Chawls to Malls

The online edition of the Wall Street Journal has a good article on the growing middle class in Mumbai. “Big business” has been getting a bad rap lately because the Leftist party feel the Americanization of India is bad. They fear “big box” retailers such as Wal-Mart will put the mom and pop shops out of business and that the large multi-national companies will take over the retail industy. However upon reading this article you can see that many people can benefit and in reality give people something much more – confidence.

I’ve seen stats that 95% of all retail sales are done via mom and pop shops that are located in chawls – which in Mumbai means the ground floor of a building is a store and the upper floors if any are were the owners sleep. Now that’s what i call knowing your customer – sleeping where they shop.

With the emergence of stores like Pantaloons it has changed the way people shop and made a really big change for the people that work at stores like that. They see the consumption of all types of goods in front of them and one day to aspire to be on the other side handing over their credit card to buy stuff.

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