Aata nahi hai mehenga – bas batwe mein hai kuch jyada paisa

The more we demand the more we pay. While it may be true that if we consume and buy more aata (wheat flour) we may eventually end up paying more for the aata. There is another scenario. (You may continue reading if you did not decipher the title (it’s in Hindi), for the topic discussed is what matters and the title may just be a justification to that.)

Let’s say I am rich and buy a property for investment purpose. My property is a shop but I do not like to be a shop keeper and so to make money I rent it out. I am greedy and I demand one lakh a month as rent. The shop owner needs staff and needs to manage attrition. He can do this only if the customer pays for all of it so he aims not at just increasing his profit margin but to pay the hefty rent in a foreign land where he came to do business. Customers also these days demand for all sorts of things and so the shopkeeper is dependent on many business people to help him stock up things for his customers. The many suppliers are aware of the selling price and gains confidence to ask for more for the product they supply. The shopkeeper is always there on their behalf to inform customers that inflation and rise in petrol prices have pushed the product cost. The former Bangaloreans and the current Bengalurians have always paid with a smile for what is asked for. This submission is unique in character when compared to other Indian metro cities like Delhi, Kolkotta and Chennai. Even Mumbai would be cheap for many products/services that are super expensive in Bangalore.

But I got a shock of my about three year life in Bengaluru yesterday. I purchased 10 Kg ‘aata’, packed in May’11, for Rs. 235 when the printer MRP was/is Rs. 310. I passed on the shock to my convenience charger cum grocery supplier at my societies in-house grocery shop. This shopkeeper supplies product to us at MRP. I will not reveal how much he purchases his stock of aata for, but I will certainly share with you the profit he makes (:-)). That is just Rs 40 on a 10 kg bag if I were to believe him entirely.

Well I know I cannot ask people in my society to stop buying conveniently at their doorstep. About Rs 70 extra on 10kg bag for a big pocket is not a big deal for convenience. My discovery of cheap ‘aata’ does not make me the smartest person in my society either. There would be others who know of other products which they buy cheaper because they discovered it on the different route that they take to reach their office. Social living in the past would have made such information common and useful in those days. But in today’s heavy traffic roads it’s difficult to use such information to go buying ‘aata’ seven kilometers away from home. It’s not feasible in any sense.

Google I think has brought in a solution for the netizen. Social interactivity is now already mostly on the internet. Societies discuss their concerns online. My solution to the marketing issue discussed above is simple. If you find a product that is commonly used by humans on your way back home from work. Upload the product details (brand and price and your name) on online spreadsheets sheets. You often go to office on an empty car and return likewise. Now, before leaving allow yourself to be contacted by people who are interested in buying those products. On your way back you get it for them. Maybe a dedication of one day a week will be sufficient. Eventually we may end up buying good stuff for each other for good (lower than usual) price. Shopkeepers may give more discounts on bulk buying. Our individual shopping efforts may reduce much. There will be less shoppers traversing on the road and hence a less congestion on the road. We may spend less time on polluted streets. The positive impact could be much more. But ah I think my virtual dreaming on the net should now end for a good weekend sleep. I wonder if social life on internet is just as virtual as it is meant to be, or could there be a virtual dreams coming true. If any of us socializes on the internet to make virtual dreams come true, please do leave a comment.

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