Would Wal-Mart be a success in India?

26 12 2006

In November 2006, Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart annonced their partnership to the enter the Indian retail market. The question is – Will Wal-Mart be a success in the Indian retail industry that thrives on small retailers or will it be forced to pull out like it had to in Germany and Korea? Will it avoid the mistakes that it committed in these two countries? And with Reliance entering the Retail Market bandwagon with their flagship store in Hyderabad, how stiff is the competition for Wal-Mart?

One thing, that would work for Wal-Mart is the huge hype it has created among the Indian people. Wal-Mart thrives in low-cost business model here in the US but its foray into the high end fashion and the urban marketplace was not well accepted. Indian people are aware of the brand called ‘Wal-Mart’, even when there are hardly any products with that brand name. With that name it will be able to attract thousands of people to its stores. But again, will the people go there to shop for their regular groceries or will it just another tourist attraction where people go in to check out the store for its size and its uniqueness compared to the Indian stores? Just like the Inorbit mall in Malad, Mumbai which has become more of a tourist place and a weekend hangout for most of the families, Wal-Mart should try and avoid being such a place.

Wal-Mart needs to understand the Indian customer culture which is low-cost and quick shopping. Indians are not used to spending a lot of time for their regular groceries. They know their products and their brands. They hardly venture out to try new brand of products. Indian work life tends to go beyound the 9 to 5 routine and add a 2 hours of travelling back and forth from work makes it a pretty long day. Most of the small retail stores around the apartments and the houses know the local families around the region and know their line of products. Their shopping cart is ready with one phone call and ready for pick-up or is delivered right at the door-step with no extra charge. Most of the low-income families and the lower-middle and upper middle class families stick to one grocery store and usually shop on credit on a month to month basis. Indians are still not high users of the credit cards, they still prefer using cash for their day to day needs and most of the shopping. Would Wal-Mart be able to provide month to month credit for these families for their shopping? My guess is, No. Most of the discount retail stores sell their products in ‘Buy 3 get 1 free’ or ‘ Buy 5 for X amount’ model. If a person needs to buy just one, he ends up paying the regular price which is same as his local grocery store. So why would a person go to Wal-Mart or the other big discount retail store just for one item?

Big urban cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangolore, Pune are the obvious choices for Wal-Mart to set up its flagship stores because of the high population. But, the question is how would Wal-Mart find a big enough place to open its stores in a city which is so cramped up for place? Would it have its huge parking lots like it does in the US or would there no parking lots and just street parking? And say, if they manage to get some parking space in front or back of the store, would the parking space be free or like major malls, people would have to end up paying for parking? If I end up paying Rs. 10 for parking at Wal-Mart and end up saving Rs. 5 totally in my grocery bill compared to my local grocery store, what’s in it for me to make my trip worth to Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart has the best supply chain model in the world. But, would this model be as sucessfulin India? Did they take into considertion the high-traffic, the bumpy rides and the construction work happening at every corner of the city which delays even the person walking on the street?

Hence, understanding the Indian Customer culture is High importance to Wal-Mart. Sure Indians are looking for a better shopping experience but not at the expense of the shopping culture. They are not willing to make changes in their shopping habits but are open to new avenues for shopping. And with Pantaloon’s group ‘Big Bazaar’ planning to open stores nation-wide and Reliance Retail picking up pace with their stores, and Birla Group deciding to venture out too in this industry, how tough will it be for Wal-Mart to sustain in the Indian market? Time will tell.

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iPhone or iFone??

19 12 2006

As we all are aware that Apple is planning to come out with a cell phone. However, the problem is that Cisco Systems (makers of Linksys) holds the registration for the “iPhone” trademark for their VOIP Phones, which is a problem for Apple ‘s new product, And the market had already decided to call it Apple’s iPhone. So, I have a suggestion for Apple – why not call it ‘iFone’ – short and catchy as the iPod and still conveys the functionality of the product.

Linksys iPhone

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Seinfeld

14 12 2006

My fav comedy series is undoubtedly Seinfeld…..although Friends is very good…but it has a different brand of comedy compared to Seinfeld.
Today I was watching the last few episodes of Seinfeld and I just couldn t stop laughing.
What’s Seinfeld all abt? Nothing…in the words of George Costanza ” It’s about nothing. Who says you gotta have a story? ” It’s a show about the activities that could happen to us on our daily lives.

Whenever I feel down, I’ d put Seinfeld on and it works…it cheers me up. I just love the characters on the show….but my fav characters are George, Kramer and Neuman. As George said Kramer leads of a life of fantasy…..no work, eating neighbors food, having sex without dating….I would mind leading a life like that….

I remember the episode last week where Jerry talks abt how importance is Speed Dial in a person’s life…he says its the relationship barometer….the number u occupy on the speed dial is the indicator of ur importance in that person’s life.
U be good to a person and u move up and u do something bad..u move down or totally out of the speed dial list….and something even better than being on the speed dial is if u r on the emergency numbers list.





Match.com

12 12 2006

Promotional Ad by Match.com –

“If you don’t find someone special in six months, we’ ll give another six months free. That’s Match.com ‘s guarantee.”

Dude, if you can t find someone special in six months, there’s nothing wrong with match.com but something wrong with you. And having six months free or even a year of free subscription isn’t gonna help you.





Chk out my Mini!!!!

6 12 2006

I am came across this website yourminis.com through Mark Cuban’s Blog. It is very similar to creating your own homepage but looks much more cooler and can include a lot of stuff. The best part is the customization and the personalization it allows to one’s own choice.

I can share information about myself through my profiles on myspace, friendster etc and also let people know the topics I am interested in through RSS feeds. I can add my favorite images and display them as a slideshow or add a slideshow through my flickr account.You could add recent,top rated, or your search result videos from youtube.com and also stream audio content from various playlists. It also has the ability to add your personal videos.

And the best part about it is that it is really simple to add and customize your page. It comes with a long and expanding list of the best widgets that make adding your favorite content to the page super easy. Check out my page and let me know your thoughts and comments. And if you happen to create one for yourself, please add your link to my comments and I would love to check your mini page.