Saturday, April 01, 2006

Road Side Entrepreneur

I had the chance to go to Ritchie Street yesterday to buy some parts for assembling a PC. For the un-initiated, Ritchie Street is the BestBuy/CircuitCity/Frys of Chennai. You can find Computer parts, cell-phones and all electronics for the cheapest possible rates in India in this small street. 300 stores in that street. Ritchie street always amazes me. My friend and I were sitting at one of stores waiting for our turn to bargain with the seller. Man, I got tired just WATCHING the store guy handling people. Somehow he seemed to be speaking on 3 land-lines, 1 cell-phone, handling customers in his always over-flowing store (which was about 8 feet by 5 feet) AND issuing orders to his 3 assistants to go pick up parts from different locations. The store guy says that everyday by night 9.00pm his throat is sore from talking. No surprise there. The 4 hours I was at his store, he would've spoken to about 300 different people & dealt with about 80 other suppliers. It is very interesting to observe the industry dynamics happening here in India.
Well, but this post however, is not about these guys who sell computer parts. There was another street-side guy who probably made more profit than the guys sitting inside those stores. Very hard working, genuine chap. He had 4 assistants with him. He makes probably one of the best Channa-samosa I've eaten. My friend was chatting with him, and we were amazed at how he well his business was doing.
He says that during peak winter he rings in about Rs. 15,000 per day. His average in summer is about Rs. 9,000 a day. Apparantly during the big Chennai rains, his sales dropped to Rs. 2000 a day! (Thats still about Rs.50,000 a month t a x free)
He charges 10 bucks for a plate of Channa-Samosa. He also sells Jelabis and Gulab Jamuns. Most people I noticed had atleast 2 plates of whatever they ordered.. and in the 15 minutes I stood there (at about 3.30 in the afternoon), I saw about 30 people eat from him. So, I guess he could be saying the truth. I was just wondering how much investment he actually has to make everyday :-). Incase you're wondering why he still does business in this road-side, think again.. he gets so many customers because of the appearance of his shop and its location! Its all about the ambience..


Anonymous Anonymous said...

is the shop available on sundays???

7:48 PM  

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