positively affect air pollution in crowded and polluted areas.
Back in 2017, Farzaneh (founder) worked at a company as a junior engineer. She had studied industrial engineering and afterward continued her studies in trade management. “I worked very hard and so much so that I even did not have enough time to take my car to the carwash. I always thought about finding a solution to clean my car without spending a lot of time going to the carwash service center”, she mentioned. In large and crowded cities like where Farzaneh lives, going to the carwash service center and coming back takes about 2 hours. In addition to a waste of time, fuel consumption and polluting the air are two other important factors she thought about. Another important concern for her was the large amount of water wasted for washing a car. She investigated about water consumption in carwash service centers and realized that about 200 liters of water are consumed for washing one car in traditional carwash centers. This amount decreases to 20 litters for modern and automatic carwash centers.
After days of thinking and conferring with some of her colleagues, she came up with a good idea to combine the “Nano cleaning system” with an “in-place carwash service”. She set up an on-line platform so customers can request a carwash service in their place (office, house, or wherever they would like) and set a date and time for the service. The employees of APPKAR go to the customers’ place and provide the cleaning service without consuming even one drop of water. In addition to the elimination of water, this solution saves time and fuel for the customers and brings convenience and customized service for them. It really helps to reduce air pollution, as well.
The solution provided by Farzaneh has a great impact on the environment. In brief, we can summarize the impact of this business as following:
- A decrease in water consumption and better water resource management
- Decreasing the air pollution by reducing the mileage by customers
- Less fuel consumption and saving in fuel resources
- Time-saving for customers
- A step toward a more comfortable and convenient lifestyle (a better life)
In this innovative business model, revenue is created by charging the customers for service. Also, customers can register in the portal and pay a subscription fee to have regular washing service at a discounted price (providing a discount for prepayment or membership). Now, they have about 10 direct employees just for administrative affairs, but most of their workers are not full-time employees and they are paid based on their services (the number of cars washed by them). In this case, in addition to cleansing material, all instructions and procedures are provided by the company. Now, more than 30 cleaning workers are providing carwash services to the customers of APPKAR.
“We are going to add an advertisement section to our on-line platform (portal) in the future to create a new revenue stream for our business”, Farzaneh said. They are working on several innovative and money-making ideas as well.
In addition to several important impacts of the business which were mentioned in previous sections, creating job opportunities for low literate and low-skilled workers and building the culture of water resource management are peripheral social, environmental, and cultural benefits of this business. Also, Farzaneh, as one of the millions of educated Iranian women, proved that education is not only a way of success, but they have to nurture innovative and critical thinking as well.
Farzaneh Lotfi, Founder
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Business Website: www.appcar.ir
Year Founded: 2017
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
About three years ago, APPCAR as an innovative solution was created by a young visionary and creative girl in Iran. She found a solution to provide carwash services without consumption of water and totally customized in terms of place and quality. In fact, they have been able to make a profit and have a great environmental impact at the same time.