Friday, August 01, 2008

The Other World...

There is this world where you buy your tickets (be it movie tickets or travel tickets) online. Where you go to the big baazaar an swipe your credit card to make the payment. Where you call up for your car service and the service guys take the car from your place, service it and give it back to you with a bill. You use your credit card for most of the transactions and you rarely deal with cash. You sit in an air-conditioned office and punch a few keys on your computer and you get paid heavily for it. The world of a software related person.

And then there is this other world where everything is done through cash. You rely on the travel agent to get your rail and air tickets. And you get your movie tickets from the movie hall ticket window. You take your car to the service station yourself and stand there and get the service done in front of your eyes. You pay cash all the time and try to avoid getting bills to avoid paying the 12.XX% tax on the total amount. You are not eligible for a credit card cause you dont have any asset to show to the banks.

I had an encounter with the "other world" when i got wood work and painting done in my new flat. I came to know that the margin of profit could be increased for 10% to 60% by simply twisting the quality of materials. I also came to know the fact that the MRP quoted on most materials includes a huge profit margin and that you can actually bargain on the MRP.

When i went to get the first lot of wood i came to know that wood comes from 30Rs/sq ft to more than 100Rs/sq ft. And a increase of 5 Rs/sq ft can make a huge difference in the final cost. Dealing with the workers is a pain. For them you are a fresh,delicious and juicy piece of chicken almost ready for being chopped. And they would love to chop you irrespective of what you think. If you leave them to their will, they would chop you and fight over your pieces. For them even 5 Rs has a meaning. And then there are these people in the local market who only understand cash. If you look at their shop, you wont believe that the shop can have lakhs of rs in cash within itself. There are no guards to guard the shop. And they still have lakhs of cash with them and crores of raw materials just lying there. They dont have a credit card machine cause the bank wont give them any. They dont have credit cards themselves cause they dont have any proof of their huge income. They make lakhs in a month and dont file any income tax returns. They hardly pay any tax. And the fact may be that though they may be serving you, but they may be having more wealth and property than you do.

When i made my first payment of 46000 (cash) to the wood supplier, i filled up my office bag with rupees. I was scared of driving on the road and my hands were literally trembling when i was counting the amount i had to pay. But the shop owner was calm and composed as if it was his daily job. These guys dont know what the internet is or how to use it. All they know is how to make money. It is the other world - the actual world. For us this world is hidden behind a layer of service guys and internet.

1 comment:

anksphenomenon said...

I see a great business opportunity there! :D