Enterprise of Tank Cleaners

This entrepreneurial story is a little different from traditional business stories. Nano and small enterprises rarely receive any entrepreneurial spirit. A novel start-up or an out of box idea gets noticed by consumers. There are many businesses that are no longer considered as a business for example, plumbing, cleaning, tank cleaning, etc. There are some entrepreneurs in this field, who have been doing their business for decades with great integrity. Of them is the famous ‘Bapu Services’ based in Pune. Their business is cleaning water tanks. Many enterprises have sprung up in the business of tank cleaning. However, the credibility of ‘Bapu Services’ is unparalleled. In fact, this name has become a brand in itself. Each time after work, they stick a paper with their name on the tank to remind the customers of future cleaning requirements.

In the early days, Mr. Bapu Potdar’s friend and famous artist, Sadashiv Amarapurkar suggested this idea. This enterprise was started in 1995 by Mr.. Shankar alias Bapu Potdar on a very small scale. It is currently being managed by Mr. Sandeep Potdar and Mr. Satyajit Potdar. After their education, both of them decided to help their father in his business. Eventually, the business grew and two companies ‘Bapu Associates’ and ‘Bapu Hygiene Services’ came into being. Along with primarily focusing on tank cleaning, the enterprise also focuses on deep cleaning, parking cleaning, etc. Moreover, these types of services are made available to the middle class households at reasonable rates. So far twelve thousand customers have been served. Over 76 individuals are employed in these firms. Mrs. Smriti, Sandeep’s wife, helps in the management of the firms. Large sum of capital is not a requisite for this type of business, but people management and creating a network of people is a big challenge. Many professionals today find digital businesses more comfortable than working with people.  Mr. Sandeep Potdar opines that behind any successful business lies the ability to take people together and work in a team. In ‘Bapu Services’ the training imparted to the employees is not limited to work only, but it also focuses on imparting values and ethics. Maybe that’s why ‘Bapu Services’ was successful in gaining the trust of the customers. They are working towards inspiring the youth to start small scale enterprises. ‘Bapu Services’ epitomises the adage that timely and quality service go a long way.

This article by Dr. Lalitagauri Kulkarni was originally published in Marathi in Sakal Newspaper on December 05, 2023.