Cashing on a crisis: Startup offers 'people for hire' services

A startup is offering 'people for hire' services who will take your place in a long bank or ATM queue for an hourly charge.

Published: 22nd November 2016 06:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd November 2016 06:04 PM   |  A+A-

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People wait in a queue outside an ATM kiosk to withdraw new currency notes. (EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Cashing on a need arising out of demonetisation, a startup is offering 'people for hire' services who will take your place in a long bank or ATM queue for an hourly charge.

BookMyChotu.com is the name of the Noida-based venture started by Satjeet Singh Bedi, an entrepreneur. Started in Jan, the startup was originally meant to provide helpers on demand for daily chores such as cleaning, grocery shopping etc.

Speaking to Express over phone from Noida, Satjeet said: "During various occasion such as parties, vacations there is always a need for someone who can do chores and small work. The original concept was therefore to fill this gap."  

The idea to use people on hire to stand in bank and ATM queues came to Satjeet when he had a personal experience of difficulty. "My mother was in the hospital and I could not possibly stand in a queue and look after her at the same time. I sent one of my helpers to get the cash. I then occurred to me that such services could be provided for others as well," added Satjeet.

Presently the service is offered only in Delhi, Haryana and UP with charges ranging from Rs 90 per hour to Rs 550 for 8 hours. You can hire one to a maximum of eight people at one time. Satjeet also said that service could be expanded to other regions. "Presently we would like to concentrate on the quality of the service. However we are open to starting in other cities," he said. 

An all out supporter of demonetisation, Satjeet said that he hopes that the service can ease the situation while also providing employment.

Professor Mukesh Hegde, mentor at the N S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore said that the venture was making the best use of the present situation although he did not seem positive about its longevity.

"I do not think this will last beyond two months. They are however trying to make the best use of the opportunity," he said. He further said that online payment ventures and tech-based startups will be there for the long haul.

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