Tilak Mehta, a 13-year-old kid from Mumbai has launched a startup in the metropolitan offering 3-8 hour delivery services. He is among the fast to be knighted as an entrepreneur at this age. The young entrepreneur studies at Garodia International School in standard eighth. When he forgot some books at his uncle’s place and wished that some service may exist to help him get those books couriered to him immediately, he was struck with the innovative idea.
He was thinking about the idea for days and when he saw the dabbawala in his building, the idea gained momentum. Papers N Parcels was started to leverage the swiftness and efficiency of the dabbawala’s food delivery network. Tilak wondered if he could use the strong network to allow deliveries of non-food items.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, it doesn’t matter if you are young and in school. Tilak took the problem that was waiting and wanting to be solved, and since then there is no turning back. Vishal Mehta, the kid’s father is an established player in the logistics industry. He has helped him convert the idea from paper to market.
With the launch of Papers N Parcels, Tilak is not only leveraging the potential of dabbawalas trusted delivery network but also trying to become the Uber of logistics by providing door-to-door courier service with the same day delivery. The dabbawala squad of Paper N Parcels is armed with Android phones loaded with the company’s app.
End customers have to download the app which is available for both Android and iOS after which they can schedule a pick-up of their parcel while the app picks up their GPS location automatically. The dabbawalas are alerted about the order in real time after which they can pick up the parcel from the customer’s doorstep and drop it to the recipient company’s main hub. The sorting facility helps to categorise the parcels and send them to the final addressee.
Almost all the courier companies provide doorstep pickup service but none of them is as efficient as Papers N Parcels. The best part of Tilak’s service is that the customers can track their package in real time as it traverses the city, from pick-up to drop-off. The packages are delivered in no more than 8 hours within the same day.
The dabbawalas currently work in a fixed salary model with the company. However, the teen entrepreneur is working hard to move on to a ‘per parcel delivery’ compensation model within six months. Currently, the company works with around 300 dabbawalas from all over Mumbai. He plans to add more to the system soon.
The company has set up a dedicated customer service helpline. Customers can make multiple scheduled deliveries and choose from three available time slots. Papers N Parcels have only sone sorting facility which helps them cut costs and hence benefits are finally passed to the customers. The minimum cost to courier a parcel is as low as Rs 40 which is one-fourth of the rates competitors charge.
Moreover, no logistics company provides same-day delivery of orders accepted after 10 AM. Tilak offers same day delivery of parcels on orders placed till 2.30 PM. Customers can refill Papers N Parcels wallet using Paytm. The company currently operates within the Brihammumbai Municipal Corporation and is targeting residents and companies within the radius.
During the beta phase tests, the Tilak have successfully carried out 100s of transactions. With thousands of retail and corporate giants as customers and a daily volume of close to 1000 request, the company aims to increase the volume to 5000 in the next six months. Tilak has been invited by a university in Surat to address students on the success of his company.
The startup is self-funded and bootstrapped, with his father putting the initial funding. Tilak aims to pay back when he becomes profitable. Tilak is also looking forward to investors for external funding. While the kid is the sole founder of the company, his uncle Ghanshyam Parek, is the CEO. He has a strong background in finance. The core team has Vaishali Nandu as the Project Coordinator and Jignesh Brahmkhatri as the CTO, who has years of experience in mobile technology.
The company currently employees around 180 people. Tilak manages to divide the first five days of a week between school and work. While he works and pursues his hobbies on weekends. He is at school till 4 PM and goes to the office immediately after school. On weekends he spends half of his day with his team conducting meetings and the rest half playing and studying.
The country’s logistics industry which is worth around USD 160 billion is likely to touch USD 215 billion in the next two years with the implementation of GST, Economic Survey today said. The Global Ranking of the World Bank’s 2016 Logistics Performance Index shows that India jumped to 35th rank in 2016 from 54th rank in 2014 in terms of overall logistics performance.