Pune, 13th September 2021: We face a lot of problems if we have torn, tattered, or mutilated notes. We try to get rid of it by slipping it into good notes but that doesn’t work. And we can’t go all the way to the bank just to change a couple of notes. It is a hectic process.
Well, we have a solution. There is a shop in Pune where they would be happy to accept your torn, tattered notes in exchange for usable notes.
Desai and Company in Budhwar Peth has been operating this business for more than seventy years.
Niket Dilip Desai runs the business currently. He is third-generation in the family business.
People usually ask a lot of questions related to his business. Here are some of them….
Q: What is the history? How did you get into this business?
Niket: This business was started by my grandfather more than 70 years ago, and I am the third generation in this family-owned business now. Back in the early days, my grandfather used to walk around the Mandai area asking people if they had any torn notes, and he used to take them and return them good usable notes in return for a small service fee. In those days, it was not possible for everyone to go to the banks and people had nowhere to go to exchange the spoiled notes, so my grandfather recognized this problem and started this business.”
Q: What is the business and what do you need for this business?
Niket: It’s like for example, you have a Rs 10 torn note, a kind of note no shopkeeper will accept. We take that note and give you Rs 8 back and keep the Rs 2 with us as service tax. But the service tax completely depends upon the condition of the note. We examine the condition of the note and decide what service tax we need to charge. There are rules set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and we work in line with them.
For this, you need the experience to know Which note fits in the reserve bank rules and guidelines and which note doesn’t?
Q: What do you do with the torn notes?
Niket: We take the torn notes and give them to the reserve bank for the full value exchange of the amount. The nominal service charge is our only profit.
Q: What are the usual challenges you face?
Niket: We get a lot of Bogus and fake notes. A lot of these new Rs 50 and Rs 100 currency notes that are in current circulation are being duplicated often. We have to make people aware of such kinds of notes and ask them to tear the note. We detect the fake notes from real ones by their paper quality.
Q: How is the response?
Niket: Right now, the response has slowed down. People are more into online payment and they usually go to the banks to change the notes. The main customers we get are shopkeepers from Mandai and people who have businesses in the Peth area. They usually come here and exchange their notes.
Q: How many such businesses are there in Pune?
Niket: In Pune, there are only 3-4 shops that are in a similar business, but our shop and my uncle’s shops are probably the oldest.
Q: What do you think will be the future of this business? Where do you see this going?
Niket: People get attracted to unique things. We are currently doing customized notes where the customers want the date of their anniversary or their birthdays on the notes. They can gift it or have the note as a collection for themselves. We get these notes from our network of collectors who usually bring these notes to us. Further, I will keep going on with this business as long as it can, and meanwhile, bring in some changes and go into the antique business, like antique notes, antique coins.
RBI on some occasions releases special coins like Rs 125 coin which has 50 % silver or Rs 100 coin, and some people are not even aware that these coins which are legal tender, are released by the Reserve Bank. We collect such coins and sell them to people who are fond of collecting special coins and notes.
As of now people mostly come to us for antique coins and this will be the future of our business.
If you have any torn note, then contact
Desai and Company
1104, Budhwar Peth, Pune
Contact no. – 9822307875