Saturday, May 15, 2010

The giant national scam - Akshaya Tritiya

People with really strong sentiments about this concept, this is the time you stop reading this post.!

Scene 1: (a typical middle class family. a conversation between a mother and her grown up son)

Mother: son, today i am planning to buy you a new gold chain... like a good guy you will wear it always henceforth.
Son: what???!!!
Mother: ya, today it's the auspicious day of akshaya tritiya. buying new gold will will bring us more prosperity. and will keep you in good health.
Son (a logical thinker): but mom, I 'am' healthy!!! and we are happy the way we are now. besides i am not really interested in wearing gold n all...
Mother: stop being a smart ass (not the exact words, since it's a Indian middle class family) and do as I say...
Son: what about the play station 2 which I've been asking you for such a long time. or maybe you can give me the money, so I can modify my bike...
Mother: No No! those things are just waste of money. you are a grown up now. you shouldn't be wasting money on video games anymore. It has to be gold. period.
Son (thinks): Oh crap!!!

Scene 2: (the conference room or a really luxurious hotel. a meeting of all top jewellers of the country - 8-10 year ago)

Jeweller 1: gentlemen, sales has really been bad over the past few years. I am sure all of you will agree to this...
Others: yeah! yeah! yes, Haan ji! aamam sir!
Jeweller 1: the situation now is, we get bulk orders for weddings etc, maybe 5 times a month. otherwise it is all small purchases, not worth selling. You all very well know the problems that we face. inventory holding costs, bribes that we have to pay the officials and policemen, the advertising expences etc. Considering all this, we must have massive returns, other wise their is no point in doing this business. This is a great area to do business, all we need is to click the right button.
Jeweller 3:what we really need is a great marketing strategy.
Jeweller 2: yes! it is not really about survival, it's all about minting money to the maximum extent.
Others: agreed! agreed!
Jeweller 1: like in the case of textile retailers, they make a kill during festival times. people are glad to spend on clothing 3 or 4 times a year. and that keeps them in good business. with a good strategy and proper advertising, I think we can also achieve a similar state! in our case even once a year purchase from a Major section of the population will keep us rich and happy for the whole year.
Jeweller 3: what is the segment that we are going to target?
Jeweller 2: Sir, it doesn't work that way! we have to target the whole spectrum of the population, then the strike rate would be much more.
Jeweller 1: the best way to do this is use the religious sentiments of the people. make them believe it's a must, to purchase gold. They are all so vulnerable in this area.
Jeweller 2: great idea! we pick a date and we call it "Must buy gold" day. we can easily liquidate all our inventory on this day. and the profit will be phenomenal.
Jeweller 4: when should this be?
Jeweller 2: Does it really matter???
Everyone: HA ha HA Ha hA!!!!!!

and that is 'probably' how Akshaya Tritiya came into existence.
This is the biggest marketing gimmick ever. and this concept of Akshaya Tritiya is a perfect example of how business people commercialize/capitalize on normal people's sentiments!

The significance of the day is attributed to the event of Krishna giving Draupadi the Akshaya Paathiram (a vessel which keeps giving food - unlimited). Other than that, this day also marks Lord Parasurama’s appearance (source: wikipedia).
As the name denotes, Akshaya is a never ending, never diminishing, unlimited non-stop flow. That means, whatever we start and do on this day, will be with us forever and keep on growing as intended. I say plant a tree and watch it grow and give fruits, or start a new business, venture, or maybe a new good habit etc. WHY GOLD???

The sad state of our country is that, these days, people even borrow money from others to buy gold on this day. Banks put a board outside their gates: "today no banking transactions! only gold coin sales"!!!

I am pretty sure every country in the world will have such silly sentiments and practices, but this must be the king of all such things! it seems, on this day, last year a whopping 55 tonnes of gold were sold. To cash on this opportunity banks and retail players in gold jewelry segment have come out with lucrative offers (everyone is smart, except the common man).

Now what is really the downside of this.? investing in gold is a good thing right? only the consumer should know the answer to these questions. sometimes you buy 14 carat gold instead of 22 carat (thinking it is 22 carat gold). and not to mention about the adulterations etc that the jewellers do during these times.

Ever since the government became very strict about arbitrage, smuggling etc, these business people have thought about other means to make huge profits. This is one of those...

The future looks pretty bright for other businesses as well, with the consumers who will buy anything if properly advertised...

don't be surprised if in the near future, you come across ads like those mentioned below:
  • "buy a rice cooker today, and your family will never go hungry : rice cooker day"
  • "buy 5 kgs of Bt brinjal and make this special recipe and serve to your family before 8PM today :Bt Brinjal day"
  • "this whole month is wrist watch month. buy a wrist watch in this month and be the best in time management, we also give you certificates for time management upon full payment for your watch"
  • (this could be the worst) "buying property day: today buy your own piece of land or property and get the direct blessings of all the gods"
Do buy gold! but why on this one day...? pick another day of your choice, when you have a need for gold. when you have enough money to buy gold, when there is no pressure.

These are absolutely my own personal views. no intention to hurt anybody's feelings/sentiments!


Navin said...

Sasi, you hit the nail right on the head! There was once a rap song which said "You can't fool all the people all of the tim, but if your fool the right ones the rest will fall behind!".

I blame people who believe in this stuff, like they believe in chit funds after even after so much of scams going around. Very nice post!

The Gigster said...

Machi, really wonderful atricle. Enjoyed reading it. I hate this along with numerology, vaasthu shasthra etc.

Some of this vaastu stuff is totally screwed up da. i heard of this story whr this vaastu guy told someone something along the lines of "the highest point of the building should be on the north side, but the water tank which was on the south was the highest." So he took 10,000 Rs for vaastu correction and he just took a scaffolding pole (saukku kambu) and mounted it on the north side.... for 10,000 bucks!!!! Its ridiculous.

the6thsense said...

Hey Machi,

I enjoyed the read, its a shame that even in this period of time people are still superstitious. But I reckon, the days are going to be changed. People like you and us who is against superstition will change the way India thinks. But this is not now. It will take time. Educating others by similar blogs and by several of us can only do the trick. Mass criticism can only help change the mass.

Anurodh Gupta said...

First thing: You also used Akshaya Tritiya in your own way.
Second thing: It is not so famous all over the country but if you really want to make your presence send this article to newspaper or some local TV channels. This topic is worth enough to even debate on local channels.
Third thing: A nice read and great work by you.

Sasikumar said...

thanks u guys!

@ gig: 10,000 bucks for a soukku kambu...? that ridiculously lame!

@ A: it may not be famous all over the country, but 55 tonnes of gold sold on a single day makes it a 'super national' (like super-natural :-)) issue!!!

Neha said...

hahhaa....this post is GOLD!!!!!!!!

i'll hire you as my marketing slogan person - of course, it would be a part time as your efforts to come up with some catchy slogan will only require u to come up with sme, it would be like if you come up with a catchy phrase/slogan, i shall pay y thy fees :P har har har!!!!! perhaps with GOLD if the the slogan will sell the products :P lol...

Sasikumar said...

@ neha: thanks a lot! your offer overwhelms me! but currently I am not looking for any employment oppurtunity...

Neha said...

I meant the offer for the future :P

ponniinselvan said...

good creativity sasi.. i liked those "rice cooker".. etc ideas.. really good one...
but at times its mokkai tooo..
so stop mokkai-ing... :P

Sasikumar said...

@ ponzi: mokkais makes our life balanced! without mokkais, life would be too dark!

If u think u can lead a life without any mokkais or people who 'put' mokkais, .....think again!!!

m.ali said...

Guys, take care. Please abstain from doin sex on this day.

you will get 'multiplets'

brideandbaraati said...

nice blog!