Monday, February 12, 2007

Make hay while the planes fly

I had been to the Bangalore Aeroshow on the last day of the show. The Sukhoi and the Suryakiran were the hits of the day. There was a traffic jam all along and many people decided to view the show from the outside (and avoiding the ticket charges) further intensifying the jam.

For those who paid the 750 bucks, there were a few things that could surely have been better. Everybody else made hay while the planes flew.

For starters, the food court. The food counters were cramped, badly managed and worst of all a rip off in most cases. See on the left. A vegetable puff (a staple snack in Bangalore) in Bangalore will cost you anywhere from Rupees 5 to10 depending on where you eat it. At this place, stall managed by Mapple (whoever), the same thing cost us 40 rupees. 40 rupees for a godammn puff? I am seeing veg puff arbitrage for the first time. Well, the fact that people who come would need food was quite obvious, and since there was no alternative (a created monopoly), people just paid through their nose for the food. Nestles stall (or a stall which sold Maggi) was giving a measly helping of Maggi for 20 rupees. Be nice, people!

This is not the only occasion. In fact if its an event (or a non event), it is a surprise to see anything sold at MRP or for those items without an printed MRP, value for money to kabhi nahi milega. Perhaps they pay a premium to get contracts to run these stalls, but that does not justify ripping off the general public.

3 comments:

Saurabh said...

In the very last line, you talk about contracts required to run stalls.

Your criticism seems to be like what most Desis do... talk about issues without enquiring the reasons - and then end, without giving solutions.

How about first finding out the contract cost and then checking if the prices make sense ? Atleast your writings will make some sense!

Am surprised you have not moaned about the cost of food in airports - or how you paid Rs.50 for a coffee at barista!

Anonymous said...

"Like all desis" - yes, you are some firang, I see, Mr. Saurabh. Good luck to you.

Neelakantan said...

The contract price is an underlying cause to this. So, at the end the contract cost could be the factor behind the high prices. So, if you have to reduce the contract price to make the entire experience better for the public, so be it. That is the point I am trying to drive at. When you have visitors who pay through their nose for an event, the least you can do is make the entire experience good.

You also forget that these companies could make money on volumes - if prices are only marginally higher, they will sell more and make more money. Thats pure economics.