When 13-year-old Tilak Mehta left his textbooks at his uncle’s house last July, his father told him it would be complicated and expensive to have them couriered home the same day. “Later that day, I saw some dabbawalas in my area and asked them how much they charged for their deliveries,” he said. Thus was born Papers N Parcels, an intra-city same-day delivery courier service that taps into the dabbawalas’ network, recruiting them as deliverymen. The service, in the form of a mobile application, was launched on Wednesday. Tilak said the company employs 300 dabbawalas on a fixed monthly income, along with 180 permanent employees working as deliverymen. The firm is a subsidiary of cargo service provider Rushabh Sealink Private Limited. Subhash Talekar, a spokesperson for the Mumbai Dabbawalas, said, “Many dabbawalas have other jobs to supplement their income. When Tilak approached us, we were happy to have an alternative income source that was quite hassle-free.” A four-month pilot programme was started on January 31, and the company received nearly 1,200 orders per day. The Dadar-based company offers doorstep pick-up and drop-off of parcels along the Churchgate-Borivali, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Thane, and Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus-Kharghar stretches. “We expect to hold 20% of the market share by 2020 and expand deeper into Mumbai as well as in other Metro cities, starting with Delhi,” Ghanshyam Parekh, CEO, Papers N Parcels, said. Apart from individual users, its clients include pharmaceu-tical companies, boutiques and cosmetic stores.
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