The owners of the network decided to expand and asked for help from the “Qoldaý” entrepreneurship сenter and the Damu foundation. Thanks to the concessional financing received, it is planned to launch 5 more Ehrle car washes at the beginning of next year.
“We applied through the bank to the Damu fund to receive funds for business expansion. This line was approved two months ago. It was expected that the loan processing process would take up to 3-5 months, but in fact the term was much shorter. In other words, we could theoretically meet even a month, but we just needed time to find suitable sites, ” says Madi Kazhigaliev, the company’s Director. – We invest about 170-200 thousand dollars in one car wash. The state has taken over funding of up to 70% of the total amount. The total investment in our entire network has already reached over $ 1 million. According to our expectations, it will take about six months to recruit customers and reach full capacity, that is, up to 10 thousand customers per car wash per month. In the coming year, we plan to increase the number of our car washes to 20, also using state support tools through the Damu fund.
“In addition to the Damu foundation, we also applied to the “Qoldaý” center, which provided us with high-quality, operational consulting. Like many entrepreneurs, we had more questions about infrastructure, permits, the possibility of using the land for our purposes, land relations, and connecting communications,” – says M. Kazhigaliev. – This was surprising, because in general, people are skeptical about the quality of public services and the work of civil servants. We went with “Qoldaý” specialists to look at a large number of sites, selecting the best options in terms of location, communication, and rental costs. We needed expertise, which in most cases costs a lot of money, but here it was provided to us without payment, they did an analysis, and went with us to state organizations. With the help of “Qoldaý” experts, we selected a number of sites in Almaty. We are satisfied with the rate on the Damu loan, taking into account subsidies, and we have seen that the state really fulfills what it declares. We received the first tranche on time, without delay.”
The company plans to build the best network of car washes in Kazakhstan, up to 100 self-service car washes, providing the best equipment and the best eco-chemicals. According to M. Kazhigaliev, in Europe up to 95% of car washes are self – service car washes, in Russia their share will soon grow to 20%, in Kazakhstan this level is still above 3%, and this indicator is growing every year, but the potential for development is still quite wide.
“We have been looking for a partner for a long time, including in Russia and China. As a result, we managed to find a German company “Ehrle”, which has been engaged in this business since 1929 and today occupies a leading position in the European market, – says M. Kazhigaliev. – This is a major brand that cooperates with global companies, including “Shell”, “Lukoil” gas stations. After negotiations, we became partners of this company throughout Kazakhstan and Central Asia. We started building our own car washes completely using their cascade water treatment technology, but all the building materials are from Kazakhstan. We only bring equipment and chemicals from Europe. When deciding to build such eco-car washes, we took into account the fact that the state now pays great attention to improving the state of the environment in the country, so we chose equipment and chemicals that are least harmful from the point of view of the environment.”
According to the company, the water purification system in the eco-car wash “Ehrle” allows you to issue it for washing clean by 99.9%, without leaving streaks. In winter, heating is provided through underfloor heating, so there is no ice left. In order to save water, the antifrost system is used, which requires water circulation in a confined space. That is, there is a saving of water, in winter it is served warmed up. This distinguishes these eco-car washes from most other competitors. “For example, a classic car wash spends up to 80 liters of water on washing one car, while our eco-car wash spends 3 times less, i.e. an average of 20-25 liters. In addition, at a regular car wash, the process takes an average of 30 minutes, but here the visitor copes in just 5 minutes, which saves not only time, but also money – literally 3-5 times, – explains Madi Kazhigaliev. – The cost of our services is the same as in the market, on average from 300-500 tenge, depending on the time of washing. As a result, we have already reached productive capacity at our first two car washes. We also created 10 jobs. Then we realized that we can develop further, leaving the market prices and winning due to the high quality of the service. Of course, in order to achieve our big goals, we will also need the help of the state, since, for example, during the lockdown period, business sank, and we were closed for a certain period by the decree of the sanvrachs. We hope that the situation will stabilize and we will increase our productivity. We think that over time our people will get used to high quality, but this requires a large network of such car washes.”