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Jeff delivering a package to the customer

When one walks in to Patil general store, a quaint little shop in Vile Parle, there is stark contrast of sorts that greets you. While on one hand, the 25-year-old store and its layout has an old world charm to it, a bright colored sign board that has "Amazon Pick Up" hanging from the ceiling tells the tale of how e-commerce has transformed the way India does business! This store today has become a landmark with the locals who are busy picking up their online orders from this offline kiosk.

Amol, the eldest son in the family, was the natural choice to run the business after his father decided to take a break. He was quick to learn the business nuances and he took charge of his store and how! Usually, all general stores have a similar policy of management - they operate from early mornings and run into late evenings, cater to ad-hoc customers with small purchases and loyal customers with an extensive monthly grocery lists. But Amol wanted it different. He wanted to break this rhythm of sitting at the store and waiting for customers to arrive. He knew he had his parents to take care of, a younger brother, who is still studying and is dependent on him, he knew he needed something extra to live his own terms.

Amol partnered with I Have Space Program to make a difference

Given Amol's business acumen, the minute he heard about IHS he was sure this was the key that would open the doors to earning an additional income. The very fact that this needed no investment made him become a partner without even a blink. Speaking excitedly about the partnership, Amol says, "All I knew was I had to make a difference in my life and Amazon was going to help me do this without me investing a single penny. I just had to make a few deliveries and make my shop a pick up point." What ensued was a success story filled with opportunity, determination, and new-found hope.

‘Work through the week, MBA during weekends’

It is more like a dream come true, where I have a masters degree while making additional income
Amol Patil

And January 2018 was the dawn of hope and new beginnings for Amol. He decided to allocate a few hours each morning to make the deliveries to customers while his family manned the shop. "It wasn't easy," says Amol. "But I knew I had to do this. I have always wanted to give myself and my family a better quality of life and I have always believed that education is the path to success. Which is why I wanted my brother to continue studying without thinking of finances." Thanks to IHS not just Amol's brother, but Amol himself is also pursuing a part time MBA as well. Speaking on the challenges, he says, "The challenge is time management. So, what I do is work through the week and attend MBA classes during the weekend. It is more like a dream come true, where I have a masters degree while making additional income!”

"I knew that if I had to change the quality of life of my family, me and my brother had to get a good form of formal education. I ensured that through the IHS I save enough money to fund my brother's education as well." says Amol.

Thrilled with the benefits of this partnership, Amol now wants to spread the word and get his fellow store owners on board with Amazon’s IHS program. Under the IHS program, Amazon partnered with more than thousands of local store owners to provide pickup and delivery services to customers across different cities within 2 – 4 kilometer radius of their store.