Normally, we MBAs would define supermarkets in terms of their size/SKUs and a number of other factors. But here, I am not talking about your typical supermarkets like D-mart, Reliance Fresh etc. Here, I am talking about a small shop that exists in a discreet corner of our campus and stores everything an MBA student could ever need-Rangoli stores (AKA Sweety shop).
And at the helm of affairs of this tiny mega market is Sweety Uncle. Mind you, that’s not his real name. In fact I doubt many people know his name and for the sake of convenience I shall call him Sweety uncle. I now realise that I should make an effort to find out the name of this gentleman who in my opinion runs, what I would like to call, ‘A 300 sqft Supermarket’.
Our hero here, Sweety uncle, is no less than any MBA graduate. Think about it, he knows what students needs are and he changes the landscape of the tiny store accordingly. Enter July-the first month of the college and you will find the shop filled with things like buckets, mugs, LAN cables and all the plethora of items that any student needs when he joins a hostel. The most noticeable change in the landscape is a tiny stall that sells new sim cards. That’s how most of us SCMHRDians end up with similar telephone numbers. Come rainy season and you will find a hand written note on the shop windows announcing 20% discount on flip-flops and colourful umbrellas that fill his store. Customer satisfaction-Bang on
A grand chocolate display (which looks too big for such a tiny store) greets you as soon as you enter the store and tempts you with the wide variety of colourful chocolates that fill its shelves. A small child like excitement fills me whenever I see that shelf and I always end up buying that one extra Amul Dark chocolate that I shouldn’t have. Higher revenues- Utterly Butterly DeliciYES!
The store is filled to the brim with things and I often find myself amazed at his ability to remember where every single item is stocked like the back of his hand. At any given time, you will find him climbing a small rickety stool and pulling out merchandise from nooks and corners of shelves that line his wall all the way from floor to ceiling and from left to right. A small kettle makes a discreet appearance during the winters which becomes a melting point for soup and students as they flock in this ever so small flame of a supermarket discussing, what might go on to become, the next million dollar start-up. Customer engagement- Check.
He knows his risks and like a smart manager has invested the right amount resources in technological support, like CCTV cameras. Risk Management- Couldn’t agree more.
Sweety uncle knows that SCMHRDians live a fast paced life and to match up, he thinks and behaves like a true SCMHRDian- in letter and spirit. Like all of us, he begins his day at 11 am. He sneaks in for a little afternoon siesta but his shop stays open, courtesy-proxy by his wife/son and then living up to the true zest of his fellow campus mates, toils hard late into the night delivering Just in time.
Rangoli stores is more than just a small shop. The small TV in the corner becomes the centre of attraction during major cricket matches. You are always greeted with the warm fatherly smile of Sweety uncle when you enter the store and be it whatever you want, he will always have it in stock in some corner of the store.