Geowash is an international brand first established 15 years ago in Argentina. Two entrepreneurs, Mr Alejandro Alperin and Gustavo Ayus, saw an opportunity to wash cars wherever they were parked, including shopping centres, multi-level car parks, hospitals, and universities, without customers having to move their cars from their space. A mobile cart was then developed, which contained every component needed to wash a car, including biodegradable, environmentally friendly line of cleaning products that allowed a car to be washed with less than two litres of water. Sanam Ali secured the Australasian rights to the business in 2010, and after running a pilot site herself to adapt the business methods to the Australian market, Geowash commenced franchising in 2011. Within 3 years, the young Australian brand sold 8 franchises, and in 2014, the Geowash Car Wash and Café model was first unveiled. The company has since sold 17 franchises, taking pride in its position as the country’s fastest growing car wash and detailing café.
A wide range of car wash and detailing services are available at Geowash, from basic exterior car washing services to a complete detailing service, as well as a paint protection treatment. “We provide it all when it comes to car wash,” Sanam says. “Our fundamental goal is to place ourselves as a professional car wash service provider, while our customers actually have a nice relaxing area to have a cup of coffee, and take a moment while the work is carried out.”
The Geowash franchise offering is designed to allow prospective business owners to become part of a global brand. Franchisees have their own Geowash site from which they are able to build a cash flow, in addition to a successful business with a significant capital gain. “The Geowash opportunity includes assistance with site procurement, negotiation of lease, architectural design, development application, town planning, construction, and fit-out,” says Ms Ali. “We take care of the entire management process from selection to the opening of the location, as well as franchisee training and support.”
One of Geowash’s many points of difference is the company’s shouldering of the entire franchisee setup process, a practice uncommon amongst other businesses within the market. “When new business owners actually get into buying a business, they may not necessarily have the required acumen as well, particularly in areas of establishing a car wash and detailing business,” Sanam explains. “Our buyers get a head start, and they’re provided with the valuable business knowledge that they need.” As well, from a brand perspective, the company seeks to identify itself as a professional business, where customers enter a neat, clean café, and deal with employees with customer service skills. “That’s a defining factor for us;” Sanam says, “we have people who are professional, and know what they’re talking about.”
Internationally, Geowash has been well received as a brand, with the owner of Geowash UE being awarded the Arabian Business Achievement Award in 2010. The company is a member of the International Detailing Association, and, locally, of the Franchise Council of Australia. Geowash is also an active member of the community, contributing towards organisations such the Think Pink Foundation of Australia and the Australian Federal Police Association.
Sanam emphasises the importance of relationships with employees and franchise owners within the industry. “It is the core of any business to have a solid, established relationship with suppliers, employees, franchise owners, and other brands,” she says. “Having those valuable relationships actually builds trust; it gives credibility, and it also encourages the sharing of ideas, and promotes networking amongst the franchisees,” Ms Ali also notes that such close ties help to set industry standards as well, and aid in the exchange of ideas within the franchising world.
Looking to the future, Sanam warns that any changes made by the government impacting the buying power of future franchise owners will impact the franchising industry overall. “Franchising is the fuel for expansion for any brand owner like myself,” she says. “It will impact not the hand car wash and detailing industry, but all other industries as well.” As well, Ms Ali points out that while any changes made by the government pertaining to the consumption of water will have a direct impact on many members of the car wash and detailing industry, Geowash would remain largely unfazed due to its environmentally friendly practices.
Sanam Ali’s personal objective for Geowash is to bring the brand to a level where 30 new stores are opened every year within Australia and New Zealand. “I want to learn as much as I can about the profession, in order to value all of the relationships that I am forging on a daily basis with the people that I am meeting within the industry,” she says. Having quickly shifted from her early career as a chartered professional accountant to the Owner and CEO of the Geowash brand within Australia, Sanam agrees that her personal journey has been an interesting one. “It has been a journey that has shaped me into who I am as a woman today.”