My office chaiwala, his flashy smile and our Alcatel stylish ‘OneTouch’ !!

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It was fine Friday morning 8:30 am, I came early to start with freshness and thought will start my weekend from 5 pm…as i was going through the work for the day, i found its a relaxing day, not much work, I find a hot cup of strong tea kept on my table at 9:30 am…wal-haa what a start. The chaiwala asked how was the tea; as usual I said “badiya hai” (very nice) and started working.

It was 11:30, and as usual he came again and asked for tea, I said ‘in the afternoon’, while i was reading ET, my colleague ordered a few cups…it was 2:30 in the afternoon and I find myself with a cup of tea, i look around and find some are drinking coffee, others having horlicks, some are having plain milk…it was like we were only busy drinking our favorite stuff, it was a scene everyone with their respective cups sipping and working…working and sipping :) .  At 3:30 this guy drops in again asking everyone, few orders and few says later, he asked me and i realized this guy pops in every three hours to offer us our shots of flavored milk, I asked him to give me at 4:30…it was 5:30 and our guy drops in and offers every one including me.

I thought lets talk to him and understand his secret of smile every time he flashes while giving us our dose. I asked him candidly, is this the only place to do business or does he also have other locations. With that flashy outburst, he said “kya sab mazak kar-rahe hai mere saath”; at that moment i heard telephone ring, and my dear friend chaiwala takes the phone and excuses himself to receive the call, he comes back with his Alcatel OneTouch Net phone. I got interested, asked him how much do you $$? Without hesitation said enough to sustain myself and my girlfriend, hmm…that’s a pretty interesting answer. ( i told myself-’Why didn’t i think of this, maybe it could be used for some brand)

What excited me about the Chaiwala was his choice of mobile phone. The Alcatel OneTouch Net Phone, quite life-stylish indeed.  I got curious to see loaded smart phone smartly pulled out from his jean’s back pocket.

When i asked him, if he does use all the loaded features of the phone…to my surprise, his reply was ‘sab mast phone hai… phone mast hai sab’.  I was knocked down with amusement (mere amusement ka thikana na raha), so i decided to waste mine and his time usefully to understand what was so mast about the phone to him. He said, my girlfriend likes this phone so much that she gifted me…i said, ah…and he continued…but i hardly use it, she uses the phone all the time and with that naughty smile, he said, i get to be with her all the time. Ah…i said, so beta (s0n) this was the mast part of your story; and he showed his flashy smile again.

And we continued discussing the phone, i asked him if his GF knew all the features on the phone, and he said i don’t know…then few seconds later, he said she Chats/SMSs/GroupTalk a lot with her friends…i told myself, no doubt she is a big fan of Yahoo messenger and Cheap SMSs and Conference Calls service from TATA Docomo. And he continued…we watch Videos together, listen to music together, we click many photos together…ah…i told myself full use of free mal (gift). I candidly asked him, do you do anything along brother, and with that flashy smile…he says, i keep reminder, check emails, update address book from my Yahoo account and upload photos on our flickr account. Hmm… i was wondering ‘reminder’ what use to him…ah… GF indeed. And he continued…i also use it to search office locations and address information, and sometimes play games, and mostly send many greeting cards to her, i was surprised, and told myself, i did not know about that one-interesting.

I asked him, what else…again with that flashy smile…ye phone badiya hai sab, and proposed me to buy one for myself. Ah, now was the chance to show him that i was also in the same league, i pulled out my sexy white case ‘OneTouch’ stylishly from my front pocket.

This time both of us had that flashy smile on our face!!

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What about Luxury in India!

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As far as India, i believe Indian have different approach to what luxury means to them, they see luxury from very different perspective. There is three sets of consumers, with the description you gave, i think u are talking about mass luxury consumers, who are mostly middle class but are moving up the value chain, with new money and freedom, these consumers although have more money at their hands but have strong middle class values of saving and they spend on only those brands whom they have read and seen in glossy magazines and lifestyle TV channels and who are also popular among celebrities and most importantly will be recognized in their community or circle of frnds or business associates, like, Levis, Puma, CK etc…they are the chunk of the population.

Other set of consumers have the similar attitude but they differ in terms of their spending Vs saving ratio. They are upper middle class, well to do, have enough money after saving for themselves. They are middle level and senior management people, television actors and SME business men, stock brokers, agents etc…

Third kind of people are rich guys and ultra rich guys, who spend on things which u are talking about. But hear again one must understand we are Indian and there are three sets of mindset in this category. One is flamboyant mindset or attitude, which shows off and is rebel breaking from the society norms and enjoying the luxury money can buy, they are the people who spend from family wealth and actually never experienced hard work,…this people are also sometime seen from the negative perspective.

Another set of people are sensible (1st Gen) entrepreneurs and kids of rich families with strong values, they spend on luxury stuff not because they aspire but they are used to that kind of lifestyle. And third kind of people are ultra rich they also have the similar attitude as mentioned above but they differ marginally and also would rather not spend too much on luxury goods because they see no value after a point, very interestingly for them street side food and Gucci go hand in hand, and most put that money for good cause and invest in other stuff.

India has its own luxury lifestyle, different from west, because here in India we see things less from materia possession. Having said that, I don’t discourage luxury or lifestyle companies to not look at India as a market. But i would rather say, when selling to Indian, keep in mind Indian mindset.