Friday, January 25, 2008

BOP: Rickshawala

Ever since I read about C K Prahald's concept of BOP, I was looking to find many examples that already existed in India. The selling of smaller shampoo and soap packets was one nice thing. But most of the BOP initiatives were taken by huge companies which could afford. But I was trying to figure out if a small business can make profit by helping the nextbillion.

I have lived in Mysore since my birth, for almost 22 years. I had never been to northern parts of India.I decided to relocate to Noida for a shorter period, just to experience different things. When I first arrived in Delhi and took a cab, I saw a lot of cycle rickshaws. I was just more then shocked to see such public transport system. I had seen tangas in Mysore, they were available for sight seeing only, though are diminishing these days. But seeing so many people taking rickshaws to reach their work places was just surprising.

I got too curious and started doing some research. It was clear, most of the people had moved from villages from UP, selling their lands, just to move the cities. They own nothing. I was confused. Then I came across a Rickshawala who told me how this system worked. Most rickshawala's can't afford to buy a rickshaw and they don't prefer to do so. They just rent it !!!!! At 25 Rs a day it works out pretty fine for them. A single 2Km trip fetched them the investment they had made. They make around 150 to 200Rs ($5 a day).

Plus it's a nice thing

  • Provides affordable service to people
  • They don't cheat like autos in Bangalore or Delhi
  • Creates self employment
  • Thankfully for Delhi it has rickshaws to save them from pollution

1 comment:

GVK said...

Another factor that helped revival of the rickshaw in Delhi suburbs, I believe, is the coming of the Metro. They say, it takes barely 20 minutes from Pithampura to Connaught Circus/Central Sectt by the Metro. The trip by road would take no less than an hour.
As a fallout of the coming of the Metro, rickshaws has come to be the most favoured mode of tranport between people's houses and the local Metro station in localities, such as Dwarka. And the fare is fixed and reasonable.
The latest model rickshaws have been improvised, with a luggage hold, and it seem lighter, and more streamlined than the rickshaws one used to see in Chandni Chowk some decades back.