Big Idea

Help is just a click away

Meranaukar offers a “service delivery solution” to working couples

A pot of rossogullas to be delivered to Kolkata? Dry fruits and sweets to Jaipur? Dry cleaning to be picked up? Meranaukar promises to do all this and more. The online company offers a “service delivery solution” to working couples and NRIs who want odd jobs done for their parents back home — from buying groceries to delivering cakes and paying bills.

Conceived as an MBA project by 38-year-old Manav Shankar, the idea became a full-time business after Shankar chucked his job with Tata DoCoMo and sunk his savings into this concierge service. The service charges vary from ₹150 to ₹300, depending on the errand and its urgency, and Shankar has tied up with over 170 retailers — most of whom aren’t available online — to offer customised services. He has expanded into 11 cities using the franchisee model and plans to cover 22 cities by March 2014. Biggest challenge? Recruiting and training helpers. Good help is so hard to find.