Tilak Mehta is like any other teenager. The 13-year-old attends a suburban school and complains about his father coming home from work late.
But there are also some things that set him apart. Tilak is a budding entrepreneur who has founded a logistics startup and also roped in Mumbai's dabbawalas for help. His startup called "Papers N Parcels" is dedicated to carrying papers and small parcels within Mumbai for an assured intra-day delivery.
"Papers N Parcels (PNP) is my dream and I will work to ensure that the business becomes big," Tilak says.
PNP uses a dedicated mobile application for business and already employs 200 on its own and 300 Dabbawalas who help in handling as many as 1,200 deliveries every day.
"Last year, I wanted a few books from another part of the city urgently. My father came home tired after a day's work, and so I could not ask him .There was nowhere to go," Tilak told reporters here. This is how the idea struck him.
Tilak did extensive research and ran a beta test for four months before formally launching his startup today.
His startup has defined area of operation connected by the city's famed train network, with a central hub at Dadar in central Mumbai. It handles parcels of up to 3 kg and charges Rs 40-180 per parcel depending on the weight.
The initial capital for setting up the operations and developing mobile app was provided by Tilak's father
The Dabbawalas will handle the last-mile delivery for PNP after finishing their day's work
Association spokesperson Subhash Talekar said. "Our association has not officially tied up with PNP and it's up to every individual Dabbawala to associate with them. I think it will give them additional income," Talekar said.
At present, the company is paying a fixed amount to every Dabbawala partner but will shift to per delivery basis. CEO Ghanashyam Parekh said PNP is also open for strategic tie-ups
with companies like Swiggy if there is any possible synergy.
Its clientele already includes pathology labs, boutique shops and a brokerage which will only grow bigger with the formal launch, Mr Parekh said. The company is targeting to capture 20 per cent of the intra-city logistics market and a turnover of Rs 100 crore by 2020, Parekh said.