Observations, deductions and feelings fueled by tequila, tea and tobacco

interim thoughts…: Retail vs retail

In V-A on February 13, 2007 at 23:25

Neelakantan picks up on a nice innovation. Even an year ago, while we were preparing for our campus placements and discussing company performance was a regular fixture, it was evident that the best kid on the fmcg block was no more levers or P&G but the indian tobacco giant turned conglomerate called ITC. Using branded handcarts to sell vegetables seems to be the latest out of what has become the idea factory for mainstream marketers in the country now. Many kudos to the place and ‘nice choice’ to all friends employed there (somewhere deep in side, I envy you!)

And yes, the one point where neel raises doubts on this concept is what I think is the strongest. I haven’t ever purchased vegetables in a metro (been a bachelor so long, u see) but outside of them (read: karnal, kurukshetra, shimla, jullundhur, perinthalmanna, cuttack, jaipur and jodhpur), i’ve seen these hand drawn carts provide quite a substantial service to the housewives in getting to them a medium variety of fresh vegetables. Regarding the variety clause, an average non-metro urban household doesn’t really survive on too big a variety of veggies – and if i can take our own house as an example (sampling error, i know), all the variety that’s needed is say 5 veggies a week – pulses, eggs and others make up for rest of the meals.

Infact, the handcart funda fits in pretty well if i look at the purchase pattern at my place. Every weekend, ma and papa head out to the local sabzi mandi to purchase the week’s supply of high consumption items – onions, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, dhaniya, etc – along with small quantities of a few seasonal veggies. And then, every evening, when the thela-wala comes around, they purchase the evening’s (or next day’s lunch’s) requirement for the specialty veggies. Say, organised retail takes hold tomorrow, the only change I see coming in for them is to purchase the weekly supplies from a foodworld (or equivalent) instead of the mandi and the daily supplies would come from ITC (or bharti or reliance) branded vegetable carts. In any case, if my mom’s a representative sample, then the concern most purchasers have regarding carts is not of accurate measurement but of pricing and quality of produce – something that the association of a corporate brand name would take care of (take care of the concern, not necessarily the issue).

Abhi bahut gyaan ho gaya 1 useless topic pe, the thing to note about is consecutive posts at this hour – matlab… from today, I have internet at home! đŸ™‚

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