It was an idle Sunday evening. And to add some healthy aspect to my lazy walk, which had replaced my customary jogging session, I decided to treat myself with some nutritious supplement. That’s what made me take a pit-stop at the fruit juice stall in the neighborhood.
“I will have a glass of pomegranate juice… large,” said I, pointing towards the laminated menu card hanging from one of the bamboo sticks supporting the shade of the stall.
Nodding with a smile, the young man at the stall started picking up pomegranates from the pile. As he did so, I absent-mindedly counted the number of fruits he extracted and I indulged in some mental mathematics. Recently I had purchased pomegranates at the rate of sixty rupees for three pieces from the wholesale market, and the vendor used the same number of fruits to prepare my glass of juice. What astonished me was the fact that he charged me only forty rupees for it. Yes, forty rupees for the juice squeezed out of fruits worth sixty rupees!
As I sipped on the juice served to me in a large beer mug, I contemplated whether I should mind my own business or let the question inside me flow out. I chose the latter.
I: “Why are you selling the juice of an expensive fruit at such a low cost? Isn’t it poor business acumen?”
Seller: “I have priced all the fruit-juices in my shop at a flat rate of forty rupees per (large) glass, irrespective of the fluctuations in the wholesale market. That is something I maintain throughout the year.”
I: “But everyone knows that pomegranates are expensive during this time of the year. Your customers will understand and pay more.”
Seller: “I don’t think so! Instead they will purchase a Tropicana carton, which is priced at a hundred rupees for twice the amount of juice I just served you, from the retailer!”
I: “But aren’t you making loss in your business with this pricing strategy?”
Seller: “Not at all! I am making up for this loss by selling juices of cheaper fruits, like apple, sweet lime and orange, at a profitable price of forty rupees.”
As I mentioned in the beginning, that it was an idle Sunday evening, hence I was in no hurry to go home. This gave me all the more reason to stay put in the debate.
I: “If I were you, I will stop selling pomegranate juice during this season than go through the loss incurred in this glass.”
Seller: “I cannot do that… for the sake of the joggers’ gang which frequents my stall every morning. Out of the ten people in the group, there’s only one who places order for pomegranate juice. The day I follow your advice, I will lose that entire customer chunk, as they will find another stall where each one of them can get a juice of his/her liking.”
After chugging off the last sip of the juice and placing the empty glass on the counter, I paid forty rupees to the smart Aleck and walked off!