Some days before, I was talking to my Mom. The conversation revolved around my friends’ families in my native – Cudalur, a place in Tirunelveli dist - TamilNadu.I asked her what my friend's brother-in-law is doing? She told "avan madrasla kuzhambu kadai vachurukkan". What? Kuzhambukkadai? I probed further.
This guy – our hero – ran a provisional store in some part of Chennai – a kuppam where some hundreds of families lived. The store was run in a rented premise and was reasonably successful. Then fate intervened in the form of houseowner, who owned the rented premise. The houseowner wanted to run a provisional store himself in the same premise and wanted our guy to go out.[If this is a Tamil film - there will be a big fight and houseowner's beautiful daughter may also fall in love with our hero.But our hero is already married.So not much luck :-)].This guy was looking around to see what he can do for a living.
Then he got an idea of starting a Kuzhambu kadai. The place has hundreds of families who go to work early in the morning and return very late in the night.They do not find much time to prepare their food.Even when they prepare there may not be much variety in the stews.Cost also may be a major factor.Our guy capitalizes on this.He prepares many type of stews in his home[From Rasam, Different types of Sambars, non-veg - Chicken, mutton etc] and sells them in parcels for a small price.His customers purchase these stew parcels and prepare only rice in their home.Probably due to economies of scale, they can afford to taste their favorite stew more often now.Eveyone in a family can now opt for a different stew now.This may not normally happen before.This sounded interesting to me. Does the management jargon call this as "business model innovation"?
When I was thinking abt this, I went back to the 2001-2002 - Thiruvalluvar Kudiyiruppu - Kaiyendhi Bhavan days. I remember the big meals parcels(big for others only- not me) we used to get from a Kaiyendhi near Anna Nagar West bus depot. We got Meals for 10 Rs, Dosai for 3 Rs, Idli for 1.5 Rs.One day Ananth and I were discussing about a computer course or something. I asked, "Course Fees evvalavu matchi?". He told 10000 Rs. I exclaimed. "Dai, 3333 dosaida !!"