04 April, 2009

IPL - a reason to increase consumption

That the IPL was aptly named NRIPL by India’s Times of India newspaper is already public knowledge. Most of us not just liked the idea (although many felt the sarcasm was not called for!) but also felt the depth of those words – how the IPL which could have added over 1,000 Crores during the current economic slowdown to various Indian businesses (such as Airlines, Hotels, Restaurants & Bars, Forex money changers, Taxis, Tour Operators, etc.) have lost it out to some other country! And I read today that the tickets for the first two days were sold out in a few hours since online bookings commenced. Not surprising for another Cricket Crazy Country.

What I always liked about IPL 2 was its timing & dates – during the evenings and summer vacations; kids and adults can watch the Game at their homes/clubs/restaurants/bars et al. Am sure, this would certainly bring a BIG impetus to the heavily troubled F&B Industry across the country (footfalls have gone down by over 40% atleast in Bangalore, I am told) and people have become extremely choosy about what they are consuming. So, Restaurateurs must be planning their special menus & combos. Good luck to them.

I also hope the supermarkets are planning their bit too – Merchandisers and Buyers must be stocking Processed Food, Ready to Eats, Colas and needless to say, loads of beer and spirits. For an excitement starved Retail Industry over the past four months where families have reduced even their regular monthly purchases, am sure the next two months would bring more footfalls and higher sales, atleast on these specific categories. With the Cola companies planning a slew of new product launches and new campaigns already in place, am sure the thrust for higher throughput is not just incidental but a fact that they have to work very hard upon.

And not to forget the increased home deliveries – not just the ready to make Pop Corn sachets, wafers and Colas from the nearby Kira... errr.. the “Organized” Retail Stores, but also Pizzas and other food items from the local food joints. That the college exams would be over by then and some youth would have fun doing their bit of part-time jobs is sure shot – just that they must be encouraged to do so. (I have done that in my teens and I can vouch how exciting it can get).

This is the best time to increase manpower especially for door deliveries and work 2-3 weeks in advance, (that’s actually now) to tell the neighbourhood that they are ready for home deliveries. While I was in Hong Kong during Christmas 08, almost every meal that we had at my friend’s home where we stayed was ordered – on the Internet. There was this Guju restraurant closeby; make an order and pay online and you get your food at your doorstep in 30 minutes or lesser! Well, I know we are not yet so very “Organized” or ready for e-commerce, but am sure this is a good time to make a beginning... a reason to increase consumption. Needless to say, I do believe that consumption will result in higher growth and not necessarily otherwise. Wishful thinking! Let’s see what my neighbourhood has to offer.

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