Thursday, January 23, 2014

The electronics and gadget shop on Ritchie Street

"Ritchie Street" in Chennai is known to every serious electronics buyer. You name it, they have it. Whether it is a simple box of CDs or a flash drive to the latest gizmo from Apple or Google or Microsoft. They are launched here well before the official launch.

One of the shopkeepers, let me call him X, is a typical operator out there- A small cramped shop, with the shelves bursting with the latest gadgets and four young lads handling clients and X sitting at the counter.X makes it a point to talk to all the regulars and pushes more sales.

I was meeting X after a couple of years. He mentioned that in the last two years, he has opened sourcing centres in Singapore and Dubai. And he has got himself a new BMW 7 series and an Audi A8. He said that he cannot bring it to the shop due to the traffic problems so he typically takes an auto to the shop and in the evening his driver picks him up. He wanted to know from me if I could help him buy a few acres of land near where I stay. The going rate is around Rs.40 cr an acre.

Obviously, this entrepreneur has done very well, selling electronics.

I recall him today, as I read this piece in the newspapers:

X is a nice person. He knows the cops, the politicians and loves to eat at new places. And his shop is wonderful. He does not mind accepting payments in cash or credit card. Asked him about taxes etc. He mentioned that his cars were bought on loan- closed in three months- but when the tax man checks his source of money, no further questions asked. And yes, he does pay some taxes. He employs a CA firm to handle his books. And pays retainer to a couple of lawyers too.

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