A week ago, I was buying tender coconuts from a street vendor. I asked him for his mobile number, so that I can call him if I need more and ask him to deliver them home. As I was trying to make note of his number in my mobile, he quickly thrust his flashy new business card that contained all his coordinates. “If you are from one of the nearby apartments, you can also email me if you want it home delivered. I check my mails at least once an hour”, pointing to his Micromax phone.

My jaw dropped and that bloke made sure it stayed there by saying “In 2 or 3 weeks, our Android app will be ready. You can order from your app as well”.
On speaking to that guy, I learnt that he has studied until Class 8 and has been doing lot of seasonal jobs. Apparently, he had sold tender coconuts last summer as well and figured out that there is a good demand for the home delivery of the above. A shrewd guy that he is, it didn’t take long for him to work out that the neighbourhood is dominated by those who work for IT companies – the kind of lazy bums with tablets and smart phones, who wouldn’t bother moving their posterior unless there is a very real need. To serve the above kind of clientele, he decided to make himself reachable over email, as that sets him apart from the competition. How about the smart phone app? How is he developing one? One of his regular customers is a smart phone developer. Impressed by his service, he decided to help him by developing the app.
I was mighty impressed by his entrepreneurial efforts. Although his product is something that is sold by every Kuppan, Suppan and Subramani – he clearly differentiated himself with his services. An infectious enthusiasm has lead him to offer and market his services through a smart phone. This is innovation. I doubt if this would be taught at any of the B Schools out there.