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For this post most of the content is taken from Quora.

Somebody on Quora posted a question “I paid Rs. 20 to a shoe polish wala in Dadar station. Given the number of people travelling everyday we can expect that he polishes at least 100 shoes a day. Does it mean that his income is at least Rs. 480000 a year?”

It was answered anonymously, it gives one very interesting insight into mind of analyst, how Analyst think  & verifies fact. go on read it to get better insight

I know the actual number because of a project. I will reveal it in the end.

Let us do some basic math. Dadar Station traffic is half million passengers a day.

That is 5,00,000. Given that a person is likely to polish his shoes only in one way journey we get 2,50,000.

Deduct from it 20% female crowd and 30% students because neither of them wear polish-able shoes.

You get 1,25,000 men traveling via Dadar and might polish their shoes assuming they are wearing one. 50% of India’s population is very poor and most certainly does not have a job that requires them to wear polished shoes, and they mostly take trains and buses so we deduct another 50% to get 62,000.

For simplicity sake let us assume all of them wear polish-able shoes.[1] I polish my shoes once a month so only 1/30th of 62,000 wants to polish their shoes a day. That is 2066 ~ 2000.

Dadar station has 12 shoe polish people last time I had checked. (two years back).

So each boy typically gets around 166 customers. Each polishing session takes around 4 minutes. Which means assuming there is an infinite line of customers then the boy has to work for 11 hours a day to cater to all of them.

That is not the case. This is totally incorrect. It is incorrect because of assumption [1]. Out of those 62,000 only 30% probably work in service industry. We get 20,500. when we apply 1/30 rule to it we get around 683. 683/12= 56.

Note that as per our assumptions this is the upper limit on how many customers a shoe polish guy would have. It will never exceed 56.

The facts are :

1. The real number is around 20 customers per day.(After adjusting for weekends) Number never exceeds 60 in a day.

2. 100 rupees is the hafta that they have to pay

So typical monthly earning for him is around Rs 6000 per month. This is also a part time business with free time on weekends. That makes it very lucrative.

Quora Answer Link