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The Swadeshi shop



A customer seen picking up provisions from the Swadehsi Bhandar at Dwarakanager. -- Photo : C.V. Subrahmanyam.

You know all about the ubiquitous customs notified shops and foreign `mall's in the city. But it may surprise one to find that there is also a shop which sells purely Swadeshi goods in our midst. Claimed to be only one of its kind in the entire north Andhra, the `Swadeshi Bhandar' which has come up diagonally opposite the Venkatrama Nursing Home on the Nehru Bazar road is offering quality desi products at a reasonable price. "In fact, we sell all the branded products at less than the MRP (maximum retail price) in keeping with the trend set by big department stores now involved in cut-throat competition. About 50 per cent of our profit margin is passed on to the customer in the process'', said the owner of the shop, Yerra Satyanarayana Murthy. And he pulled a half-kg. Nutrine Eclair chocolate packet inclusive of five extra pieces of MRP Rs.52.50 which is sold by him at just Rs.48.

It did not come as a surprise he had ventured into this when we learn that he had actively campaigned for the Swadeshi Jagran Manch in north Andhra a couple of years back. "During our campaign, we explained to the people how the multinationals were forcing their products on us which is detrimental to our economy. Many expressed willingness to buy Swadeshi products if only they are available and this prompted me to open this shop on Nov. 2 this year''.

The business is slowly picking up with more visiting the shop. At present, the average number of customers visiting the place is about ten and he hopes their number would increase with time. Spreading his wares, all Indian-made products and essential commodities made available at one place, he said he has plans to sell groceries also from next week. Already, wheat, atta and rice are being sold. A five-kg bag of atta is sold for Rs.78 and fine Masoori rice at Rs.16 per kg. There are also the Rs.14 per kg. and the Rs.18 per kg. varieties. Care is taken to encourage local entrepreneurs who supply quality products at competitive rates.

Among the popular Indian brands are Mysore Sandal, Neem, Margo, Kutir, Santoor, Godrej, Emami bath soaps, Vicco Vajradanti, Forhans, Anchor, Promise, Ajanta tooth pastes and toothbrushes, Ashwini Homeo, Dabur, Parachute, Vatika, Chick for hair oils, Afghan, Emami, Boroplus, Super Max, Topaz, Ashoka, Panama, Lazer, Gallant etc., for shaving cream and blades, Wilson, Reynold, Cello, Montex, Camlin etc., for pens, Sabina, Nirma etc for detergents and cleaning powder, and Park Avenue deoderants and body spray, mosquito repellents like Maxo, and Nutramul for beverages.

Given the high reputation enjoyed by the companies manufacturing these products which have big names like Bajaj, Godrej, Dabur, Anchor, Malhotra, Emami Ltd., Karnataka Soaps, Zandu Pharmaceuticals, Amrutanjan, Nova, Bengal Chemicals, etc., Mr. Murthy can hope for the best.

B. PRABHAKARA SARMA

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