The name of this company belies its founders’ exuberance. ‘I’m Broke’ can hardly be a name for a startup, right? But then that is what they were feeling and saying when they put their heads together. School friends Prathamesh Menase, Yash Patil and Shreyas Sail are the founders of the delivery company ‘Im Broke’ that is operating in Belagavi for the past couple of months.
Prathamesh, after completing his Diploma in Nautical Science in 2018 from Chennai, dreamed of a golden career in the merchant navy. As is the trend in this sector, he had to wait a few months before he joined his ship in August. He worked at a call -center in Belagavi for a few months. Yash Patil’s MBA dreams were on hold and Shreyas who is studying in the final year of Computer Science Engineering was waiting for his offer letter. But the lockdown struck in between and their dreams got stuck too.
The three friends often met and discussed life. That is when they realized that people were facing huge problems getting things and errands run during the lockdown and the days after it was lifted.
I’m Broke fills the gap by procuring and delivering things from anywhere in Belagavi (From Hotel Ramdev to Shagun Gardens near Third railway gate) for a fee of Rs. 35 (for one trip of one procurement and delivery ). They charge a nominal extra for multiple procurements for the same order. Prathamesh and Yash who do all the deliveries while Shreyas, based in Khanapur, do the backend software and app work. He is the techie who has also set up the website and manages the technology setup.
The website is very easy to navigate where one has to just fill a simple form about what they want and where to pick it from. Ex. If you want a kilo of tomatoes from a specific store, add that store name, add your address and submit order. The team immediately calls back to confirm the order. They go to fetch the order and sometimes to confirm the goods when they’re in confusion about not finding the specific brand, they send pictures of alternatives from the point of purchase. The goods are purchased by them and delivered to your address within 45 minutes. You need to pay for the goods against the bill that they hand you and the fee of Rs. 35. So far they have done 550 deliveries.
Prathamesh reminisces that this service had greatly helped Home Bakers and Home Chefs who needed their products to be delivered to the customers. Recalling some memorable experiences, he speaks of an elderly woman who needs her medicines delivered and hence calls them, the elderly man living alone who needed his tiffin delivered daily. I’m broke delivers anything that can fit on a two-wheeler up to a weight of 30 kgs.
What do they deliver: They pay your bills, get groceries, vegetables, update your passbook in the bank, change the book from the library, deliver empty cylinder, get ingredients for home bakers, etc. Many people look up for things, especially electronics, online and send them pictures to procure the same locally.
This service has been of great help to the elderly and those who are unable to move out due to the risks involved. It is also of help when you have a lot of work and less time to go shopping for yourself. With the risk involved for them too, they continuously wear masks, gloves, frequently sanitize their hands and keep the packets as far away as possible. Now they are planning to use the protective gear themselves.
Starting from four or five deliveries a day, today they handle around 20 to 25 deliveries per day. With the service getting popular, they have also made arrangements for more delivery guys who are contacted in times of simultaneous orders. They start at 8 in the morning and end up working right up to 11 in the night. “Our families have supported our venture wholeheartedly,” they tell me.
A large number of Home bakers and chefs have become so dependent on this service that now the trio has seriously thought of continuing with this venture, ditching their plans for pursuing their careers elsewhere. Startups generally explore for an unmet need and try to provide solutions. These Belagavi guys are worth a pat on the back for their innovative business idea that is of great help to the citizens of Belagavi.
One can visit the website www.imbroke.in to order. They also have their direct WhatsApp call number 6360154218.