This is a Business for others!
“This is a business for others, not just for oneself!” This statement, coming from a man who owns an efficiently-run courier services organization with 350 staff and offices with a pan-India presence including 50 franchisees; holds a lot of water – or mail as the case might be!
Richard D’Souza is perennially grateful to Mr Lalit Sheth, whom he worked for in his logistics business; who forthrightly asked him to start a logistics business himself. “I’ll give you the infrastructure”, he assured; “you just go ahead and start your business”.
In a job you get a salary; but in your business you do not get paid unless you have adequate cash flow. Here a Catholic gentleman working with an MNC stepped in to help. He clarified that he would not give him Fedex work; but he would direct some other work to him. This gentleman ensured Francis got 5-10 lacs worth of courier business every month. Liquidity was a big constraint. The gentleman advised Francis to raise his bill fortnightly and arranged to make payments within a week ensuring regular cash flow. This assistance greatly helped Francis in quickly moving through the struggle phase.
To establish himself in the market he began noting what customers required which was not being offered by other courier companies. His innovative services include late pick (even till 9 pm); personalized service; packing of material; early morning delivery in metro cities etc.
Richard D’Souza was born and completed his education in Mangalore. He has 6 brothers and 3 sisters. His eldest brother (now retired), who worked in Syndicate Bank; ensured that all the younger siblings completed their education. One of his brothers is a diocesan priest in the diocese of Pune. 3 of his brothers are in the Gulf and all his sisters are married. He is married and has 2 children. His elder daughter is married and settled in Canada whilst his younger daughter who would help him in the office is now preparing for her CAT examination and specialize in Marketing Management.
Richard advices youngsters: Work hard and don’t think about failure. Don’t go for easy money. Rather work with dedication and hard work; money will eventually come.
Our community does not take risks, he observes. So they choose to work for others for the security of a salary rather than start their own business. You’ll get 10 times more money. Ensure you have proper and thorough knowledge of the business you are entering, he cautions; otherwise you might be taken for a ride. Always keep a target. It’s ok if you don’t achieve it sometimes. Everybody has to support each other.
It was his eldest brother was brought Francis to Bombay after he completed his education. Francis stayed as a PG. He went to Gulf for about 5 years and this enabled him to get a house and build his savings which he subsequently used when he started his business.