“Just about three years ago, it seemed like my world was falling apart. It was a struggle for me to make ends meet,” says Samun K Campwala, a Vadodara-based shopkeeper who rediscovered his life at the age of 60.
It is never too late for a fresh start, and Samun proves it as a successful professional. He has not only overcome his financial hurdles but has also set an inspiring example for many to follow.
His secret to success? Pure dedication to his work!
“Every morning, I wake up with a smile and excitedly look forward to the day. How many people can truly say that? I guess I’m lucky,” he exclaims.
Samun begins his day early. He secures a big bag on the back seat of his bike and hits the streets of Vadodara. The next few hours, starting from 10:00 am, he travels across the city, delivering smiles to people.
“Every time I approach someone’s door, there is a sense of enthusiasm that fills the air. I love to see the smile on their faces when they receive their package,” remarks Samun, who has been making deliveries for Amazon for the past three years now.
In 2016, Samun joined Amazon’s ‘I Have Space’ (IHS) programme, which aims to transform the lives of thousands of microbusinesses in India.
The IHS programme by Amazon was launched in 2015 as a partnership that enables local store owners across different cities to deliver products to customers within a 4-kilometre radius of their store.
It helps these store owners to supplement their regular income and generate more footfalls in their stores, all at zero investment.
In 2019, more than 23,000 IHS stores were established across 350 cities in India, with a string of several success stories.
Samun’s road to success:
Samun was introduced to the IHS program during a dark period of his life, and it gave him the support that he needed at that point.
“IHS has been a blessing. About five years ago, I started my own business and opened the Mongos Cake Shop and Toy Land. But things went bad because of certain problems we faced with the landlord. After a few months, I found myself in a situation where my shop was sealed and I was sitting with huge losses. It was a very dark time for my family and me. Although with the help of a few friends, I managed to start again in another place, picking up the remaining pieces. It was hard to stay afloat. It was then that a relative advised me to join the IHS program, and I immediately joined as a part-time delivery executive. Slowly my earnings began to rise, and I used the extra earnings to invest further and develop my business. Eventually, I shifted to a full-time job,” he adds.
From Rs 15,000, the earnings eventually rose to Rs 25,000 a month, exclusive of the cake shop business that his son manages in his absence.
But money is not what drives Samun to dedicate himself; it is all about the work for him.
“People often look down upon this work, thinking that it isn’t respectable enough. But, they are completely wrong, because a job that earns you financial dignity and love is never small. No work is indeed small. I am proud of my job. Plus, instead of being a hindrance to my health, as most would think, this job keeps me on my toes and helps maintain my fitness!” says Samun.
He adds that constant encouragement from customers is another factor that keeps him motivated.
Recalling one such incident, he narrates, “About a year ago, I had gone to deliver a product, and the customer wasn’t there. Even after calling several times, he did not pick up the call, so I had to bring it back home. But I received a call from him at around 9 pm, requesting me to make the delivery soon, as he was leaving the country. Although it was late, I decided to step up and carried the package to his doorstep. The customer was eating dinner when I reached and was so grateful to see me that he invited me to eat with his family. The gesture left me speechless and also made me realise the true impact of my job.”
Samun has now emerged to become an inspiration for many in the area. Motivating many friends as well as family members, he has set a stellar example of hard work and honesty.
“Because of this job, I can now give my family all the comforts I dreamt of. We now have a fridge, a TV and our old house is also being renovated. But despite all this progress, sometimes people bring up my age and ask me why I work so hard even today. I believe that age is just a number. I want to continue this for at least five more years because it makes me very happy!” exclaims Samun.
At its core, his mantra to success is straightforward—hard work, honesty, dedication and politeness.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)