Wednesday, January 9, 2013

64. Two Businessmen And What They Deserve.

I’m not a businessman. I’m not a doctor. Still as a layperson, there are a lot of business ideas I could give to a businessman and novel ideas even to a doctor to excel in their professions. These are not learned at any Business School or Medical College, but at the University of Life. This goes beyond the two categories I selected randomly.

The following is an example.

These two businessmen are based in two countries. This article is not to suggest where they come from has anything to do with their nature.  

I remember Sarasavi Textiles as a small business housed in a small space in a dilapidated building in front of the hospital, in our hometown. As the name suggested they dealt mainly in textiles and later expanded into other areas.

I used to address the proprietor as Dhanapala Ayya ever since I knew him. He had a way of attracting people to his shop, by addressing anyone very respectfully, and he made sure even his shop assistants did the same. And, he was careful not to let any customer feel neglected. Moreover, he made a small discount on all the items he sold. And what attracted the customers most was his interest free easy payment scheme. He had started that before the other mega stores who adopt that system today.

What made me a permanent customer of his, addition to the above qualities, is a different story which I doubt even he remembers now.

I once bought an immersion water heater from him. When he sold this to me he said, that this product bears no warranty.  According to my budget, this was what I could afford and he gave me a discount, too, as usual.

I came home happily and started using the appliance. And the very next day it simply burned out. Even though I remembered that, it carried no warranty, I went to the shop and told Dhanapala Ayya what happened. He chewed his lip and thought for some time. Then he said, “As I said, this carries no guarantee. Still it’s a loss for you, isn’t it? Let’s do something like this. Let’s bear the loss 50 – 50.” And he opened his drawer and paid me half the value of the heater, which was a big relief to me according to my financial status.

What he did, made such an impression on me that we became life time customers of his. That small amount of money he paid me was an investment he made, which attracted me to his business so many years to come. That gesture of goodwill went a long way. It’s not the money that matters.  It’s that small move of a very clever businessman which moved me.  Today Sarasavi Textiles is housed at its large premises consisting of several floors and so many square meters in the heart of the town. 

I think he deserves that. 

And I met him even the last vacation. I don’t know the other sides of him. This is what I see and this is my opinion.
So Best of Luck, buddy.

If you are wondering why am I so moved by this small incident that took place so many years ago, read this and compare him with this dude from this foreign land.

Here in this land where everything is overpriced we bought vegetables from this shop paying about five six times more than what we would pay in Sri Lanka. We were regular customers of his shop and we were a very good source of income for him. We bought fruits vegetables spices groceries and everything from him and paid approximately converted to Sri Lankan Rupee would be something like 30,000 to 40,000 a month. 

One day while we were shopping there, my little son as usual was inspecting things on the shelves. We were on the other side. In a while, the proprietor came to us holding my son by his shoulder as if he has done some criminal activity. 

“He dropped this flashlight and broke it. He told me showing a small flashlight that you could attach to a bicycle.” Truly enough the glass had come off.  And my son was looking at us horrified. 

I got pissed off as I had a short fuse and I didn’t tolerate anyone manhandling my kid.

“Let go of him first.  Don’t touch him.” I said firmly.

He got his paws off immediately.

How much is it?

He said the price, it was approximately 45.00 Sri Lankan rupees.
I pulled out my wallet and thrust a note in his hand.

Okay. Here’s your money. And you shouldn’t have manhandled him for that. You could have told us. And he did it by accident. And nobody is going to touch a kid of mine for that.”

“Yes, yes.  But he broke it.”

“So I paid for that. And give me the flashlight, too.”

We dropped everything we had selected and were leaving the shop.

“Why? Aren’t you taking these vegetables today?”

“No, we changed our mind. Good bye”

When we were walking home, I remembered Dhanapala Ayya who never would have done a stupid thing like that. 

After this incident, we never stepped into to his shop. We boycotted it. Just calculate how much he lost by doing the math. For the ease of calculation , say it’s 35,000 and into 10 and half months into seven years. I think he lost and income of Rs 2,572,500.00 just for a 45 rupee flashlight. That is without considering the devaluation of currency and the increased cost of living. And isn’t it a hell of a price for him to pay for rough handling my son and pissing me off? 

I think he deserves that, too.


  1. Different business models I guess...

  2. Service is as important as the good they sell, if not more. Unfortunately there are quite a lot of businesses everywhere in the world who don't pay attention to it. But when they do (even in small amounts), it create a lasting impression. For example,...

    1. Absolutely Bimal.

      Some businesses go down because of the bad attitude.

      Hoe many shops are there that you feel like re visiting?

      I just visited your blog. It's a pity that I missed it for so long. Awesome blogging.

  3. Unfortunately, most of the businessmen forget that their success is merely on how they treat their customers.

    1. That's too bad. Some businesses are ruined by the employees.

  4. What an article...
    this is my frst vst.
    keep blogging dude..

    1. Thanks SilentSaha. And Welcome to my blog HeyDude. Still, you are a not a stranger to my Sinhala Blogs. Please keep visiting.

  5. I totally agree with your way of reaction to this second guy. As you said he totally deserves it. After the incident, when he understood what he has lost due to his own stupidity, he may have repented a lot.

    No matter what your profession is, you always need to remember that your a human and that there need to be a certain level of humanity involved in all your actions.

    As the saying goes "what goes around comes around"...and your two stories prove that point.

    1. I doubt if he has enough sense to know what he lost. I saw him recently and he said, "I didn't see you guys for a long time." I just smiled and didn't remind him of the reason. Maybe he was pretending or maybe he is a senseless moron.

      Yeah. Absolutely. What goes around, comes around.

      Thanks Chams.

  6. I've got many similar cases. Most of the shopkeepers think that they sell the last piece on the world! fxx them all!

    "Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant"

    1. Absolutely, Indika.

      With that last saying you hit it on the head.

  7. yes both of them are deserves what they got..i guess that the second chap will see the dead end of his biz very soon...

    accidentally stepped here dude and enjoyed the same taste...

    1. Thanks, Senna. So please keep visiting.
      Welcome to HeyDude.

  8. Very true. Some businessmen are able to attract people by their decent behaviour towards customers and some are very rude.Sometimes when I go to a shop to buy a saree I have to wait for a long time before I am served. They ignore me and attend to what they have been doing. I never pay another visit to those shops.but as you say I sometimes meet very thoughtful people who run businesses. They try to met the demands of their customers, moving with us friendly, showing that we are welcome to his shop. I buy sarees from Negombo and I go to only two shops and they fulfil my demands. Sares are expensive but durable and can wear for a long time. They don't cheat. So they are earning a god income.

    1. Some businesses have an amazing way of attracting people. Some, no matter how hectic their job is still manage to attend to everyone's needs without showing a sign of frustration.

  9. Excellent Comparison. AS you said the both deserved it. Losing such an income from Dude, is a must and he will realize it, or may not. Dhanapala Ayya's episode is great as I guess it is actually important thing for everyone specially businessmen should follow. What a Fucking comparison. (I asure that word is not a gossip word) haha..

    1. My idea was to have two polar opposites for comparison. I think it conveyed the message I wanted to.

  10. Of course ayya both deserved what you did. i think this is about different nature of different people. So the Mr. Dhanapala will success any think he do. because he is naturally capable for that. Not only money I sure he have earned full of happiness withing his life!

    1. He has won customers all right, Giman.
      But if he is happy is another story, again.
      He's working all the time.

  11. yes Dude, you did the right thing. I can remember this was lying in malla's toy box after that.....

    some people are blinded by their greed for money and don't see the reality....

    hope he learnt his lessons, which i hardly think he did. still he must be thinking how lucky he was to get you to pay for the toy...:O

    1. Yeah, you remember this torch, huh!

      I love this part of the comment very much.

      >> hope he learnt his lessons, which I hardly think he did. still he must be thinking how lucky he was to get you to pay for the toy...:O <<

  12. the real businessmen I have seen in india.they are very polite to the customers.even though they dont have profit a cent they are very curtious to the customer.
    in sri lanka you can see a completely different picture



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