Friday, April 18, 2008

Marketing Strategies

Friday, April 18, 2008

In a town like Pilani, where a samosa chat acquires the status of lasagne, the primary food station is a roadside stall (or simply called a redi).

The other day I was sitting at one of these redis and was contemplating over what to eat and I saw him squeeze around 25 lemons into a glass. My eyes just widened. As far as food is concerned my tastes are totally feminine. I love sour foodstuff. So I asked him he could make a lemon soda using that pulp.

“Umm…this has 30 lemons in it. You know that right?” He said in his rustic Hindi.

“Ahuh, imagine how sour it’ll be.” I said enthusiastically.

“I am sorry sir, but I cannot serve you this. I just cannot” He shot back.

And then he went on about how 30 lemons would simply kill me. It would just cut through my skin (him giving examples of how lemon juice can erode walls). He said it was his moral duty to stop me from harming himself.

Oh now we’re on to something I thought.

He continued saying how my health is quite important to him, for I was one of his regular customers. He later said that he wasn’t greedy and that, he could have very well made that mega-lemon soda which would have cost 50 rupees (for lemons aren’t cheap in Rajasthan these days), but then what? Would that make him a millionaire? No. Instead he was at a risk of losing me for a couple of days, which would result in losses far greater than 50 rupees to him (for I eat quite a lot).

There is cut throat competition amongst the BITS-Pilani redis. The redi owners (at least some of them), everything works on trust and honesty. You would rather build a relationship with a customer rather than try to get hold of his money (even if that is what you eventually want to do), for the student is going to be around for the next four years. It makes business sense to tell him that the redi pretty much belongs to him and that money isn’t an issue at all.

Also this particular rediwallah also knows that students can bitch a lot (after all he listens to them all day long as they gobble his food) and that he should provide them with the best service to his capabilities. And this makes them loyal which in turn makes these loyal customers as a sort of brand ambassadors.

Later on, this rediwallah also told me quite frankly how the other redi wallah( his main competition) is totally unlike him. How the other person would have readily given me the killer lemon soda with a smiling face. He also went on to say how in a college since we’re away from out parents, we’re like his children in some respect and it’s his duty to at least warn us before hand.

So by now:

1) He’s shown to me that he’s really cares about my health, for I am his main customer and that my health is quite important to me.

2) His competition is a money hungry leech quite unlike him

There is a reason why this redi wallah is so successful. Today he owns a taxi service, couple of restaurants, yet his major source of income is this redi which serves refreshments to over 400 people in BITS-Pilani. He is the undisputed tycoon here. And how does he do it? He keeps his customers happy and takes good care of them, because only if they are healthy will they spend more money on his venture. What he also does is that engages in some pretty interesting conversation. As a result you end up spending more time and hence more money at his redi.

I am planning to do my Economics thesis under him.

6 comments:

Vivek Krishnan

ah, good old munna and his stories of how he owned half of cnot, the vk redi, and how the rest of pilani's restaurant owners conspired against him and forced him to become a lowly rediwalla, and how he still remains happy...

dum

Haha, the twisted, sonofabitch Munna!
He's the biggest two-faced twat of them all.
I remember once when he told me, his 'pita-jaisa-siddhant' is what makes him different from other Rediwallahs. What a load of bollocks!
But yeah, he does serve the best food outta all the redis...uh...second only to Gulabji!

rishabh

vivek:not to forget how the women always cheat him and never pay yet he is really good to them.

Dum: Yo. He is twisted, but he sure is smart. Sky mein rush kam ho gay hai this sem coz of him

Shouvik

That was a great post. Long-term benefit vs. short term is what I always say. No, honsetly though, the econ. thesis idea isn't half bad.

rishabh

Ah, nice to see you here my friend. This guy, he is excellent at PR.

sap

i cant believe people are balling Sky for mofo Munna!

For me the best conversations though happened in UCo. u had local goons coming there man! and u can borrow a match box from them. Ditto for sky redi, outside the gate.

 
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