There is perhaps, a unique tendency in us Indians to bargain with the economically weak business owners and spend delusionally on overpriced international products. ‘Be Indian, Buy Indian’ might be too much to ask for the modern generation but ‘Be sensible and buy sensibly’ might be something that we can think upon.
There are restaurant chains which claim exorbitant prices on their menu items and then there is the street vendor who might be using good quality ingredients but getting paid less. These international chains lure customers by offering a sense of achievement by giving discount coupons, loyalty points and cashbacks etc. when actually their product pricing is such that even discounting them cannot make them value-for-money. Take pizza places for instance, you go to a good Pizza restaurant and a hearty meal would cost you nothing less than Rs 700 for two people. Now compare this to a street pizza joint. There is a stall called ‘Pizza On Wheels’ on Munshi Ram Sethi Marg in Patel Nagar, New Delhi. Good pizzas, hygienic preparation, copious amount of cheese and a small double cheese pizza costs just Rs 60. Now, I am sure this pizza guy will soon close down due to lack of business as there is a Dominos a few blocks away.
I also see people bargaining for small grocery items and vegetables with the street vendors, trying to almost get the item for free; knowing that these people already have so less margin of profit. On the other hand, the same people would happily hand their cards to the shopping mall agents and big bar, restaurant owners so that they can overcharge them and fuel the capitalist setup. Need of the hour is not to uproot the big businesses or treat small business owners as handicapped but to judge the products objectively and get rid of the colonial hangover that anything used or purchased by the West is automatically superior. It is about time we grew up!
Websites like gopaisa.com are doing a great job in this regard by bringing such Indian retailers and products to the fore and offering them to the Indian customers along with offers of coupons and cashbacks that really seem good.