In The Goods Business For Social Good
‘I see Mirakle Courier as a leader in last mile logistics across India and a leader in employment of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs). We aim to be one of the best employers in the space’
He BW 40 under 40 list accrues a halo from an entrepreneur, who has built a successful logistics and social entrepreneurship firm with a crew of 110, of whom most are specially abled. Dhruv Lakra founded Mirakle Courier in 2009 to support a social cause. Today 75 deaf employees ensure some 65,000 deliveries every month.
The advent of e-commerce has posed several challenges for the courier service business. At such a juncture Mirakle chose to reinvent the business. “The most important key decision that I took was to stop paper delivery of clients who are not in the e-commerce space,” says Lakra. “We want to be the best in the last mile e-commerce delivery space in India,” says he. “As the Founder & CEO of the company, my work revolves around strategic decisions,” he points out.
We ask him what difference Mirakle Couriers makes to the nation. “I have founded Mirakle Courier as a social enterprise that works with low-income deaf adults in Mumbai city,” he points out. “Mirakle Couriers aims to break structural and social barriers by generating long-term employment for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs),” Lakra emphasises.
“As the founder and CEO of the organisation my role is to take strategic decisions for scale and deep impact,” he goes on to say, adding, “I should say that I am deeply passionate about developing social models that challenge status quo.” Dhruv Lakra is of the opinion that “society has become stagnant when it comes to social for-profit ideas”. Mirakle Courier, he tells us, was trying to build an inclusive organisation in the logistics space that would “set a benchmark in employment generation for the nation”.
Logistics is a business that is both changing and growing in India. So how does Mirakle Couriers keep abreast of competition, we wonder. “To keep up with the change I have to be constantly innovative and think out-of-the-box,” admits Lakra. “There is always a need for Plan B or even another Plan C. We keep an eye on the competition and customer requirements.”
We ask him how relevant Mirakle Courier would be in the coming ten or even five years. “While we have no perfect assessment of future ups-and-downs in the business five years down the line, I feel the future is really bright for us,” says Lakra. “I see Mirakle Courier as a leader in last mile logistics across India and a leader in employment of PWDs. We aim to be one of the best employers in the space and would like to be known for innovation, socially driven and yet profitable at scale,” says he.
We ask him what being in the BW 40 under 40 list means to him. “The BW Businessworld 40 under 40 is a very important recognition. It also shows that there is a space for entrepreneurs who are trying to do different things and who are keen to push the envelope in innovation,” says Lakra.
Lakra says that the venture’s professional journey was a little different from conventional success stories. “As we work with the deaf community, the lack of sensitivity is something that really bothers us,” says he. “It’s very hard to develop a business model around inclusion and diversity. So much so that when I started, we used to get regular phone calls from people telling us ‘please don’t send a pagal (mad) person for a pickup, send someone normal’.” Lakra points out indignantly that “everyone is normal,” adding, “as a nation we need to celebrate uniqueness.”
His advice to other young entrepreneurs is to follow their heart. “I have always cared about the sound of my heart and that is what I will ask all to follow,” says he.