Street smart vendors

It?s quite interesting to come across people who keep fussing about eating street food like Panipuri, Chinese, Gola or any other chaat item. Some of them prefer calling the unexplored world of street food as junk food but then the same guys don?t mind puffing stacks of tobacco or gallons of alcohol in the name of socializing.


The primary argument is that the Indian street foods have the highest rated caloric value, low on nutrition value, junk content and all that Blah Blah? But that never stops me from exploring those delicacies of Indian flavor that is available with the street vendors.


In fact I was always curious to know how these vendors operated their business in the presence of tough competition from corporate hotels and lounges. Being an occasional customer to such stalls and vendors myself, I had a privilege of knowing more about this unorganized business sector. These vendors are no business graduates from Harvard nor do they have Warren Buffet as business consultant and yet while the world still cribs about the global recession. 



Infact their sales boosted during recessions as the IT BT guys went broke and turned towards these petty vendors for casual snacking. Sometime I also witness some of the high profile people in their status symbol car parked outside these tiny business ventures and munching down the delicacies.


These street smart vendors know the trick of selling ice-cream to an Eskimo and that?s why they are booming in their business. These food hawkers run business in prosperity while pursuing their livelihood.


For beginners the vendors prepare the culinary in front of a customer to tantalize them towards food. This practice also clears doubts regarding hygienic environment involved in the preparation of food.


I almost start drooling watching the variety of toppings and add-ons that are sprinkled on my palate of food. It also gives sense worthiness to the price paid for the food. Moreover the quantity supplied is quite appealing when compared to a standard hotel.


During the course of knowing their clients the vendors personalize every dish according to the needs of their customer, it can be interms of adding or diluting salt, spice or any other details. They just don?t force feed their customers anything in the name of signature dishes. No wonder they register a profit up to 80 to 90 % of their investment.


Mobility is another flexible feature that these vendors count on, if the business fails on one location then they easily shift their positioning on another street instead of booking loss.  With a good sense of price and positioning of business these street food vendors have marked a success story in the world of unorganized business enterprise.



Harsha Raj Gatty, Mangalore

Author: Harsh Raj- Mangalore