(TL note: nareshov's diary)

On Free Markets in India

with 4 comments

I’m probably going to exaggerate with a title like that, but I have a good feeling you’re going to nod your head in tune with what I’m going to say anyway. So, there are these “petrol bunks” or “gas stations” all around the place right? Back in the days, about 5 or more years ago, the major players were HP (Hindustan Petroleum) and Indian Oil – at least down here at Bangalore. If you’re lucky you’ll come across IBP. These are petrol (and diesel) vendors who more or less offer fuel at the same rates throughout the country.

But being mundane Indian establishments some of these stations resort to cheating. Put aside adulterated fuel for a second (the profit margins by cheating this way is distributed over the entire fuel supply, I suppose). At times, lady luck loves you so much that something like the following happens to you (especially you): The guy who fuels your tank pretends like he’s filling in what you asked for but via some hidden trick – because he’s managed to rig the fuel-dispensing machine – nothing gets into your tank but the meter runs and asks you to pay the amount. This has happened to me (two-wheeler: minor loss) at least twice over the past two months and at least once with my dad (four-wheeler: major loss).

Enteur international fuel vendor: Shell.

It’s a good thing I haven’t spotted any Reliance vendors around, ’cause you’re bound to be cheated in *some* way. Hey, that’s Reliance for you.

The Shell fuelling station I went to (near Lalbagh) is a. laid out pretty well (made good use of the real estate), b. has lesser annoying colours and advertising, c. the fuel-filler guy greets you before anything, d. the fuel-duct is transparent immediately before the handle, so you can clearly see if the fuel is in motion or not and best of all e. free air.

I for one have decided to visit Shell as much as possible for my refuelling needs. We need more international players in other businesses too just so that those Indian vendors who learn to care just as much as some of the international vendors do might have greater chances to survive compared to those who’re never going to learn.

Reminds me of “Campus Restaurant” at IITK. The only restaurant within the campus which royally sucked solely because it had no competition.

It’s not like there international players aren’t welcome in India, it’s just that they’re not playing at a level where someone like me can take part in (as a consumer). Indians are known for their hospitality – especially to complete strangers and more so if the stranger is more white.

Written by Naresh

December 25, 2009 at 8:26 pm

4 Responses

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  1. think just think about the people still eating in cr. i had to eat there just a few days ago.
    oh the horror!!!!!


    January 13, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    • Ah, yes. That’s another example that was cited by Prof. AK Sinha in his organisational psychology course when he talked about how the lack of competition could stagnate an organisation.


      January 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm

  2. bas ek aur khul jaaye yahan restaurant toh cr waale ki maa chud legi 😛


    January 14, 2010 at 1:37 am

    • So true, just abhi kha ke aa raha hu, so so true. 🙂


      January 17, 2010 at 12:41 am

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