Sellers in Connaught Place get candid; share what one needs to do to be in race

At one of the most expensive retail markets in India, some traders are happy with the money they make, few crib they don’t

In Connaught Place, one of India’s most expensive retail markets, high-end shops share space with vendors that dot the colonial heritage structure. High-street fashion and chique restro-bars collide with street styles and vendors attracting a huge crowds.

They may be anonymous, but the vendors who have been in business for many years now are popular among tourists and Delhiites alike.

Sanjay Veer, who belongs to Delhi and has been running his clothes shop for the last eight years, earns a net income of ₹30,000 per month. He says he manages to make ends meet with what he earns. He is not afraid of competition, as customers throng only if there are enough number of stalls in a location. He says the price of items depends on the location of a stall and CP is one of the most expensive locations in the city.

Not only does the street market include vendors, but permanent shops as well.

S.K. Tyagi, who introduces himself as the president of the ‘Hawkers Adhikar Suraksha Samiti’ owns a clothes stall. He is from Delhi and is aided by a salesman. He has been in the business for the last 36 years. His stall in CP is 20-year-old. “Earlier, my net earning was around Rs. 20,000 per month, but after the formation of a new government at the Centre in 2014, my income has come down substantially,” he says. He says his income is not enough to sustain his family, but is lucky that he is not the sole breadwinner of the family. He gets the supply of goods from Azad Market and Gandhi Nagar.

These shops are often not the only source of income for the owners. Rakesh Jain, who has been running a paan shop since 1962, says: “On an average, I earn ₹5,000 a day. But I also have to invest a portion of this amount in the business and pay the salesperson at my shop.” He also owns a few other shops in different parts of the city and he invests his time to supervise every one of those.

Immigrant workers looking for stability have also found their way into the market. Hailing from UP, Rohit Trivedi works as a salesman at a watch showroom.

Presenting a grim picture, he said not enough customers visit the shop and the owner hardly earns a decent amount after paying the standing charges, including his salary. Mr. Rohit says he manages to support his small family with his salary.

Md. Jamshed, who hails from Bihar and has been living in Delhi since 1996 says: “I have been running an imitation jewellery shop since 2003. I make it a point not to overcharge the customers. I earn enough to meet the demands of my small family.”

Vendors in the market say that they are required to submit applications to the respective Town Vending Committee to enrol themselves.

Though there prevails competition among various stall owners, hawkers or the owners of big shops in Connaught Place, the market, the businessmen say, is a perfect place to make money if one knows the tricks of the trade.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:50:05 AM |

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