January 19, 2021
Always have a vision, and never evaluate yourself against others.
Yashwant Suthar is the founder of Lootel, a startup promoting the idea of smart toilet cafes that are commercial as well as self-sustainable.
Yashwant is an Udaipurite who is currently residing in Indore.
Recalling his childhood, Yashwant says that he has a fond memory from his childhood, where after his exam he went to collect mangoes from the trees with his brother and sister. On their way back, he got scratched by a car while walking back home. So, his siblings took all his mangoes home and informed their family about the accident, which was kind of funny.
Yashwant shares that he is a mechanical designer with seven-plus years of experience in OEM. Initially, Yashwant used to work as an automobile designer with various companies. He completed his master’s in design at IIT Delhi, one of the most reputed colleges. But there was a different vision in his mind. Yashwant says he always wanted to do something out of the box, but he never dreamed he would be getting into the field of sanitization. In whatever field he went into, he was always supported by his family, which kept him motivated.
Sharing about his startup, Yashwant says that the idea came to his mind when he was once traveling with his wife and she couldn’t find a suitable washroom. He started Lootel with a basic concept in mind: to improve the operations and management of the existing Indian sanitary systems. He further explains that Lootel (the loo of a hotel) is a smart toilet cafe that provides premium unisex washroom services on a commercial basis. Lootel cafe works on the ‘Pay, Use, and Redeem’ concept, where the user needs to pay for washroom usage, and the user can then redeem the washroom coupon at Lootel cafe on their food and beverage bill. Lootel Cafe provides a complete, self-sustaining solution for public restrooms.
Yashwant says that when he first started working on toilets, he realized that the problem was not in the infrastructure of the toilets in India but in their operations and management. He says you can wear a t-shirt for ten days, but you cannot use the same toilet without caring to clean it. Toilets require intensive care, and that is what he aims for.
Talking about his challenges, Yashwant says that because of the COVID-19 situation, he experienced a huge setback because there was no business for two quarters of the year. There was no revenue generation, and being a bootstrap startup with no funding, it was difficult for him and his team to manage, but he says he learned a lot from it. He says it completely changed the pivot point of his thinking, and he got a chance to reconcile everything. His company was also working on a new technology that got delayed due to the pandemic.
When asked about his role models, Yashwant says every person is a role model for him because everyone is good at something or other. He gets to learn something new from everyone. He says that earlier he used to have a seven- to eight-hour job, but now he is always occupied. He cannot see his family for months, and yet he receives immense support from them. He says he is nothing without the support of his family because his choices in life have always been weird, and he has always been backed up by his family.
Yashwant’s success mantra in life has been to keep going. He says it’s important to learn from your failures, keep yourself updated, and keep doing things again and again until you succeed.
For youngsters, Yashwant says it is important to have a vision and a goal in life, and rest assured, everything will follow. There should be a learning cycle in life. He believes today’s generation is too busy running behind money, but instead, they should run for a target in life, and when they reach it, they will automatically find money as a by-product.
When free, Yashwant and his wife go on solo rides. He loves to read books and watch web series in his spare time.
If he could go back in time, Yashwant would want to start his venture a bit earlier.