It might sound a tad unambitious when a young MBA from Oxford starts a courier service with one delivery boy and savings of Rs 10,000. But Dhruv Lakra’s Mirakle Couriers claims to be the only courier company in the world that employs the hearing impaired. With a staff of 55 employees, the company offers both domestic and international services.
The tsunami in 2004 changed Lakra’s life. He left his cushy job as an investment banker to help a tsunami-affected fisherman community in Nagapatnam for five months. “I realised that this is what I wanted to do with my life,” says the 28-year-old, who has worked with several NGOs.
In 2008, Lakra founded Mirakle Couriers as he wanted to offer the deaf community a “better vocations than candle making.” He says, “I wanted to give them regular employment which uses their disability to their advantage.”
With special training sessions, Lakra ensures his boys’ deliver efficiently while his back office is handled by hearing impaired women. They receive the minimum wage and have their own bank accounts. With plenty of bulk orders coming their way, Lakra hopes to break even by the end of this year.
“I treat it like any other business,” he says. “This notion of charity in India needs to change. Disabled people may do things differently, but they should be treated like equals.”