I have two children — one boy, one girl — and a very small piece of land,” says 40-year-old Kamal of Varanasi. His face is wrinkled and tanned, and he looks emaciated, but his calves are muscular, which leaves no doubt about what he has been doing all his life. “I have pulled a rickshaw for 20 years but I could never own one for most part,” shares Kamal. A study estimated that there are 100 million rickshawallahs in India and 95% of them rent their vehicles from mafia-like fleet merchants. The Kamals of Varanasi slog 14-hours a day in rain or shine, own nothing, save nothing, and pay₹40-50 of the ₹200 they earn ferrying desis and firangs through the narrow streets of Varanasi.
24 Good Businesses 2012
Wheels of change
SMV Wheels makes it possible for Varanasi-based rickshawallahs to purchase their own vehicles
Summer wine and salad
Kishore Singh - January 19, 2015
The million-dollar question: Is investing a game of luck or skill?
Shankar Sharma - May 04, 2021
Every crisis is an opportunity, if you are on the right side of equities
Samir Arora - May 04, 2021
Viraj Mehta trusts the toughness and bounce of a company that has seen many trials
Viraj Mehta - May 04, 2021
Safir Anand spots a mid-sized company with the right chemistry and catalytic circumstances
Safir Anand - May 07, 2021