Splendid Rick!

By Poonam Choksi,
Communications Manager, Adhyayan

It was a normal Monday morning waiting at the corner of St. Paul road for a rickshaw to Bandra station.  Just then, I saw a very different looking rickshaw approaching me. The moment the autoricksaw halted, I saw a smiling face looking out from the inside of a beautifully decorated vehicle. As I climbed on board the autorickshaw, I was stunned by its luxury and facilities for its passengers.   Yes, I did use the term luxury!

 The first thing that caught my attention was the newspaper stand, next to which was a bottle of water hung.  The Newspapers looked fresh and crisp and were neatly folded.   There was even a selection of newspapers to choose from in  Hindi, English and Marathi.  The water too looked clean.  My interest was roused and I looked around the rickshaw to find out if there were any other customer services. There was a mini medical kit that contained some medicines in case passengers needed a pain killer.  A medical kit in an autorickshaw!  But it did not stop here.  Just opposite to my seat, and behind his, I saw a list of emergency contacts stuck.  It had police, hospitals, ambulance etc numbers in case of emergency.  How thoughtful, how compassionate!

By the time I had cataloged all the amenities available to passengers in this splendid rick,  I had reached my destination.  Of all the  beautiful quotations and inspiring one-liners put up on the inside walls of the vehicle the one I liked the most was, “I feel good when I see my passengers happy”.  It surely made my day and reconfirmed my belief that it is possible for quality to exist only if it comes from within.

I talked with the driver after I got down, to know his story.  Even though he was nervous when I said I wanted to ask him some questions he nodded in agreement.  I asked him about his inspiration for making this auto-rickshaw so desirable for passengers.  He said that it was his experience in 2006 when the monsoon had flooded Mumbai and had disrupted the lives of thousands of residents.  He realized the importance of timely help and medication required during emergency.  So he came up with an idea which would help his passengers to seek help in case of emergency.  He started receiving compliments and positive feedback from his passengers which motivated him to keep on going further.  He took on the passengers’ feedback and added many more elements to his auto-rickshaw to make the ride a memorable journey for everyone who hires the vehicle. “Quality begins on the inside… then works its way out.” The kind of investment he has made in his rickshaw was minimal, but the impact on his customers is phenomenal.  If one desires and seeks quality, everything is deliverable, no matter what the limitations are.  Deepak Shewale’s leadership story is as potent as that of any senior executive.  His example inspires us by showing just what one man can achieve on his own in realizing his vision of bringing happiness to his customers.