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Indian Business Principles

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Indian Business Principles

Duane & I were sitting at a friend’s shop, while he explained why he was giving us such a good deal on our items.

“A thief will steal from many houses, but never his own house. It’s the same in my business. If I make profit from 90% of the sales, then I can sell 10% at cost to those in my house. I sell to many tourists for a good profit, so for you, my friend, I give you my price.”

This principle is what we call “skin tax.” The foreign travelers, who have money, get ripped off, while Indians buy the same goods for “Indian price.”

How did we end up in the inner circle of Indian price?

It started when the Backpackers DTS from Idaho were here, and I went with one of the girls to a shop called “The Bed.” Oddly enough they sell clothes, and have a tailor. I met the owner and his wife, and some random dread-head guy who was just chillin’ there. It’s located under a popular hippie guest house, so I assumed maybe travelers hang out there and practice Hindi or something. The atmosphere was such that I wanted to chill there.

So many shop-keepers say, “come, sit, and let me practice English.” Then they guilt-trip you into feeling obligated to buy things you don’t want or need. I avoid those places.

Later I went to “The Bed” to have them fix a ripped shirt. A couple days later, I picked it up. I was charged a surprisingly low price, for quality sewing. By “quality” I mean it was double-stitched instead of the usual single-stitched. I’m sure there are other ways of determining the quality of clothes – based on fabric and thread-count, but all I know is with single-stitched stuff the seems rip too easily, and double-stitched is hard to find in India.

Over time, I ended up taking a couple other things to “The Bed”, and sent my classmates to them for tailoring, because they speak English, so we’re more likely to get what we ask for.

At some point Duane & I started using “The Bed” for a meeting point. Rather than awkwardly standing at a corner waiting for the other, we could go, sit, and talk until the other shows up.

I also found out that “The Bed” is named after a place in Israel where travelers go, sit, talk, and hang-out. That is the type of shop our Indian friends wanted to have, and we like it!

Becky is wife to Duane, mama to "Monkey-girl" and baby "Lioness" aka "PipSqueek." She is the administrative powerhouse for YWAM Bend and keeps our team grounded and organized. Her hope is to inspire and encourage other mamas in their journey to raise healthy, thriving families.
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