Tanay Sukumar, October 16, 2011
A beggar who has profitably used the red traffic light signal near Connaught Place to earn a lot of revenue has announced bigger plans ahead. He has come up with a business model to produce babies that would grow up and earn more by begging more.
The man calls it a “nature-funded entrepreneurship venture”, expected to start giving good returns as soon as a baby is born.
Thirty-year-old Shashwat Kumar, a post-graduate from Institute of Planned Management in India, has presented his B-Plan in the Annual All-Asia Entrepreneurship Awards. Kumar has been a beggar ever since the free laptop he got from his alma mater crashed, and he was unable to post his résumé on job websites.
Shashwat presented his B-Plan as a one-man team. He said in his presentation, “Nowadays, being a beggar is becoming a difficult task, as people are not ready to give alms. However, my research over the past few months shows that sending a woman with a baby makes some hearts melt. I have decided to exploit this human behaviour.”
Kumar presented some statistics of money earned in six conditions: (1) a man begging, (2) a woman begging, (3) a woman begging with a child in her lap, (4) a child begging, (5) a child begging while faking disabilities, (6) a woman begging with a disabled child in the lap. While the average income in the first case was a rupee a day, it soared to Rs 175 a day in the sixth case.
Some excerpts from Shashwat Kumar’s path-breaking Business Model titled “Producing a Begging Baby: Playing With Human Sympathy Profitably”:
Mission. To give the family a new earning member, without bothering about the nation’s population and the newborn’s future.
Product Description. Homo sapiens, child (hereby referred to as “product”)
Market Analysis. There are too many beggars who market their frail looks and tears and fake disabilities for a sustainable living by using human psychology. However, the earnings are known to increase greatly by the presence of a child.
Market Growth. The revenue-earning ability of the product (i.e. child) will decline as its age increases. However, my B-Plan suggests two remedial measures: (1) Another baby may be produced around this very time. This will not only maximise revenue, but will also cover up the declining marketability of the earlier product. (2) The earlier product may be married and encouraged to produce more similar products to maximise revenue.
Risks. (1) The diversion of the product towards education and Steve Jobs–like ambitious ventures. This risk may be eliminated by not providing any exposure to education. (2) The death of a child in a road accident while begging. It is not a risk as such; another baby can be produced in time.
Additional Benefits. (1) The baby gets injured, ill, or becomes disabled. The chances of this are endless, since the child is not to be provided good food for the money he earns. It works as a reward, as people get more sympathised to such kids and are likely to give more money. (2) Pickpocketing. If the child can be taught pickpocketing, it gives an extra source of revenue.
Strategy. (1) Being Health-conscious: Not feeding children much makes them more marketable, (2) Other women: Using several other women beggars to carry the same child in the lap by turns, while the mother gets a commission from those other women. This increases the possibility of earnings. (3) Extra earnings during winter: Using naked children in winter-time can be profitably used to play with people’s sympathy.
Personnel/Resources Required. Initially, a begging man needs a begging woman – and vice-versa – to kickstart the project. Since the venture is nature-funded, nothing more is required. Well-planned setups can afford a psychological consultant. A begging bowl. Clothes torn skilfully. Travelling funds to transport to tourist places for more earnings. Foul-smelling deodorants to enhance foul smell.
Break-even point. Using the product’s marketability skilfully at congested traffic lights can allow profits as soon as within six months.
Although Shashwat Kumar’s Business Plan could not grab any of the top three positions at the award function, his business plan has suddenly become popular among beggars on Indian streets. “I heard of this business plan on television yesterday at our underground bungalow,” we overheard a begging mafia agent saying to another in the capital.