Last man standing ….

I was driving back home a little late last week. It was 10:45 in the night … and all stores on 24th Main, where we live, were closed.

Well, not all !!

Balaji Medical stores our local store here was open. Actually they are the first to open and last to close in our area. I started wondering why the Medi Plus nearby is closed?

Ask any on in HSR Sector 2 and they will say Balaji always has all the medicines you need. If they don’t they will get it for u by end of day. They deliver home, even if it is one syrup ! And, Balaji is always open.

Come to think of it there is a story to tell in this. It is the small entepreneurial stores like Balaji Medical Stores that thrive, while the large chains struggle. In our own area this is true with MK Ahmed, which no one could beat … none of the large chains. Walk into most of the large chains in our area. Their stocks are ready to expire. The store managers are invisible and always busy updating their computers or complaining the computers don’t work. The staff never makes eye contact and is always busily moving around the store hiding in the aisles. Of course, they never recognise you how many ever times u visit.

There is something ironical here. The large chains were supposed to wipe out the “kirana stores” and “one location mom&pop” stores. Their superior inventory management, vast stocks, trained staff and computerized systems were supposed to leave the small ones in the dust. In our own area it’s the proprietary stores that own most of the business still.

I guess running a retail business is one store at a time and needs people who want to sell. It needs an inherent understanding of what people buy, rather than just report reading skills … no system can give u an instinct for what is popular. Needs skin in the game and an entreprenurial spirit to stay in the store engaged and sell. That’s where most of the retail chains struggle. To build the spirit. To build the model where each store manager runs it like it’s his own Balaji Medical Stores. This is even harder when they kept opening new stores hru the boom time … without having a strong core that can be replicated or scaled.

No wonder Balaji Medical Stores is thriving … while two large chains have wound up operations.

Let the last (wo)man standing standing thrive !!

Views expressed are solely personal opinions of the author; and do not represent the views organizations/institutions he is associated in any form. The author has no responsibility for actions taken based on ideas expressed here. (Sridhar Turaga’s Blog: An Indian Entrepreuner)


Our CM is hard at work …

As I drove to work this morning and tried to park my car next to the garbage dump … as I always do everyday … I was pleasantly surprised to see it cleaned for the first time in 18 months. There was even a guy with a cell phone barking instructions “clean maadi” (not to mention his cap !!)

Our CM seems at work … and hopefully it is sustainable.

Actually, it’s about time for the lawless state of the city comes to an end. Roads melting with the first rains, trucks driving thru the city after designated hours, all ring roads / service lanes commandeered by trucks to be designated parking spots during their siesta, 700 trees (or more) cut in the name of road expansion … are all signs of no one being in charge.

I hope the majority Government ensures the return of some semblance of order in our “once beautiful” city.

Driving thru a graveyard …

Driving on St. John’s road in Koramangala feels like driving thru a graveyard. All the trees uprooted and cut on the right is depressing to watch. Same is the case on the road to Windsor manor, by the golf course. Just like the hobbits knew they are in Mordor, seeing all the dead trees – it is shocking and sends shivers down my spine imagining where this is going.

I guess this is progressive destruction of Bangalore at work. I understand the need to expand roads. But, those two I mentioned above are mindless expansion drives. For one, the service road on the right could have been laid first to make a start – without cutting all the trees. The narrow strip that holds the trees at best gives way to a bike lane.!! If there was so much urgency to ease our traffic woes, why couldn’t the service roads have been expanded first, to see if it does the trick? The expansion on the way to Windsor manor is absolute joke as well. It killed at least 20 trees and barely added a bike lane.

Those expanded roads will get filled up in no time. Our traffic woes will continue anyways – as the problem is one of lack of public transport and cheap cars.

Why are we stuck holding the wrong end of this stick in Bangalore?

Why is this once beautiful city cursed with mindless growth?

What are these tree worth to us?