This Kid’s Business Plan Re-models the ‘Dabba’ Business in Mumbai
Only 13, and this youngpreneur wants to handle one lakh deliveries in a day!
The seeds of entrepreneurship are possibly sown in an entrepreneur since birth. The above statement doesn’t look far-fetched, when you have an entrepreneur at 13!. Tilak Mehta's startup ‘Papers N Parcels’ is dedicated to carrying papers and small parcels within Mumbai for an intra-day delivery. Not only that, his business skills felicitated him with the ‘Youngest Entrepreneur in Logistics’ award at the India Maritime Awards 2018.
Talking to IAAE staffer Gairika Mitra, Mehta tells us about his plunge into the ocean of entrepreneurship.
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How were you bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at an age where books should consume most of your time?
I had left my school books at my uncle’s place and wanted to get the books couriered back to me on the same day, but my father told me it was difficult to find a same-day courier service and even if we did, then the cost of the service would be more than the cost of the books. That left me stumped as I wondered why the courier service was so expensive and couldn’t there be a solution to get same-day couriers at reasonable rates.
This very thought created repercussions in me, when I bumped into a dabbawala. I asked him whether he could deliver the books I needed. They were kind of averse to the idea, as ‘Dabbawalas’ deliver ‘dabbas’, and not books. This was the turning point in my life, when the idea of ‘Papers N Parcels’ occurred to me. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Why did you think that a business with Dabbawalas might turn lucrative?
The Dabbawalas are famous for their efficient delivery network. The size of the package they deliver is bigger and its cost lower than what an existing same-day-delivery courier would charge. After delivery of the lunch boxes, the dabbawala’s become free, and our business would be an additional source of income for them and their family. If they were given some training in technology, business would be more lucrative. It would entirely be a win-win situation for the both of us. They have the areas mapped in their head, understand the meaning of timely delivery and know how to satisfy the client. If they were trained to use technology, they could operate via an app like an Uber.
Could you tell us something about the financial perspective of your company? Are you bootstrapped?
Yes, currently we are bootstrapped but certainly, and are open to the idea of funding. We are in search of a strategic partner who will help us in taking the company further.
How has the audience responded to your startup so far? What kind of response have you seen the audience so far?
The audience’s reaction has been encouraging so far. They have appreciated the friendliness of the app, and its service. They especially acknowledged the fact that we also include deliveries of things like forgotten charger, spectacles, and an alteration garment. We get numerous queries from people, if we could deliver gifts for rakhi, and people have started sending rakhi gifts and rakhis using our services.
We are actively seeking feedback for improvement and implementing the same. The courier service empowers the customer not only to choose a convenient time of delivery but also ensures its safety by providing details of the delivery man and has live-tracking features. Our customers have loved this idea.
What are your plans of scaling up?
Currently, we are operating within Mumbai city limits. Our plan is to employ 2000 people by 2020 and handle 1 lakh product deliveries a day. We will expand to the metros soon.
This was an inspiring tale of a youngpreneur turned techpreneur.
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