Sunday, October 14, 2007

answering a question on Orkut

hey ppl,
someone'd posted this question on the Orkut community- P Sainath-
"should organized retailing be allowed....."
while replying to it i thought i should let you guys have the benefit of my insight too!
so here goes (my reply as posted on orkut)-

i think we should stop copying our development models from anywhere outside india. why don't we just study and document best practices?
and then work out what's best for our country and its people?
organized retailing if allowed in the current scenario, would spell disaster for our people- they don't have any other skills/education which would be of use to them in earning a living.
and another thing is, it's their right to have an encouraging accommodating atmosphere locally in which to survive and improve.
and the arguments relating to better consumer options and satisfaction are shortsighted and misleading.
simply coz we are all old enough to know that all that is glittering today won't turn out to be gold for us tomorrow.
once retail giants establish themselves, they'd stifle lesser and budding competition n we'd end up having no options.
a case in point is the internet service in America- instead of what European and Asian countries did to keep up competition and efficiency they allowed their s/w giants to rule the market and what the American end-user has in terms of speed, efficiency and options today, is nothing compared to what's available at a click to the Japanese and German end -user!!

But all this consumer satisfaction apart, what kind of facilities are we providing to our small n med traders and retailers today? are we providing them with the requisite infrastructure? or efficient and fast clearance systems? the financial institutions n tax systems best suited for their needs? the red tape, the amount of paper work, the excruciatingly slow pace of paper-progress and the corruption at every level is enough to drive anyboy mad.
are we providing effective and efficient redressal? protection from unregulated or at best, loosely regulated foreign investment n competition- and we've our own indigenously bred sharks too, as we know all too well.

We are not helping our own traders get better, more competitive, smarten up and be able to handle pressure from foreign markets and economies.
but we'll bend over backwards for foreign investors and retailers.
coz' our middle and upper classes with their booming-incomes think it's a smarter move- calculated to catapult them straight into the midst of our revered G-8 nations!!
No, i think we should first think of all sections of our society, do the best we can with and for our own resources and people before inviting outsiders to take over our problems and our golden-egg laying resources, and thereby help us smarten up!

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