• Articles,  Economy

    Ecommerce in India between 2004 and 2022

    🛒In 2004, I made a presentation titled eCommerce reality and myths in India. It was interesting to compare how many of the points that I covered then have remained or changed in the last two decades. One thing is unmistakable and that is the scale, which has now grown to a level unimaginable then. In this post, let me use the data points from 2004 and 2022 to discuss how online shopping & digital payments have changed & remained the same in the two decades. 🛤️In 2004, IRCTC (Indian Railways ) sold 100,000 tickets per day, today they do more than 500,000 (half a million). In 2021, Swiggy delivered 🚚1.5…

  • Woolgathering

    Try this Camel Milk Chocolate

    After reading a post by a friend, I bought these #chocolates from #bigbasket. 🍫Amul Camel Milk Chocolate, made from 🐪 Milk – the texture is thicker than the usual chocolates and it melts in your mouth. Yes, it is an indulgence and not meant as a regular snack – it has high sugar content, but the taste is too good not to try once. 🍫#Amul also makes quality dark chocolates that have lesser sugar content, which the cooperative procures directly from cocoa farmers in the country. Amul is the founder and customer of India’s largest cocoa cooperative. #AmulChocolate Disclosure: I write reviews about restaurants and food items that I have…

  • Chennai

    A visit to a local mall after two years

    Visiting a large shopping mall after two years feels weird! The pandemic in the last two years have taught us a lot and (globalized) ecommerce in the last two decades has changed fundamentally on how I shop both essentials and on the wasteful. Yesterday as I was roaming the “Phoenix Marketcity Velachery” mall, I felt hope and emptyness at the same time. The hope was for a post-pandemic world where humanity triumps over darkness. The emptyness was due to the pointlessness of these large artificial enclosures, wasting too much money and energy in the name of luxury. It also occured to me on how wrong I was in the 1990s:…

  • Chennai,  Events

    45th Chennai Book Fair 2022

    Every year for the last 45 years, Chennai city has hosted a mega book fair with nearly a thousand bookstalls selling all kind of books in Tamil and English.  My coverage of previous year’s visits is here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2010. Check them, I have given extensive coverage with photographs of many of the books and the stalls exhibited each year. Last year 2021, I missed due to the pandemic. To compensate the loss, this year (2022) I visited three times on the same number of days, all the visits were during working days after lunch (1 PM to 5 PM) when there were less crowd. In this post, I will write…

  • Chennai

    Grace Supermarket, Ashok Nagar, Chennai

    In the last two years, due to the pandemic many small businesses, specifically neighbourhood shops and restaurants have got shut down for good. This meant countless jobs lost foverver for the young Indians, for many this would’ve been their first paying job, a steppingstone to (hopefully) bigger roles in life. Yes, the online direct to consumer apps like Swiggy, Dunzo, Amazon & others have provided some income for these people to feed themselves. This year, with the (fingers crossed) receding infections, I pray for the small shops to come back and flourish. In this context, it feels good to see new supermarkets being opened. This one, Grace supermarket was opened…