The Informal Entrepreneur

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The Informal Vendor in front of GMC-Goa

When we were in college we enacted a play, called the Kathe-swamy or the Ass-Seer, it was a tale of a dhobi whose only friend his donkey dies, and dhobi buries the donkey puts a head stone on it, one day a drunken unlucky prince falls over it, from the next day onwards his fortune turns and sobers down to become a good king of a prosperous country, so he erects a mausoleum around the grave, couple of years later when the dhobi wants to visit the grave of his donkey, he is not able to do so, as is a bustling shrine now, with vendors and tradesmen in place.

This story stayed with me for many reasons, one thing that struck to me was the tradesmen coming up.  This tradesmen emerging now has shifted to hospitals, and bus-stations. They start off as small vendors eventually we find a nice bustling market, like the one in front of GMC. Years ago there was nothing there, and then came the houses which catered to the needs of the caregivers at the hospital. Slowly the fruit vendors, who updated themselves to vegetable vendors, the newspaper stall, the tea stall

Over the last three months, we have people who come with homemade breakfast, the quantity is fixed, so once the day’s batch is over the person just goes back. Something along the lines of the curry points, and chapatti points of Hyderabad, or the Sāmbhar point of Bangalore.

The enterprise has a low cost out lay and margin according to the vendor is worth the effort of standing there. I do not know how it works with the food and health department, but for the care giver at the hospital, or even the rush hour on the move person it seems to work rather well.

What was more interesting is the kind of people who had put up these points, they came from fairly educated background,  one of them actually came in a Maruti Van in which she had a garbage bin too, disposable plates, she would sit in the car and when done just drive out.

adivaram angadi (6)
The informal home grown vegetable and handicraft market Adivaram Angadi at Secundrabad.

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