I just got into the office after a lunch meeting and took an auto ride back as my car was stuck in a jam elsewhere. Got some interesting insights from the driver, a warm gentleman, aged 46.
Our cities are full of opportunities, for the ones who are willing to put in the effort. Money that some of our stereotyped blue collar workers earn sometime beats what our white color work force makes.
Some of these workers are clearly working towards ensuring better opportunities for their children; they are proud that they earn for themselves, and, clearly, don’t want to be dependent upon income that their grown-up children bring home.
Some quick pointers. Please forgive any grammatical mistakes – I just wanted to quickly capture the conversation before I jump back into work.
The Indian middle class dream is a reality!
However, this is what really got me intrigued. How much do you think an Auto Rickshaw costs?
I was told, it costs Rs. 1.25 lacs (now I didn’t know that) but if I were to believe the gentleman, it actually costs most buyers Rs. 4.65 lacs ( that’s more than a car!). “How is that?” I asked.
“It’s the permit silly” came the reply. Seemingly, middlemen corner the permits and sell vehicles at a ‘huge’ premium. Funding is organized through smaller financiers, where the paperwork is avoided.
He bought his vehicle 2 years ago, for some 3.50 lacs (can’t remember the exact amount), with 2 lacs as a loan from a private financier. He’s already paid it back.
I need to do more lunch meetings.
(You might want to read this post too: Rural Enterprise.)
Update: Forgot to add, the gentleman confessed to his daily drinking ritual – every evening, post work.
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