Anil Joshi (30) had everything going for him. The Class 10 dropout was making Rs 10 crore a year in the export business.
The July 2005 floods changed all that when Joshi’s car broke down at Sion and he waded through chest-deep water to his Ghatkopar office. “Due to some infection, I ended up damaging my spine,” said Joshi, his tall frame slightly hunched over.
After a surgery, he was confined to his bed for nearly two years with no income.
It is then that he began scouting for new business ideas and found a viable one in valet parking services. “I called many banquet managers from my bed to offer my services. At first, I used my personal cars and gave the service for free,” said Joshi.
Gradually, he started getting clients. Slowly, he started moving about on a wheelchair to visit clients. “But it was counter-productive as seeing me like that people felt I was incapable of executing any task.”
He then began relying on a walker which he shuns while meeting new clients. “It is painful but I have to do it,” he said.
Today, his company has an annual turnover of Rs 7.5 crore. But social compulsions have forced him to operate under a different name.
“I can’t let my photo be published,” he said, a little uncomfortable. “My community is very small and I don’t want people to know that a man who once drove a different car every day now parks other people’s cars.”