“Urban Company’s professional cleaning category has seen 2x growth since 2021”
A pioneer in the home cleaning service segment, Urban Company created a niche segment, called Professional Cleaning, in the year 2018, thereby enhancing the experience of deep cleaning. The service is currently available in more than 45 cities. The category is a global service differentiator and is becoming one of the largest businesses of the company.
Urban Company is presently planning to continue to drive penetration in the top metros with a focus on expanding in the next set of Tier 2 cities. The professional cleaning category of Urban Company has been growing steadily at 2x rate since the year 2021 and delivering nearly 2 million services in that year with a target of delivering over 3 million services in the year 2022. The category is also expected to grow 3x in the run-up to Diwali and the festive season. Professional cleaning uses specialised chemicals and professional tools to remove stains and is different from regular cleaning.
In conversation with Adgully, Arushi Arora, Vice-President - Cleaning Business at Urban Company, reveals more about this segment, growth in the cleaning category, growth expected during the festive season this year, especially Diwali, and more. ExcerptsL
How is Urban Company home cleaning service segment growing in the Tier 2 markets? What factors have led to this growth?
Professional cleaning is a relatively new concept in India and will continue to grow significantly over the coming years. While consumers in metro cities are the major drivers, Tier 2 is not far behind either. We plan to continue driving penetration in top metros and focus on expanding to the next set of Tier 2 cities.
The cleaning category has been growing steadily at a 2x rate since 2021 by delivering close to 2 million services last year and is poised to grow even further this year. Factors driving this growth include the fact that regular cleaning is not enough and needs to be complemented with professional cleaning using specialised tools and chemicals.
How is Professional Cleaning services a differentiator in the market?
As I said before, Professional Cleaning is very new to the Indian market and we see Urban Company as not just category creators, but also educators in this space.
The service experience and the output derived through Professional Cleaning is the biggest differentiator. What sets us apart is our methodology for stain removal and lasting shine in difficult-to-clean parts of the house, with help of specialised chemicals and equipment.
A regular cleaning exercise fails to remove tough stains caused by oil or grease, or hard water stains in bathrooms or dirt accumulated over time. This is where Professional Cleaning becomes a game changer as it uses professional tools and chemicals to remove tough stains and accumulated dirt and more.
When delivering Professional Cleaning services, Urban Company professionals use industry-grade machines, superior cleaning products, micro-fibres and grout brushes to ensure every nook and corner of your house is spotless.
How has been the demand for this category since its inception?
Demand for Professional Cleaning services has been growing steadily since the inception of the category in 2018. Early adopters of the category were primarily from metro cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai, while Tier 2 cities such as Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Lucknow also saw traction. Currently, nearly 50% of the service deliveries happen in the South, with Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai being critical markets.
This year, the demand is much higher than the last two years as the pandemic fears have eased. In the run up to Ganesh Chaturthi, demand for professional cleaning services rose 2x in a matter of a week. We are expecting a similar growth rate during Diwali too.
What new services is Urban Company’s home cleaning segment offering for the festive season?
Given the nature of our business and training and upskilling required at the time of the launch of a category or specialised service, we try to invest in services that are available through the year instead of special events. Therefore, our portfolio of professional cleaning services remains the same throughout the year:
- Bathroom Cleaning
- Kitchen Cleaning
- Sofa & Carpet Cleaning
- Full Home Cleaning
- Disinfection services
What kind of customer service does Urban Company offer for its home cleaning services?
Our booking mechanism and job delivery continue to be very user friendly – we offer free cancellation and reschedule up to 2 hours before booking time. We also have a cash on delivery option for all users. We have a dedicated on-app helpdesk to address any customer issues or concerns.
How have the last two years of the pandemic been like for Urban Company’s home cleaning services segment?
The pandemic years 2020 and 2021 made everyone extra careful about cleanliness and hygiene. The emphasis on thoroughly cleaned surroundings took a new definition with constant sanitisation and wiping of surfaces. Therefore, I believe, professional cleaning and disinfection services became all the more important for consumers at this point. We have grown steadily over these two years and come out stronger than before.