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    Book My Chotu

    India Logs On to Errand Boys to Stand in ATM Queues

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    A Delhi based startup is lending errand boys for a little more than a dollar per hour. This is because the Indian Prime Minister’s sudden currency ban has sparked demand for helpers to hold the place for people who cannot afford to spend hours at ATM queues.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Bookmychotu.com is an eight-month old startup owned by a Delhi businessman Satjeet Singh Bedi. Till November 8, it did not seem to be a great idea. Till Indian PM Narendra Modi suddenly announced an overnight ban on high value currency bills.

    The startup basically caters to customers looking for helpers by the hour for odd jobs such as cleaning, packing and moving etc. Suddenly a new employment avenue has opened up for them as Indians scramble for cash. The startup has reported a sudden spike in demand for "chotu" — Indian slang for errand boys. Any person can book one for roughly $2.5 to stand for two hours in the serpentine queues outside ATMs all over the country.

    "Our boys are primarily into housekeeping. However, the government gave this opportunity to provide boys to stand in line for people. Over 90 per cent of our staff is now booked, and most of the demand is from people who have to stand in ATM lines. Many job seekers are calling us and showing interest in providing this service" Bedi told Sputnik.

    The startup provides service only in the Delhi-National Capital Region, but its promoters are talking to investors to expand the service to other Indian cities.

    The startup has gained from this unforeseen situation not only in terms of surge in demand but in saving money kept aside for promotions. Its weblink has become viral on messaging applications and social media as people recommend the service to friends and family.

    ​Bookmychotu.com was in the news a few months ago, but for the wrong reason as ‘chotu' elicits the impression of an under-aged worker. The startup had a tough time clarifying that its employees were all above 18 years old.

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