For college goers, working part-time with start-ups is a great way to become financially independent. This is the story of Prathik Pawar, a second-year student of Delhi Technical University (DTU).
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” ~ Charlotte Brontë.
On my way to college, which is very far away from my house, I would always think about two things – will I be able to settle down in America and how can I collect money for my college trip? Many Indians dream of settling in America because of their great culture, where children become independent at a very early age and there is dignity of labour. I belonged to a middle class, fun loving family. The Delhi Metro, in which I spent 4 hours every day, played a big role in my life, because I used it daily to go to college and come back home. This was the only option for me, because it was the cheapest means mode of transportation, that was also right for my wallet.
My college buddies have been planning a trip to Goa and everybody is excited, because no one in the group has ever been to Goa. There was only one hiccup – the trip would cost Rs 15 000/- for a week. I was shattered, because it was next to impossible for me to arrange so much of money, without asking my parents. I am already 18 years old, and it is not right to depend on parents when I am fit enough to earn money. But what are the avenues to do that, in a country like India, where there is already so much unemployment?
I was waiting at a bus stop in Gurugram, when something passed by that I had never seen before. There was a young man riding a bike, wearing a yellow sweatshirt with a ‘b’ logo printed on it. Behind him was seated a young executive, probably going to his office, wearing a bright yellow helmet. The pillion rider got off some distance away, and reached into his wallet to pull out 3 currency notes of 10/- each, to give the biker. After this, the biker went further ahead to join some of his buddies (they were wearing the same yellow sweatshirts) at what looked like a resting point. I walked across to talk to them and understand what was going on. They explained the concept of Baxi Ride Sharing, and that was a turning point in my life.
Baxi is India’s first bike taxi, operating with commercial bikes, in Gurgaon and Faridabad. They will soon be entering other cities of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, mostly in the NCR region. As a college student, with my father working in a salaried job, I was eligible to buy my dream bike, at a very low down payment of 7,999/-, all inclusive. Being a Virat Kohli fan, I picked the TVS Sport, a 99.7 cc motorcycle with alloy wheels, and an expected mileage of 95 km/l. Baxi arranged for the vehicle loan from TVS Credit Services, with my father as the co-applicant, which came through in a few days. On taking possession of the bike, Baxi provided me 2 helmets (one for me and one for the pillion rider) and an attractive sweatshirt that I could wear while riding the bike to pick up ‘customers’.
I can now collect a fare from each pillion rider, based on the distance they travel with me, as calculated by the Baxi mobile app that is used as a meter. This allows me to earn an extra 200/- to 300/- every day, on the way to and from college, without making too many detours or much extra effort. In fact, the commute to college has become very comfortable now. The EMI and petrol costs less than 2500/- every month, which I can easily earn by doing 3 trips every day. The rest is my pocket money, to be used as I please. Seeing my earning capacity, 5 of my college mates also became Baxi Buddies, which fetched me a cool 5000/- in Referral Bonus. The Goa trip is definitely on!
Start-ups like Baxi, which allow the youth to stand on their feet, should always be encouraged.
- Contributed by Prathik Pawar
The author is a second-year student of Delhi Technical University
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author's personal views and has nothing to do with HTCampus.com.