More people are setting up business on streets and in parking lots as municipalities take notice. (Flickr)

More people are setting up business on streets and in parking lots as municipalities take notice. (Flickr)

Ernst and Young awarded a scholarship to a university student in India for his entrepreneurial mobile car wash idea, lending international validation to a business model that’s trending across the United States.

Abhinandan Chavan, a second-year student at Symbiosis College of Arts and Science in Pune, a city near Mumbai, received the distinction on Oct. 19, as reported in the Pune Mirror.

“It’s actually very simple,” he told the news outlet. “People will be able to dial a car wash. With centrally located headquarters, we’ll provide car washing services at their homes.”

Portable car washes have surged in popularity in the last decade over brick and mortar establishments based on the low startup capital required and aversion of risk in not needing to invest in a property. In the United States, however, mobile car washes have faced challenges. Municipal ordinances regulate where vendors can operate, permits or licenses are required, and chemical dumping is prohibited.

As every regulatory climate is different — particularly in India — Chavan’s startup may not necessarily encounter these obstacles.