karmanye has adopted this family under its “Family Welfare” initiative

This is a case of a family of 5 adults, currently staying in Kharadi, Pune; that has perished from decent living conditions to rags. Lack of higher education has failed them to get a sustaining job and being employed for a longer tenure. By the genes, they are not blessed with acumen to perform in their entrepreneurial ventures. They have been duped twice by 2 different business partners, in 2 different engagements and that has led them to move between cities in hope of finding a stable future. They are still undeterred and seek help and guidance to bring them up and continue living a dignified, self-sufficient & an independent life.


  1. John Nicholas
    1. 51 years old,
    2. primary occupation being a taxi driver,
    3. with catering experience of over 15 years,
    4. blessed with the art of cooking, expertise in rice preparations, even in large quantities e.g. he has catered to a crowd of 250 people and prepared biryani for the mass
  2. Merry Nicholas (wife of John)
    1. 47 years old
    2. blessed with the art of cooking, her food reminds me of my mom’s cooking, it’s delicious, simple, homely, clean and most importantly healthy
    3. have been cooking and providing lunch boxes for over 20 years
  3. Regeina Nicholas (sister of John)
    1. 53 years old
    2. blessed with the art of cooking, her food reminds me of my mom’s cooking, it’s delicious, simple, homely, clean and most importantly healthy
    3. have been cooking and providing lunch boxes for over 25 years
    4. has been a professional chef (bawarchi) at government guest houses
    5. suffers through a spinal illness, that has caused her a slipped disc operation, as a result of which she cannot stand straight and for not more than 5 minutes
  4. Sophia John (daughter of John)
    1. Employed at Zensar call centre
    2. Elder daughter, 23 years old, pursuing BCom externally from a college in Pune
  5. Angelina John (daughter of John)
    1. Employed at Zensar call centre
    2. Younger daughter, 20 years old, pursuing 12th standard externally from a college in Pune

Current status (monthly income / expenses)

  1. John earns 12,000 from his driving job for a travels company, but it leaves him no time for anything else and is hardly home. He tries to capture as many outstation duties because that gives in additional allowance from Travel Company. But this job is not predictable, sometimes he is gone for weeks and sometimes, he is idle hunting for a drive. When he is not driving, he does not get paid.
  2. Sophia earns 12,500 from her call centre job
  3. Angelina earns 9,500 from her call centre job
  4. Very recently, Regeina and Merry have re-started the lunch box and managed to get 10 clients so far – which is about 18,000 for the month
  5. All 5 of them stay in a 225 sq. ft. area, congested as one can imagine, but they are super clean and practice hygienic living conditions
  6. House rent: 5,500
  7. Water and electricity bills: 1,500
  8. Raw materials for lunch boxes: 9,000

Current status (analysis)

  1. The family runs on no liabilities, no loans as yet, that’s a huge relief
  2. They live their life on a day to day basis, just manage to break it even
  3. That yields them no savings and that bothers the crap out of them
  4. Still no home of their own, and it definitely stands as a distant dream

Family Strengths

  1. They are uniquely and lovingly bonded, united
  2. Beautiful people, honest, though naively innocent
  3. All decisions, good or bad are collectively discussed and exercised with everybody’s consent
  4. No addiction or substance abuse
  5. Strong family values, cultured, well mannered and civilized
  6. Hard-working, willingness to struggle for well-being, no signs on lazy attitude
  7. No signs of blind faiths. no wrong doings under the pretext of religious rites and rituals
  8. No compromise in healthy, hygienic living conditions despite all financial odds, rare to find

Action plan (immediate changes)

  1. It is for certain that the daughters will need to take up responsibility of running the household
  2. Day to day accounting, what money comes in and what goes out has to be critically examined
  3. Every day expense has to be minutely supervised
  4. Daughters have to step up and focus on giving the family a stable source of income and ultimately buy a house, even though small of their own
  5. The family is in need life mentoring and guidance to assist them making the right financial decisions

Action plan (3 months)

  1. Having tasted their lunch boxes, I am certain that cooking is their art and biggest asset they can play upon
  2. They may not be able to get employed as chefs at restaurants given their need to be home
  3. Providing lunchboxes requires very less initial capital and profit margins are relatively higher
  4. Catering is the only entrepreneurial venture they can pursue, which is most predictable and within their control
  5. Pricing of the tiffin and what gets cooked, and what gets bought needs to be assessed and audited on a daily basis

Target 1

  1. They do not have a vehicle of their own to commute
  2. The first target hence becomes, to scale up their lunch box tiffin business to a minimum of 50 sustaining clients (approx. Rs. 90,000 turn over, with 100% profit, i.e. Rs. 45,000 income)
  3. Clients to be found within the vicinity who can pick up tiffins, no delivery service to be provided
  4. Once this target is achieved, John can resign from his driving job and focus on increasing the tiffin business even further
  5. They will be offered initial capital of Rs.10,000 for this marketing assignment, print pamphlets, exhaust digital marketing channels etc. They will be provided guidance on establishing such marketing tools over digital media to expand their reach and tap needy customers.

Target 2

  1. After they achieve a minimum of 50 lunch boxes per month, John becomes free for delivery assignments
  2. They can then invest in a second-hand-run moped / two wheeler and deliver lunch boxes in radius of 5 kms (approx. capital investment of Rs 25,000)
  3. Target to increase customer base to 100 tiffin per month (approx. Rs. 90,000 per month)

Target 3

  1. The larger target and most likely the final outcome for the family is to setup a shop where they can cook on a larger scale and take up larger catering orders
  2. Once they cross target #2, they can then, manage to pay rent of Rs.8000 per month
  3. The deposit for such a shop is Rs. 1 lac (Rs. 50,000 will be bourne by them and Rs.50,000 will be pulled in as loan from external providers)


  1. Quality, taste and hygiene of food is the essence, it cannot be compromised
  2. Word of mouth spreads and must be utilized to the maximum
  3. At any given point in time, accounting methods have to be followed strictly and in a disciplined manner
  4. All financial decisions must be consulted

karmanye’s role

  1. Actively participate in managing family’s finances
  2. Weekly audits for income and expense accounting
  3. Training the family members to maximize profits in their venture
  4. Raise necessary funds as the family reaches its financial milestones
  5. Actively participate in marketing the family’s business