From US to Prayagraj: This techie listened to his heart, now living his dream

By, Prayagraj
Sep 25, 2023 01:16 AM IST

Manish Shukla, a former software engineer, quit his job in the US to start a laundry startup in Prayagraj. His company, Washing24, now operates in five cities and has a significant annual turnover. Despite facing criticism for his unconventional choice, Manish persisted and achieved success. He credits Vibha Mishra, Chairperson of Skill Development Program, MSME, for her support during his initial struggle.

Manish Shukla, 30, quit a plum job of a software engineer in US to set up a startup in Prayagraj some eight years back. Now, the laundry business of this truck driver’s son, has spread to five cities of Uttar Pradesh and the company’s annual turnover is quite impressive.

Manish Shukla at his Naini-based plant in Prayagraj (HT photo)
Manish Shukla at his Naini-based plant in Prayagraj (HT photo)

Manish, a resident of Dagwa Jari of Bara area located in trans-Yamuna region of Prayagraj, often faced flak from his relatives due to his unconventional choice of business. However, he believed in himself, persisted and ultimately tasted success.

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Manish’s father Ravi Shankar Shukla drove a truck to meet the expenses of his son’s education. The college management too provided some financial support. After completing his B Tech from a private engineering college in 2012, Manish got the job of a software engineer in US.

But he soon realised that this job wasn’t giving him satisfaction.

“So, after working abroad for three years, I returned to Prayagraj in 2015 and started a laundry startup named ‘Washing24’—offering convenient online based laundry services for homes, apartment buildings, offices and other locations,” he said.

“My grandfather Chandram Prasad Shukla also had a dream that I would start my own business one day,” he shared.

He slowly built up his business, roping in private hospitals and educational institutions too. “During Covid outbreak, I got the opportunity to work with hospitals on a large scale and recently I bagged big tender from railways too,” he added.

Today, apart from Prayagraj, Manish’s laundry operates from Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Mirzapur too. He has set up a plant in Naini area of Prayagraj and he is now employing 500 people in five cities. His elder brother Arun has also joined him in looking after the business.

Chairperson of Skill Development Program, MSME Vibha Mishra, whom Manish credits for her support during his initial struggle period, said, “When Manish came to me years ago, I spotted the resolve in him and tried to provide every kind of support from my level. Today I feel happy seeing him taste success.”


    K Sandeep Kumar is a Special Correspondent of Hindustan Times heading the Allahabad Bureau. He has spent over 16 years reporting extensively in Uttar Pradesh, especially Allahabad and Lucknow. He covers politics, science and technology, higher education, medical and health and defence matters. He also writes on development issues.

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