18 November 2006

Yellow-Blue-Pink: Jaisalmer

Yellow-Pink-Blue resembling famous movie trilogy by Kieslowski and describes three distinct Rajasthani cities which each has a dominant color. This is probably the shortest of my post or rather the invitation to explore the yellow color of Jaisalmer.

PS The shadow of your obedient servant is in the middle

01 November 2006

Liberalised skies

Many peole argue that the best way to experience this big country is to conquer vast distance in the general train compartment (either seating or sleeper depending on the time of the day). This is the place where one can observe how the majority of Indians travel. However, for students like, who are busy with classes and submission great help comes from liberalised aviation sector. With airlines popping like mushrooms one can get a good deal from Delhi to Mumbai for, say Rs 1500 (25 Eur) one way. Of course general rules like advance booking apply. I now some of you intend to visit India shortly therefore provide here the list of the most popular airlines. Some of them do not cater to foreign nationals, some do not accept foreign business cards but studying their offers can give one a good overview on locations covered and prices. My sure bet so far was Spicejet, which I has no problems to purchase online so far. So plan your trips, save your money and get ready for the Indian experience.
If you still intend to travel by train (which I highly recommend too) I suggest to read excellent info on the railway system and then try to get used to the official website of the Indian Railways. You will this info when buying tickets in the stations anyways.

Selling to the Indian consumer

Ever wondered how local companies and foreign multinationals sell to the Indian consumer. Except of raising middle class which accounts for 200 million or so people, the great majority of Indians still earn basic salaries. Many of them are daily workers meaning that every morning they do not know what will be the catch at the end of the day. As a result they will buy only at the end of the day and only what they need for that day. Additionally, only about 5% of the trade in India is organized meaning the country is sprawling with small retail shops and street vendors.
How Coca cola or Procter & Gamble can adopt their global strategies to sell in a vast yet often poor market in the country which will host the biggest world population b y 2020? One obvious answer is to produce locally. It is correct but it not enough. The true answer is small packages and intensive distribution. While Europe markets “get more for less” economy packs Indian trade sells cigarettes individually even if package of 10 is available. I fell sick and visited a doctor who prescribed me a medicine to be taken for 3 days only. Guess what I got from the pharmacist? Exactly the amount of tables I needed for 3 days. They even cut a strip of 8 for me.
Apparently this requires quite different business thinking. Whoever is interested to explore a topic more should read a book “Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Eradicating Poverty Though Profits” by CK. Prahalad. I also attach the link to the particular book’s chapter talking about the needs and approaches to these markets.