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How often do we pause and ponder about industry issues that have a bearing beyond just our rigmaroles? Share insights that can further the common understanding? Or, at the very least, point at things that need to be set right. View Point - an exchange4media platform, will fill this void and become a source of understanding, action and perhaps some inspiration.

When ‘Dhan’ in Dhanteras becomes elusive


Vishakha Singh, Head-MarCom, Future Media India

For months, my maid has been saving money to buy gold earrings on Dhanteras for her soon-to-be-married daughter and I was astonished, when the daughter said she wants a mobile phone and not the earrings! A quarrel ensued and it’s a no-brainer to guess that the daughter had her way.


Another fact, it has been a tradition in our family to buy gold on Dhanteras. Every year, to prove the virtues of a good daughter-in-law, I diligently buy a gold coin, earn brownie points from in-laws, lock it in the safe and forget all about it! This year, at Chintamanis, Prabhadevi, I noticed a reporter from a leading business channel doing a story on how the sale of gold has been weak this year. I reason it out in my mind and attribute it to the price hike from Rs 9,400 (for 10 gms of gold) last year to Rs 11,400 this year. Naturally, the store looked relatively at ease and allowed the camera crew to do a story!

Two days later, on Diwali afternoon, I land up at Big Bazaar and am surprised to see the mobile counter teeming with a 4-5 layered crowd. I didn’t see this rush at Brijwasi, the sweets shop, I didn’t see this rush at the electronics section but only at the mobile counter and I tried to put some logic to this consumer behaviour.

Telecommunications is taking precedence over everything else. I don’t know the global economics, I don’t know the commodities exchange or the Sensex, all I try is to read sentiments and the coolest one this season is: ‘Dhan’ now means Living for Today!

It is not about spending on something which has long-term value, it is not only steel utensils or silver or gold or whatever…it is about NOW. It is about what I want today.

A mobile handset has a lower shelf-life and a depreciating value, but on esteem factors it is Incredibly Soaring!



The weekends of October 19-21 and 26-28 saw a similar pattern of shopping behaviour wherein the top volume movers have been
• Biscuits
• Soaps
• Pre-paid GSM cards
• Carbonated soft drinks

November 7, the D-Day (Dhanteras day), saw a huge splurge in overall sales across Big Bazaar, higher than any of the weekends. And the most surprising element was the volume hike in the sale of Dry Fruits -- again an example of living for Today!


And all of these are behaviours of nearly 20 lakh people across Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar in just five days!

I wonder, am I an outdated person, who buys Gold for Ma-in-law’s sake just to keep it in the safe or should I have changed my two-year-old handset which looks like a ‘dabba’ today!

(These are personal views of Vishakha Singh, Head-MarCom, Future Media India Ltd. The data used in the note are the sales data of the respective formats.)

 
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