Saturday, June 04, 2016

Holy cow, profits!

In Mumbai, it's common to find street carts or motor bikes, hoisted with idols of Hindu deities and blaring holy music, crawling the streets. Devotees pay homage, drop some cash, and move on.

One such entrepreneur started off with a bullock cart, but it was a bad business decision. He must have made a capital investment of Rs. 25,000 (around $400) for the cow to pull the cart, and racked up that same amount every year in food costs for the beast.  Add on even more than that to house and bathe the holy Hindu cow.

But he learned from his mistakes, and expanded. Gone was the cow; it was now a larger motorbike platform hosting bigger idols of 3 Hindu gods. More area was provided for devotees to see the idols and donate cash. He upsold water bottles, perhaps as fake holy water from the Ganges.

The new business model made sense. It cost the businessman only a gallon or two of gas every day, and he could work for longer hours. He could move longer distances and reach hilly areas where the rich folks lived. A food truck quenching the thirst for religion, if you will.

It's said you must make a mistake to really learn. This businessman did. And religion in India is good business anyways, and this chap is perhaps seeing more profits. Will he ever think about franchising or licensing the model? Perhaps not. And thank goodness. There are too many Hindu idols and too much street noise in India already.


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