Friday, September 7, 2012

Mantri's driveway fruits & veg. mart

N Ganesh, M D of  Thottam  fruits & Veg. retails, was at Mantri's on the first day sales.
A make-shift fruits and vegetables stall functions on the driveway behind  'A' block for four hours - 8 a m till noon - thrice weekly - Tuesday,  Friday and Sunday.  Mantri residents who made this possible are Mr Soundarajan  and  the Association chief Mr Umapathy Sivanesan.
Mantri driveway stall is part of a marketing initiative by small and marginal farmers to reach fresh vegs. and fruits to consumers straight from their farms. The farm producers co-op is called Thottam.

Thottam,  I reckon,  is a  value-added vegetables pushcart marketing model on commercially viable scale . Like the  pushcart, the Thottam people serve costumers virtually at their door-steps. Thottam managing director N Ganesh told NDTV that his company represents about 600 farmers and has its core retail mart at Shollinganallur, OMR.  A member farmer interviewed on TV says he saves 30 percent in cost - mainly in transport of produce. What's more, Thottam's farmers get a share of the company's profit. Mr Ganesh is hopeful of his company making a profit of Rs.12 lakh this year.  As a consumer I am more interested in his prices.
A quick check with my wife indicated  Thottam rates are competitive in respect of onion, spinach, cauliflower. Banana price was on the high side. The range and varieties of fruits and vegs. on offer  works to Thottam's advantage. Besides price, quality,  regularity (3 times weekly) and punctuality (8 a m start), I would say,  are the key to the success of  any  make-shift retailer .'Would you open at 8 sharp', I heard someone asking Mr Ganesh. The Mantri resident said he left for work at 8.45 a m. Most other Mantri residents  are on a clock-work schedule on weekday mornings.  Thottam retail  was there, and open to business  at Mantri's well on time this morning.                
NDTV telecast last month a brief  item on Thottam. The video link  takes its time to open on my desk-top. Besides, the operative part,  in the 2.30 min. video clip, starts after 30 seconds of advert.

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