From suds to success: A laundry businesswoman’s journey


Sim (right) with MyDobi managing director Hong Heng How, at the company’s head office in Bandar Baru Permyjaya.

MIRI (Feb 3): In the bustling world of entrepreneurship, Sheila Sim has emerged as a shining example of success, carving out a niche in an industry that is often overlooked – the self-service laundry operation.

Her journey began with a simple realisation, which was the need for a convenient and efficient solution. Before diving headfirst into the business, she noticed that there was a great demand for laundry services and at the time, the available outlets were not enough to accommodate the needs and requirements of the local household as well as commercial establishments such as hotels.

Recognising this, and also the hectic lifestyles of the urban dwellers, she envisioned a chain of self-service laundry outlets that would provide a hassle-free and time-saving alternative to the traditional service.

Thus, MyDobi was born, with the first outlet opened in December 2015 at Bandar Baru PermyJaya.

Today, there are a total of 80 MyDobi outlets across Sarawak, Sabah, Penisular Malaysia, Brunei and even the Philippines.

As founder and CEO of MyDobi, Sim had strategically invested in state-of-the-art laundry equipment and technology to ensure efficiency and customer’s satisfaction.

Her self-service outlets are equipped with high-capacity washers and dryers, using user-friendly payment systems, and providing a clean, inviting ambiance – all contributing to a seamless customer experience.

Photo shows the first MyDobi outlet, at Bandar Baru PermyJaya in Miri.

“We came up with the name ‘MyDobi’ because it invokes a sense of belonging like going to my laundry.

“Moreover ‘My’ also represents Malaysia,” she said.

Within several years, her customers grew as more outlets throughout Sarawak and Sabah were opened. Customers also included people living in small towns as well as university students.

The use of sanitisers along with detergents resonated well with hygiene-conscious consumers.

To stay ahead of the curve, Sim embraced technology to enhance customer convenience. Mobile apps were developed to allow customers to make payments via their smartphones.

The first mobile app ‘MyDobi Connect’ was launched in January 2020 just before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

Just recently, the ‘Hiro’ app was introduced.

In seeing soaring customer’s satisfaction and the rise in demand for convenient laundry solutions, Sim seized the opportunity to expand the business.

Opening new outlets in densely-populated areas and small towns, MyDobi laundry chain quickly grew into a recognisable brand synonymous with efficiency and reliability.

Like any successful entrepreneur, Sim did face challenges along the way, like during the first Movement Control Order (MCO) in March 2020 where the laundry outlets were ordered to close as the government, at that time, did not recognise laundry as being among the ‘essential services’.

Today, there are a total of 80 MyDobi outlets across Sarawak, Sabah, Penisular Malaysia, Brunei and even the Philippines.

However, this did not dampen her spirit. With the introduction of a convenient cashless payment system via mobile app, the number of outlets had not only increased, but also contributed to the economic growth of the communities where they were set up.

Today, Sim stands as a beacon of success in the self-service laundry industry. Looking ahead, her vision remains clear – to expand the number of outlets to 100 by the end of this year.

MyDobi currently has a team of professional staff who oversee operational maintenance, marketing and app development to ensure that the business would continue expand, and set new standards in the laundry industry.

The company now invites aspiring entrepreneurs to this lucrative business as one would only need to come up with a certain capital to own and operate one’s own laundry outlet.

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