Muscat: Identifying a unique business opportunity, 25-year-old Omani Dawood Al Mashari has set up the country’s first mobile car wash service in the capital Muscat.
Gulf News sat down with Al Mashari to know more about his business venture and his plans for the future.
Despite graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering from a private college in Muscat last year, Al Mashari said he felt he had to find a job he was passionate about.
“I didn’t want a public sector job. I worked briefly in the real estate sector and even as part-time driver for a friend of mine to earn some money,” he said. But things didn’t work out as I was occupied for more than 12 hours per day,” he said.
“Sometimes I worked more than 12 hours per day and although it was a challenging time, I knew that with strong will and determination I could achieve anything,” he added.
One day, he came up with his business idea after noticing the number of car wash businesses mushrooming in Muscat. He started researching his idea of launching a mobile car wash and, in January, he launched his first operation in the Amerat province of the Muscat governorate.
“Many people think that they need a huge sum of money to start a business. But, if you start out simple, you don’t need lots of money,” he said.
Al Mashari spent around 5,000 riyals (Dh47,500), that he had saved doing part-time jobs, to buy the bus, steam pressure washer and other items required to get his business running.
“When I get started the business, getting customers was difficult because I could not afford to advertise much,” he said.
Later, he put together a promotional video at the advice of his friend.
Much to Al Mashari’s surprise, the one-minute video went viral on social media platforms.
“Today I receive at least ten calls from customers seeking my services,” he said proudly.
To accommodate the growing demand, Al Mashari hired two of his relatives to help him out. He charges 2 riyals for washing sedans and 3.5 riyals for sports utility vehicles (SUVs).
He provides additional services such as steam washing for the interior and polishing of the dashboard and tyres.
His service has challenged traditional car wash businesses in Muscat who charge 2.5 riyals for sedans and 4 riyals for SUVs as he offers the added convenience of catering to customers at their homes.
In a month, he can make up to 600 Omani riyals—not bad for a start up business given that the average middle class family earns 2,000 riyals a month.Nasser Al Beloushi, one of his regular clients, told Gulf News he first tried Al Mashari’s services to avoid the packed car washes on the weekend.
Al Mashari hopes to expand his business soon and branch out in all Muscat governorates.