Sunday, August 19, 2007

Indian Communists and Reliance Retail

This post echos similar thoughts as in one of my earlier posts: Pandian v/s Geetha.

Today's newspapers carry a report about the attack by members of Forward Block, a left wing party, on an outlet of Reliance Fresh (a grocery store chain owned by corporate giant Reliance Industries) in Calcutta. The outlet was still not open and was under construction when the members of the Forward Block vandalised it. When asked about the reason of this attack the members of Forward Block said that they think that Reliance Fresh is a threat to small businessmen.
What I interpret from this attack is that the communists think that it is their duty to protect the small businessmen from the onslaught of a corporate giant which is a symbol of crony capitalism in their eyes. Now I have been to Reliance Fresh stores in Noida and have found that it works on a very good marketing strategy. Sell one or two items which are popular real cheap and sell everything else a shade costlier than the market price. So a customer is attracted by the low prices on say, potatos and onions, and when she goes to buy these she invariably buys the rest of the vegetables from the store as well. Now the other vegetables are not cheap, so the total grocery bill is nearly the same as it was earlier when I bought these stuff from the small neighbourhood store. The only difference is that now I get everything from a single store and that is a huge convinience. So now, for me, it is a choice between convinience of buying everything from a single store or going around the whole market to buy the rations.

The question now arises, if I can see this, why can't the communists see it, that what stores like Reliance fresh offer is convineance and not low prices. What is wrong with letting the common man have some convineance? And since when the communists started favoring the small businessmen. They are after all businessmen who are doing business for profit and not for charity and would not deter from making an extra profit if they have a chance.

I think the communists are just opposing the corporates because it is in their nature to don't let anyone grow. They want everyone to be remain small and fight to live, not to live to fight. As I had highlighted in Pandian v/s Geetha, the communists need to look at the big picture not the small ones.

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