Wednesday, July 13, 2011


At times one is just lazy and that is the right time to go back memory lane to see if one has contributed to society, has any achievements on hand, has any incident which makes one happy. I did exactly that over the week-end.

Sometime back, I had taken responsibility of establishing the sales and marketing of a paper Tissue brand. For sales, I had adopted FMCG route, very routine matter which gets the desired results/sales. Brand building is a very serious exercise.What I was looking for was mass”VISIBILITY”,”IMPULSIVE” purchase and a “PLATFORM” to express.
Once I was driving down KG Marg in Delhi towards Connaught Place. At the traffic signal I saw a young boy of about 12-14 yrs old selling nose gas mask for Rs 5/pc and he would earn Rs 1/pc. That did it.

On my way back, I picked up the boy (Sanjay Jha) and gave him, on credit, 5 units of Face Tissues to be sold at that signal. It was agreed that he will get Rs 10/ unit on the units sold. Though the boy wasn’t confident, he agreed to the concept. I dropped him at the same signal with an understanding that in the next three days if he was unable to sell the product, he will come and return the goods. On same day, before 5 pm, he was sold out and had earned Rs 50/ as against Rs 7-10 for the day.

Next morning, he brought along his roommate for supplies. They chose to be on two different traffic signals. Between them, both earned Rs 170 for the day. Within one week, there were 19 different boys at different signals. Interestingly, they were all from Trans Jamuna area .Since it was becoming difficult to handle19 “SALESMEN” every morning; I got them together and formed sort of a Co-operative. They all divided their responsibilities, avoided competition, and identified traffic signals for each one.

This concept caught the attention of the marketing side of the media. BBC TV then had a weekly (Thursday) programme called” MONEY MATTERS”. The content provider to BBC went around city at the signals interviewing the “SALESMEN”.BBC interviewed me for 19 mints for a 30 mints programme and aired the concept.

Later, an agency picked up the concept and its success as case study.

Street Vending was thus born.

1-BBC gave me the “PLATFORM” to express.BBC also kept showing live product and salesmen interviews live.”SALESMEM” watching themselves live on TV was a sales booster.

2-Signal gave the opportunity for “IMPULSE” purchase. It takes less than 40 sec to complete one sale at the signal, yes just 40 seconds.

3-Boys holding on the product in hand gave me the” VISIBILITY”

Those in Delhi must have noticed the line of products now being sold at the traffic signals. All these products are the result of one initiative I took with Sanjay Jha—12-14 yrs old. The so called cooperative now has more than 100 “salesmen”

Some boys have shifted to Jaipur, Chandigarh, and Mumbai with the concept.

I am happy that I was able to contribute towards the society. I am happy that these boys have done very well economically.

Happiness and prosperity must be shared.


posted 13/07/2011

b k chowla