‘Born to be a grocer’ has a different meaning for me. After the traditional career track of IIT, IIM and Hindustan Unilever, I was going to be a grocer, much to my family’s disbelief. Selling ‘daal-chawal’ as a chosen vocation for the educated son was not their idea of smart choices. I wasn’t alone. I walked down the path with R K Damani of D Mart and Kishore Biyani of Big Bazaar, both avid customer observers and business creators by betting on the Indian consumer. Customer observation and insight hunting is now an instinct with me, after over a decade of consistent aisle running in all parts of the world. To my wife’s delight I love visiting stores, but much to her chagrin, I equally love chasing women customers to see what they are buying! Food, brands and retail, my vocation, catches everyone’s fancy. I’ve stirred up some recent excitement for myself shaping food stores for different ends of the market spectrum including upmarket Foodhall and now Fresh produce led neighbourhood store RelianceFresh, etc. I’m excited by various cuisines, languages and recently, learning to play music. But through all my adventures, one thing has stood by me always, a good cup of masala chai! Meet me @SupermarketWala
Here’s an interesting read that I came across. It says, eateries and fine dine restaurants with regional specialist cuisines are becoming increasingly popular in large cities. I have always believed that in India, one man’s tradition is another man’s modernity – appams are exotic special foods in my rajasthani household but grandma’s traditional cuisine in my malyaali neighbour’s home.
Another interesting point Aalok Wadhwa the author of the piece makes is that with depreciation of the Rupee, imported ingredients and expats chefs have gotten more expensive! Come to think of it, it would be easier to get a Bengali chef to Gurgaon than someone who knows Moroccan cuisine. The insight is, for the upmarket discerning patrons in Gurgaon, Bengali food is as exotic as Moroccan! What do you think?
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