What is the conventional life of a 13-year-old like? Going to school, participating in extracurricular activities, playing sports, video games, watching the TV — you may say.
But 13-year-old Tilak Mehta is already a budding entrepreneur!
The teenager has established a logistics startup that is helping the strong network of Mumbai’s famous dabbawalas earn an alternative source of income.
Christened ‘Papers N Parcels’ (PNP), the logistics service couriers papers and small parcels across Mumbai in a matter of four to eight hours.
How did it all begin?
With an unforgettable football match that led the 13-year-old to leave his stack of school books at his uncle’s place. Being the considerate son that he is, he did not want his father to travel after a long day’s work to get his books back home, but he knew it was urgent.
It was at this time that his penchant for solving problems erupted and led him on a spy-like journey to find the answers to the delivery problems that existed in the city.
That’s how the idea of setting up an intra-city logistics startup struck him. But who would the 13-year-old partner with?
His answer was the award-winning Dabbawalas. And while the Dabbawalas’ spokesperson, Subhash Talekar, said that it is not an official partnership, many Dabbawalas are coming forward to associate with PNP to do it individually after their day’s work to earn additional income.
The dabbawalas already have an exceptional food delivery network, so the young entrepreneur thought it would be great to harness it with the use of technology for courier services.
After four months of operations, the startup was officially launched recently and already has a mobile application for day-to-day workings. It has already employed 200 Mumbaikars for its delivery services, in addition to 300 dabbawalas, who handle over 1,200 deliveries every day.
A part of his entrepreneurial spirit can also be attributed to his family that runs a successful multi-national logistics enterprise. His father believed in him and funded his idea by providing the initial capital for setting up the operations and developing the mobile app.
With their central hub in Dadar, they deliver parcels up to 3 kgs, at prices ranging from Rs 36 to 162, depending on the weight.
As per an NDTV report, while the current pay for the Dabbawalas is a fixed amount, the company will soon shift to a per-delivery basis. From pathology labs to boutique shops, the teenager’s startup is slowly growing its client base.
Speaking to the publication, CEO Ghanashyam Parekh revealed that the company is targeting to capture 20 per cent of the intra-city logistics market and have a turnover of Rs 100 crore by 2020.
The young entrepreneur was appreciated by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Education Minister Vinod Tawde. He was also honoured by the India Maritime Awards.
We wish the teenager the very best and hope he continues to garner success while helping the cause of the dabbawalas!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)