How many of train travellers in Mumbai get their shoes shined at the railway station before going to office?
The shoeshine boy squats on barely two square feet of real estate.
He doesn’t “own” it, but rents it.
Often, the rent is between Rs 100 to Rs 200 a day.
Assuming 300 working days, it could be at a minimum Rs 30,000 for two square feet per year.
The rental yield is usually low (around 5 per cent), but even assuming 10 per cent, that translates into capital value of Rs 3 lakh, or Rs 1.5 lakh per square foot.
This price exceeds even the most expensive neighbourhoods of Mumbai, including Pedder Road or Nepean Sea Road.
The strange fact is that the shoeshine boy occupies very expensive real estate even though he is close to the (income) poverty line.
–wrote Ajit Ranade