Tag Archives: Retail

Yesterday was somewhat oddly spent.

  • Began the day by reading up on Workflow Management: Models, Methods, and Systems (Cooperative Information Systems) and then somehow moved into re-reading Dreaming in Code. And, it all started because I thought of brushing up stuff before I started wrestling with YAWL. Which brings up the lazyweb question – is there a tool/application available that allows me to create workflows using YAWL ? I am not so keen on ‘coding’ the workflows.
  • Random conversations led to the book Beautiful Teams. And, it looks like it would be nice to have.
  • On a side note, I wonder why is it so difficult for folks to conceive of a business of printing GNU Press books on demand. It has been a long while since there have been talks about it. But nothing has moved forward.
  • There is a National Conference on Free Software being held at Cochi around November 15. And, saw this off a flurry of mails on various lists.
  • Current favorite picture is here. Check the rest of the photostream too.
  • The paper had a snippet of an interview with V Ramesh (CEO, Prabhudas Lilladher Financial Services) who thinks that hotels can provide ‘more meeting rooms‘ to improve services because they would ‘reduce travel time to different locations’. *sigh* ! Why don’t folks talk about rationalizing the WiFi access rates in most hotels. The rates are a massive fail !!
  • The paper also had an interview about the RPG Group’s foray into retail. Sanjiv Goenka talking about how the group is planning to spend around 1500 cr (that’s 7 more zeroes) INR in retail. Hmm… he hasn’t been moving about much I’d say. We happen to live close to 4 retail outlets – More (Aditya Birla), Reliance Fresh, BigBazaar (Future Group) and Spencers (RPG) and all of them provide jarring experiences. Barring BigBazaar, none of them have anything resembling parking space. Or, the walk-into-the-store area (and experience) is cramped and congested. Amongst the four, Reliance Fresh seems to have a somewhat better collection of fresh vegetables. However, the stock-out rates of stuff at Reliance is ridiculous which is where BigBazaar kind of beats all of the three hands down. There is rush at all 4 retails stores – and they don’t seem to be eating into each other’s slice of the market. But, they don’t seem to be doing well either. It would be interesting to read more about the ‘retail dream’ and ‘retail experience’ in India. The dream doesn’t seem to be going well now.

Yesterday I was reading a book by Paco Underhill regarding buying trends at malls and retail stores (more on that in a separate post). And, I was wondering when was the last time I went out and ‘bought’ software. Some brain_cpu cycles later it struck me that the last piece of software that I purchased was this one, since the preloaded version that I got saddled with had come unstuck. This was after I had bought Red Hat Linux from FreeOS.

A strange sensation really. I use and consume software or, software as a service, on a daily basis. And, if one discounts the OS pre-loading on the cell phone, I have not actually gone ahead and bought software for around 10 years now. I do my bit for various FOSS projects, chip in with money to a select few or nudge-push-poke some projects to become better. But, living a decade and functioning fully without having to commercially purchase software is something that is totally jaw droppingly awesome. The software development model of FOSS and the collective collaboration that it spawns makes it possible.

And, then we wonder, why is it difficult for more people to really ‘get it’.