Adrian Ciucur – The banker who turned his back on powerpoints in La Defense to launch a “hands on” business

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Forty-one-year-old Adrian Ciucur, originally from Sibiu Romania, launched JoIntheCity in 2013 with the ambition of innovating the dry cleaning industry by migrating the service online to provide clients with premium cleaning quality and effortless service. Today JoIntheCity is available throughout Paris and the suburbs and has processed over 13,000 orders.

Why launch a dry cleaning business in Paris?
I’ve experienced first-hand the frustrations of dry cleaning in this city. Firstly the prices in Paris are astronomically high compared to other capitals, the speed of service is too slow and the availability is restrictive. Comparing Paris to New York for example, you can expect to pay 1.50 USD to clean a shirt, compared to 6 euros in Paris, which incidentally would take one week to collect. London, Hong Kong and Geneva are all on track, but France remains behind. I simply decided to fill the gap here in Paris with a platform offering a premium on-demand dry-cleaning service.

How does JoIntheCity work?
Customers can order their pick-up, delivery and make payments through our mobile app, website or recently launched JoButton. They no longer have to exert energy and let their drycleaning be the chore it used to be. We pick up and deliver to wherever the customer wants, whether it be at their home, place of work or hotel. We’re a one stop shop, offering drycleaning, laundry, tailoring and shoe repair services. Clients receive their order within 48 hours, or 24 hours if they opt for our JoExpress service.

Innovation at JoIntheCity is an ongoing process, what is JoButton?
JoButton is our step into the 3.0 territory, the IoT (Internet of Things). The objective is to make quality drycleaning available on a larger scale, coupled with an easy to use platform, adapted to the time-poor urban consumer.

Is this your differentiating factor?
While we’re constantly trying to innovate the service to keep it up to date and relevant to our clients, the key difference between JoIntheCity and other providers of on demand cleaners is that Jo actually does the cleaning, as opposed to doing the logistics of cleaning. To me, it is a key differentiator and I am betting JoIntheCity’s future development on it, especially now that we started the expansion. A Jo client would never be satisfied if the quality of cleaning is not perfect, and just an app, no matter how fancy would not clean. Ever. This is why JoIntheCity is first of all a cleaner, and secondly an e-platform. The catchy-chic design is a plus.

Jo in the city

You’ve built up a phenomenal customer base since launching as well as serving some high profile business contracts …
Yes, recently we were the official dry cleaner for the Romanian national football team during Euro 2016. We were also the official cleaner for Continental, one of the tournament’s major sponsors. We’re very proud to be recognised by such premium companies. Leading pop artists, writers and sport stars are among our regular clients, however one of the most memorable client requests comes from Brian Chesky, the Airbnb founder. He was in Paris for a corporate event and needed his pants hemmed overnight. Well, he got a Jo and looked great in front of 8000 the following day.

Is JoInthecity specialised in certain events?
We are wedding gown cleaning specialists and deliver across Europe. We’ve had brides from Geneva, Amsterdam and even London who send their gowns to be cleaned in Paris. Beyond that, we are also partners at fashion shows.

You’re an expat yourself, has the company adapted for an international clientele?
The hardest part was to adapt to the Parisian clientele. There’s nothing to explain to an Australian or an American about our service – they all use our services and are happy to have found a provider in Paris. With the Parisian crowd there were many ‘allergies’ we had to “treat” – online payment, “sending off” their clothes etc.

What’s next for Jo?
My goal is to make JoIntheCity a pan-European service. This is an unconsolidated industry and there’s no reason why someone shouldn’t be able to find a “Jo” when in London, Paris, Madrid etc. Just last week we made a step forward for our pan-European project with the opening of JoIntheCity

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