NGO Wants to Put City?s Cycle Rickshaws on a Fast Track

Thursday, December 16, 2010

GURGAON: His business concept has changed the lives of 5,00,000 rickshaw pullers in north India. He wants US president Barack Obama to ride a rickshaw. Irfan Alam, the 35-year-old IIM-Ahmedabad graduate from Bihar who has kicked off a rickshaw revolution across eight states, wants Gurgaon to love his rickshaws. Alam’s ’smart’ rickshaws are sleek, have shelves that can stock mineral water, soft drinks, newspapers and other ’small items of necessity and is, the bit which most Gurgaon residents will love, haggle-free.

Alam’s Sammaan Foundation, which has been doing its bit for the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) market, is going to launch over 200 sammaan rickshaws in Gurgaon next month.

“Since 2007 we have been able to integrate 500,000 rickshaw pullers across India, providing them loans from banks, and not MFIs, at a reasonable interest rate so that they can own the rickshaw they pull. In addition to that we also give them avenues to make extra money by selling fmcg products on the rickshaw, and through ads on the rickshaws,” said Irfan.

Source: The Times of India (link opens in a new window)