Prashant Shah is an alumnus of Nirma University, Ahmedabad, who went to work in a MNC for a couple of years. Sometime in the middle of last year, an incident changed his life.
Prashant was on his way to a courier company to collect ‘rakhi’ and a parcel of sweets from his sister. When he reached the office, he could see a lady haggling with the officials. He collected his parcel and was about to leave the place when the lady told him about her issue. She pleaded with him saying that she wanted to parcel medicines to her father in some remote town of Rajasthan but she couldn’t afford the Rs 400 that was required. She had bought medicines with the help of one foundation but she had only Rs 100 to send the parcel.
Prashant understood the situation and gave the remaining amount to the courier operator and told him to accept the parcel from the lady. That lady told him with tears in her eyes, “My brother is very selfish and he never helps our parents. I take care of my parents as much as I can. Today, I felt that you are my brother as you understood my problem and helped me without any intention. God bless you. Happy Rakshabandhan in advance.”
It was a heartbreaking incident for Prashant. He went home realizing how much difference a small amount can make in the life of so many people. He decided to resign from his company and started LaggageDeals.
“LaggageDeals is an online portal dedicated to transport and logistics industry. Using this portal, people can get discount/offer/scheme on parcel/courier they are sending,” says Prashant. The users only need to register on the site and they can then avail the discounts. The service is active in four cities including, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Mumbai, through tie ups with courier companies like Professional Courier, Mahavir Courier Services, etc.
Although it is completely an online platform and people like the lady who Prashant met at the courier office may not benefit immediately, the intention is to scale and find out means by which courier companies can deliver things at a discounted rate. The portal can also become the place that regulates rates and gives indications to customers as well as courier companies.
Prashant has dived into this venture full time and has two other partners who still hold a day job. A very humble effort, LaggageDeals is at an extremely early stage and needs a lot of work on the website as well, but the intentions behind the venture are noble. “In the future, we are planning to expand this service from the metros to tier 3 and 4 cities. We are also planning to prepare mobile application for this service,” says Prashant.
If we zoom out and take a bird’s eye view, logistics plays a very crucial role in the e-commerce space and we’ve seen companies innovate internally to achieve better efficiency. Same day deliveries, pilots like Myntra’s one-hour delivery promise, etc are only testimony to the changing face of logistics in India. Prashant has a very long way to go with LaggageDeals but the idea and early signs of execution do justify a mention.