Sustain and Save’s dynamic change-maker, Riya Nathe , interviewed the Founder of Mirakle Couriers, Dhruv Lakra , founded in January 2009 which aims to help the deaf community by providing them jobs as delivery employees.
When our interviewer asked what made an Investment Banker and Oxford graduate turn into a social entrepreneur and start Mirakle Couriers; he said that the deaf people have been facing discrimination in multiple walks of life like education, jobs, markets and skill development. They are rejected because of their disabilities and very less education. That’s when he thought of starting a venture that does not only solve societal issue but also brings in a change.
Mirakle Couriers is an e-commerce venture which believes in last-mile delivery of products. A team of only deaf employees, they have over 60% coming from low income background. They have both men and women with disability not just at their pickup points but also handling the back-end.
“It is an invisible disability. You can not know when someone near you is deaf as there are no obvious physical attributes, and so its totally ignored. It is also a silent, voiceless disability. There is very little public sympathy for the deaf, and by connection, a severe lack of government support for them in India.Particularly when it comes to employment there are no opportunities because no one has the patience or the foresight to learn deaf language and culture.” Dhruv Lakra.
A change-preneur in truest sense, Mr. Lakra understood the problem. He realised that the continuous stigma of discrimination has led to lack of motivation within these disabled people. In order to tackle the recruiting challenge, he began to supports and helps the deaf and individuals who haven’t even completed their basic education.And this great deed made him the “Mirakle Man’.
Who would have thought that individuals who never went to school, were ignored by the society, who are differently abled would be the Supervisors and Shift Managers, running the company smoothly, handling teams of 30 members individually?Who would have imagined that this would gradually increase their level of confidence and get groomed for becoming station managers and heads?
When the organisation was kick started, people used to laugh on the idea, the business plan, on the very concept of‘the deaf will run the company’. They were clueless as to how would they enter into the e-commerce. But as it’s said, when you believe in yourself and in what you do, you do experience success. Today, Mirakle Couriers have vendors from Amazon and many such big players, which is a great achievement for them.
Along with solving the societal issue, he is also focusing on reducing his carbon footprints.The company tries and focuses on using less material for packaging like small boxes instead of big ones. Apart from this the employees use public transports than individual vehicles which helps in reducing their carbon footprints.
“Life will always give you ups and downs where people will always keep judging you on whatever you do but you must be calm in your mind and keep going and just follow your heart and start doing it.”Being an entrepreneur is not an easy job. But when you believe in the idea and in yourself, you should take the plunge because you’ll experience failures in life but there is no exit to it. All you have to do is try and be a change-preneur and create miracles.