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Bhopal bizman buys ATM
Bhopal, NOV 5 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 6 Nov. 2010 12:20 AM IST
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Buying metal on Dhanteras is supposed to ensure prosperity but Rajesh Jethpuria decided to take the direct route. Inspired by a banker friend, the 38-year-old businessman bought an automated teller machine (ATM), becoming India’s first individual owner of an ATM.
“We worship Goddess Laxmi on Dhanteras. So I booked an ATM last Friday,” said Jethpuria, who runs a construction and interior decoration enterprise in Maharana Pratap Nagar. ‘‘I told my wife it was legal and the beginning of a new business for me. We finalized the deal for Rs 7 lakh on Dhanteras. The manufacturer, Ezee Rupee ATM, gave me the papers today. I plan to buy five more.’’
India needs 10 lakh ATMs but has only 65,000 machines. State Bank of India has 20,000 ATMs while the remaining 35 banks have 45,000. In 2005, RBI cleared outsourcing of ATMs because their maintenance cost between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh per month.
“A lot of money goes into ATMs and banks don’t want to take up this burden. If entrepreneurs take the responsibility of running ATMs, it will ease the burden on banks,” said a Bhopal-based Bank of India officer, who requested anonymity.
According to RBI rules, the money in the ATM belongs to the bank while the owner maintains the set-up for a commission. “The national average on each ATM is 260 transactions a day... My dream is to have SBI pick my ATM. I hope Laxmi grants me that,” said Jethpuria. ‘Individuals owning ATMs can be new biz model’
Bhopal: The severe shortage of ATMs for bank customers needing quick cash can be eased if more entrepreneurs take a leaf out of Rajesh Jethpuria’s book. The Bhopal-based businessman has bought an ATM from Ezee Rupee, a Canada-based ATM manufacturing company and hopes some bank adopts his machine.
Manish Mathur, director of Ezee Rupee, said his firm was in touch with four major banks, both private and government-owned, to set up such ATMs in Indore, Surat and Ahmedabad. By February 2011, Mathur said, hundreds of such ATMs will be operational. ‘‘There are at least 10 other people buying ATMs from us in the next two days,” Mathur said. “We are corresponding with banks, which will choose buyers according to their locations.”
“In India, the ATM network is small and exorbitant. So far, it was either the banks maintaining ATMs or third party service providers. Ours is a new business model where an individual owns the ATM and makes money with every transaction,” said Cris Chandler, MD of Ezee Rupee.
The idea came to Jethpuria when a banker friend told him that along with his business, he could install an ATM. He said the concept was in practice in America. “I can install it in my shop with a 16 sq ft space. A bank can sign a five-year contract with me and sponsor the machine,” Jethpuria explained.

 
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