Me: Sirji, ek plate banao
Chanawala: Aree sir, aap hukum kijiye, paanch plate banayeinge
People sucking up to you is nothing new, but the earnestness in his voice is what made the difference. The chanawala standing right outside Taj may have never heard of the term ‘customer service’, but in his own way, he ensured his customers aren’t bereft of it. He may not have the sleek ambience or expensive chandeliers, but yes, there was an effort to ensure that every customer gets the best attention, just like the Taj. He may not be a B-school grad, but was well aware that the rock bottom price of his chanas gave him a wide clientele base to look after, and that the fu-fu aunty in the Merc isn’t more important than the couple who came loitering around on foot. Complex marketing terms, applied in the simplest of situation, all learned via trail and error.
The chanawala wasn’t far away from Taj, location wise, and perhaps, even otherwise.