The hunt for a lost piece of baggage is where the story of MissingKart begins. What should have been just another train ride from Kochi to Kottayam turned into a dreadful, months-long ordeal for Hashir C P when his baggage went missing. But the incident paved the way for an app to help people trace
The hunt for a lost piece of baggage is where the story of MissingKart begins. What should have been just another train ride from Kochi to Kottayam turned into a dreadful, months-long ordeal for Hashir C P when his baggage went missing. But the incident paved the way for an app to help people trace lost items.
On the MissingKart site, one can report a lost item by uploading a photo or describing details like its colour, brand etc.
Launched on August 15, missingkart.com, a first-of-its-kind digital platform developed by a five-member team, is fast becoming the go-to platform for all things lost. The Beta version website also serves as a host for ‘found’ items. Speaking from UL Cyberpark in Kozhikode, Pradeep K, Co-founder, is elated as just hours before this interview he got a call from a very happy MissingKart user in faraway Kashmir.
“Someone had reported finding a PAN card earlier this month. The next day, we got a call from an Army personnel stationed in Kashmir. He had given up hope of ever finding it, which is when he got a message that his PAN card had been reported on missingkart.com. He called today to thank us. Positive feedback is always uplifting,” he gushes.
Going back to where it all started, Hashir informed the railway authorities about his missing baggage. He was able to reclaim the bag only after several phone calls and visits to Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station. “It was a struggle to travel from Kozhikode to the capital to identify a bag every time we got a call. When we finally went to collect our baggage, we were taken aback at the number of lost items in the room.” The team had been brainstorming for the right idea to begin a startup uptil then.
“No one, be it a government or a private organisation, had a digital platform for lost-and-found items,” says Pradeep. The team did their homework first. Each member put a message on their WhatsApp status stating that they had lost a valuable and if anyone knew what could be done. “Our friends put up a similar status. A lot of the feedback was along the same lines – that we might never find it, that what is lost, is gone forever. People mostly sympathised and suggested filing a complaint with the nearest police station but there was nothing about using an online platform.”
So MissingKart began. Those who report a found item on the site can share their contact details which will be kept confidential. A KSIDC Business Incubation Centre-based startup, the team is currently working with Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and flood relief coordinators to help those who were affected by the flood to reclaim possessions that were lost. Based on a recent development, MissingKart will now also come to the rescue of those who have lost belongings within the UL Cyberpark campus. “Nearly seven to eight missing items are reported from within the campus every month,” Hashir says.
MissingKart is now being taken a step closer to the client: “We are hoping to have a found item delivered to its owner at the earliest,” he adds. “Other plans include a rewarding system in case someone wishes to thank a finder in kind.”