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What are you selling today? October 5, 2010

Posted by aglakadam in aglakadam, EQ, Fun Reading, Inspirational Story, Management.

One evening I was returning home after a hectic day schedule when my car wizzed past a fruit vendor. I suddenly remembered my daughter had demanded fruits early morning. I stopped, wriggled back in the traffic and straight way went to the apple basket. After sorting a few apples I asked the fruit vendor to pack & parcel 2 kg apple for me. While in the process of weighing the apples, the fruit vendor asked me to take out two apples which I had selected and suggested to be replaced by two new apples from the basket. I asked him the reason for this change. He said “Sahab isme andar se keeda hai” ( these two apples are rotten inside). Probably with his experience as a fruit vendor he knew to judge the apple content from the outward skin colour & appearance of the fruit.

By all means this was a great gesture by the fruit vendor Sunil. What if the apple perished from inside had been given to my daughter n school tiffin! Even if she discovered the perish while eating and decided not to eat it further, she would be left without adequate tiffin for the day in her school. In any case the fruit vendor will actually incur loss by not being able to sell perished apples at the end of the day! He could have very well managed to let go off the two rotten apples and reduce his sales damage! Neither I was a regular customer at that fruit vendor stall that he should have bothered to care about me! I was totally zapped at the honesty of the fruit vendor & I could not resist asking him the reason why he did so? The answer which he gave me was quite revealing and enlightening.

He said : We are in the business of selling edible fruits ( not just fruits). At home when the fruit purchased by the customer is not found suitable to be eaten the complete family will curse me. Not only this much they will never ever purchase any fruit from my shop. They may also brand me a cheap retailer. Even if it is a natures process to rot the fruit plum after some time, the customer will not blame God, they will charge me! I know this. Hence I always try to ensure that my customers get the right fruit. It’s the same for my regular customers as well as one time customer. I do not differentiate from customer to customer in quality. Yes for regular buyers I offer a price discount, that’s for sure.

I was pretty satisfied with the reply & I had all adorations for the fruit vendor. No wonder the fruit seller had grown from our wheel trolley based fruit seller to decent fruit shop owner in a few months. There was still one part of the query unanswered – what does he do with the semi perished / rotten fruits!

This was his reply : We as well purchase the fruits from some one else sir! See there is a supply chain in this business. I segregate the unsalable goods, quantify it and have worked out a discount formulae against this demurrage from the supplier. In my next purchase I get this price discount adjusted by the whole seller. The bunch of unusable fruits is then segregated into partially usable, so –so and absolute dirt. The absolute dirt is chucked into the municipality waste bin, the so so ones are offered to the wandering birds & animals & the partially eatable’s are chopped off the rot & distributed free of cost to the poor and the beggars.
What a policy, what an amazing vision! Never knew so much of a thought process goes behind the working of a fruit vendor! I learned that business is done from the heart not just by the head. One has to involve in the complete process of the business only then will he/she be successful. I have since then been a regular customer for that fruit vendor and also have recommended many to only stop at that particular vendors shop! A dedicated & loyal customer now!

In our corporate world as well we have seen many such similar parlances. Few months back Nokia had called back a particular batch of mobile batteries. As per one recent news, South Korian major Hyundai Motor has called back almost 140000 Sonata Sedans (of 2011 model) from the US markets for the reasons of steering fitment issues. As per the news, Hyundai in an email statement said that it was acting voluntarily to ensure customer safety. It said that it knew of a fewer than 10 vehicles with improper steering fitment and that no accident had yet occurred due to this.

Business strategist’s predict that the damage caused to the company’s reputation for the incorrect product in the market will be grossly covered up by the companies’ intentions to ensure customer safety. After all they are not just in the business of selling cars, they are actually selling safety on roads!

Business is business, be it a local fruit vendor or an international car major. The marketers and the business persons have to realize what product or service they are actually selling in the market? A tooth paste company can claim it is selling a tooth paste branded into various colors & forms! No they are actually selling a belief that by using their product the customer will be sure of healthy tooth! A soap company is not just selling soap, it is selling a hygiene, a watch company may not just be selling a time piece, it may be selling time discipline to some one, a medicine shop is not selling medicines, it is selling health, an apparel company may not be selling shirts or trousers only, its selling comfort and confidence, so on and so forth for any product or service that is made available in the business place!

If you are an employee of a company you are selling proper reporting, proper systems, correct documentation, right information, proper processes to your management! If you are a decision maker, your may be selling justice and need fulfillment to the deserving. Each one of is selling something some thing, some where today; it may be in cash or in kind! Its important to actually understand what business we are into and this realization will decide our success or failure. So what are you selling today?

Ajit Varwandkar
Managing Director
Can be contacted on : info@fsindia.in



1. Kaushik Pal - October 5, 2010

Lovely reading, Ajit ji 🙂

2. aglakadam - October 6, 2010

Thanks Kaushik Ji…

3. VineethS - October 6, 2010

Efficent writing.. Valuable point..

4. Pramod R. Sudrik - October 6, 2010


5. Roy - October 7, 2010

Nice one Sir …

6. Dushyant - October 15, 2010

Very nice & touching article, and very helpful article for those who r in a business or about to start a business

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