Building a business : The Library On Cart case study : Chapter 11 Subsequent Days


3rd day of operation
The cart man has quit ! Now what!
Our 4 customers will think we’ve run away with the money. It’s not about 150/ it’s about trust.
Gautam our tailor steps in. Just 18. He man’s up.

Everyday the owner of Wrapd and its tailor master cart the load 1.5 kms and back. And are over the moon! They’re clocking 2 bills a day.
What a feat πŸ™‚
Monday closed.
A much needed break from LOC. I’m begging everyone for a guy to push the cart/thela. In a population of over 5 lakh people I can’t find one. No one is ready. I’ve asked my garbage collector, my maid, my guard, my iron man (presswala:) everyone. Even people I don’t know.
The job is simple. Push the cart every morning at 6:30 from 22/87 to Rock garden, we want to try the morning park rush, a distance of 400 odd meters and back at 8:30. No selling. Nothing. Just sit. Only to and fro. The cart is not heavy. No one is ready even at 2000/
Who says poverty exists ! There’s none. It’s self inflicted.


It’s 10th May. Our former driver is in need of work. I’ve no need of one. I ask him to man the cart/thela morning hours. 6-8 and then evening hours at East. He doesn’t want to come so early ! Hey, you need the money right? I’m not willing to compromise. We’re managing evening at East very well. Heat, noise, dust discomfort remains but it’s not overwhelming. It’s mornings at Rock garden we want to open. Finally he says yes.
I’m wondering why people don’t want to lead a better life. Money can solve so many issues. Earning money will need effort right? It’s not going to happen by itself. Poverty like richness is self created. Not inherited :0


Narendar turns up. We start Rock garden operation. We generate great response and again bill. 2 members again πŸ™‚ We’re now at 8 members. 2 a day. Our target is 60 for the whole month. We’re on track.
Idea is acceptable. Pricing is viable for self sustaining. Need exists πŸ™‚
Let’s pop the bubbly πŸ™‚

Let’s not :/
Narendar doesn’t turn up. I’ve no staff to help me out. I have already billed twice. I’m answerable to them. Back to the same problem. It’s not 150/ issue. It’s a matter of trust. I’ve to show up.
How will I push the cart? I try. It doesn’t look feasible to me. Hmmm. There has to be a way out. There is

I turn up with the library but without the cart πŸ™‚ I take the books in a rickshaw πŸ™‚
People look at this oddity viz me πŸ™‚
Well dressed, obviously well off, why in this state?
Even I’m wondering the same. What drives me? Why am I doing it? Why am I subjecting myself to it? It’s not as if there’s great money in it. Libraries all over the world are closing. What makes us think we’ll succeed ? We’re billing 2 a day no doubt but that’s not going to make us rich. No, not at all. We may just have to close. We’re testing the idea. The worst aspect of the job, cart management is mine. Ritu is operating in her colony only. I’m on the road. Anubhav is behind the scenes. So much headache for what?

All start ups require dog’s work be done. Are you willing to do it? If yes, you have a chance. If no, don’t even try. It’s an integral part of starting up.

Blind faith in team
Your self respect will be at stake. Keep your self worth.
No excuses accepted. Deliver work. Period.
Do Dog’s work

PS Evenings at East are smooth sailing.

We find a guy. Subah πŸ™‚
Hur raat ki subah hai πŸ™‚

We log in two bills again πŸ™‚ morning shift
Evening shift Gautam and I log 3 πŸ™‚
A peaceful day.

Iss raat ki subah nahi πŸ™
Subah doesn’t turn up. :0
I don’t want to do the basket display it’s not customer friendly. Involves bending.
I ask everyone even the guard, who’s been no help before, to provide help. He gives me a guy with immediate effect πŸ™‚ Hallelujah. I’m down on my knees thanking God.
He’ll leave the cart at 6 and go wash cars. I’ll manage the cart and at 8 he’ll come and cart it back. We agree on a sum of 1500/ for this service.
I made it today also πŸ™‚

Everyday there’s a problem.
I’ve become this panda :0 Climb, balan


My daughter is leaving for Bangalore today. She’s joining SAIF partners for 2 years. Her flight is at 9:20. She’ll leave at 7. I want to spend as much time as I can with her. 2 years! 2 long years of not seeing her everyday. I have to report at the cart which will only generate 2 bills at best. 300 Rs.
I report at the cart. Repeat. It’s not money. It’s trust. Show up. At all costs. Or better not enter these haloed portals of entrepreneurship.
She visits me at 7:10 at the cart to say bye.
We cried. At the cart. Our luxury was 2 hugs some tears.

Why? Why God/inner conversation partner why am I doing this?
For all this effort and heartache I billed ….10/
Is it, forget good, a balanced trade off :0 ?

Be ready to pay huge emotional costs. You’ll need a big heart to contain it all

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.