Located in the by lanes of Mumbai’s Malabar Hills, is a small convenience store that’s been doing business for over 40 years now. As residents of the area pass by this store, a nod, smile or wave to Santosh Toraskar, who runs the store is not uncommon. A familiar face to most of the residents there, Santosh’s store till recently gave him an income – but one “that was often not enough! Especially with my specially–abled son who needs constant medical attention, which means the need for more money,” recounts Santosh wistfully.
Signing up with IHS
While he was struggling to cope with increased expenses on one hand, on the other Santosh was constantly exploring means to augment his monthly income. “Around June 2017 was when I heard about the Amazon India’s I Have Space program which provides a path for owners of local stores to earn extra money by delivering packages to locations within a short radius. This seemed very do-able and I signed up for it. Honestly, I did not know that this one sign up will change my life,” says Santosh with a smile.
Zero investment benefits
The program, which is enabling last mile
“With zero investments, IHS se mera faayda hi hua hai! ”
delivery, today has over thousands of stores pan India. Santosh says, “With zero investments, mera faayda hi hua hai (it is something that has proven beneficial for me) – and not just in terms of money. While I am making extra money delivering packages, what is an additional benefit is the fact that I can balance work and home. There are days when my son needs me all day long and on those days I just stay back home with him – and on such days the Amazon team does not assign any deliveries to me. This means I am able to take care of my son much better.”
A store that’s a pick up point too
While Santosh was already a familiar face in the area, today he is also known by name! “In fact, my store is now a 'pick-up point' too for my customers. Many a times the customer is worried that they aren’t at home at the time of delivery and at such times they know my store is open for long hours and their products are safe at my store. This way I have also made a lot of friends too in the neighbourhood, says Santosh, adding with a smile, “The added footfalls to my store means sales from my shop also have increased! This is obviously very good for me! ”
“Amazing how time changes…today, I am giving my family a quality of life that they have aspired for – thanks to IHS program that I signed up for!”
Happy days are here again
As a customer walks in and Santosh goes to attend him, his father , who is standing by says, “We have never been more proud of my son! While he runs his store, he is also able to spend quality time with his family.” As the customer walks out, Santosh smiles as he says, “Amazing how time changes…before 2017 I thought my world will come crashing down and I felt I wasn’t doing enough for my son. Today, I am giving my family a quality of life that they have aspired for – thanks to this program that I signed up for!”