Buying pickles in Sringeri

That’s what i did immediately before I proceeded to the VidyaShankara temple to look for porn. I spent half an hour at the Sri VidyaShankara Home Products store buying pickles and other assorted condiments. I ended up buying a bottle of Appe Midi Mango pickle (made out of whole uncut tiny mangoes). Then one bottle of Amla (nallikai) thokku – a kind of chutney made with full amlas. My mom later told me she was keen we bought this because I usually don’t eat the fruit in amla pickles, and that it’s good for health.

We also bought a number of other things – jackfruit papad, fried peanuts, banana chips,? etc. The killer was what the shop had nicknamed as Brahmagranthi Nibedhini or something to that effect. it’s some ayurvedic solution which can cure the common cold. I actually tried it sometime last week when a cold seemed imminent and it worked! All you need to do is to just take a drop between your thumb and forefinger, rub them together and then sniff. In a few minutes, the cold will be clear.

Now that I’ve told you what I bought, let me come to the point of this post. It’s about the shop’s business model. The shop has figured out that if they rely only on tourists coming to Sringeri, they won’t be able to sell too much. So they have this unique formula for door delivery. All you need to do is to call them up and give your order and your address. They will then courier the products to you. And after you receive them, you mail back a demand draft.

I found this interesting. Basically in order to expand their business, they are taking a huge risk (of not being paid at all). Actually, this reminds me of the ICICI Bank/SBI business model. In order to “grow”, you give out more loans, with less guarantee that they’ll be paid back. If they are paid back, you make a small profit. Else, you make a huge loss. Actually this pickle business – if you look at the flow of cash/kind – is exactly like the lending business. And here too, if you default once, they won’t give you any products the next time you call them – like you getting a bad credit score in banking.

Given that they are based out of Sringeri, and procure most of their products from around the area, it’s going to be tough (and really expensive) for them to relocate to Bangalore. However, I think they might do well if they go online. When they can get customers to pay them by means of a credit card and then send the goods. Which is the same mechanism that is used for all things bought online. I wonder why they haven’t done it so far. Or maybe they want to build their reputation further before they ask people to trust them.

Having consumed the products mentioned in the beginning of this post for about three weeks now, I must say that all of them are excellent. And the rates are reasonable too – fifty rupees for a bottle of appe midi mango pickle (i’m not sure how much they’ll add for shipping. I just guess they’ll charge the actual courier charges they incur). I’m sure I’ll be ordering some stuff from them over the phone in a few days time (once I’ve finished off all that I bought).

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