The much delayed roadshow by YS Jagan ended only at 10PM and after all his attempts at turning the car’s ignition on failed, the driver gave up. The battery had died. The market was empty by the time and all shutters had been drawn shut. As the driver went out looking for help, I roamed around the market, talking to workers unloading goods and a few at a construction site. There I met Phanindra, who couldn’t tolerate the day’s heat and preferred working late in the night.
Looking for a quick cup of chai after a walk around the Yousufain Dargah in Hyderabad’s Nampally locality, I spotted a brightly painted cafe occupying a part of an old building adjacent to the dargah. As I walked in, wondering if they also served Irani chai at what looked more like a small restaurant, I almost missed the group of men sitting on their haunches by the door. The sight was intriguing, for many of the men seemed to be dressed reasonably well to be beggars and their backs against the road confirmed they were not daily labourers either. Continue reading article →
BMW cars being sold from a tent? Capital, Germany’s oldest business publication, had commissioned me in September to shoot photographs for a story on German companies adapting innovative marketing strategies in India. When the brief came in, I found among other things, a BMW showroom in a tent in Rajkot, Gujarat. I went there imagining a typical red and blue patterned desi shamiana with people standing in a queue to buy cars.
What I found was quite the opposite. The mobile showroom was a swanky tent on the lawns of a hotel, complete with wooden flooring, air-conditioning and uniformed waiters offering water to potential customers. Rajkot, I was told, is an affluent town with a taste for expensive cars but the bosses at BMW thought it wasn’t a bright idea to open a showroom in Rajkot when there is one 220km away in Ahmedabad. The mobile showroom comes to Rajkot at fixed intervals, usually for a period of fifteen days and once a booking is made, cars are brought in from Ahmedabad for delivery.