A successful entrepreneur is someone who offers a solution to a problem. Far too often, I spot people weaving in and out of traffic on foot, trying to sell motorists one type of useless knickknack or another: long, twisty balloons, feather dusters, national flags, wire/bead animals. But we found a guy in Pondicherry who has identified a potential customer base with a need, and then came up with a solution to address that need.
All over India every morning, millions of women wake up and make a kolam outside the entrance to their home – a rice flour design of some sort, frequently passed from mother to daughter. It is thought to bring good fortune, and I blogged about kolams a few weeks ago and provided some examples.
This isn’t a hugely time-consuming process, but if you add it up over time, think of the potential time savings!
So this guy has procured plastic piping and uses a pointy implement of some sort to make a design using holes. Then he fills the pipe with rice flour and closes the end, and the device can then be rolled on the ground to make an intricate design.
The question is, will he be able to persuade Indian women to depart from tradition and accept this somewhat fancier, but possibly construed as “cheating”, alternative to the tradition that has been handed down through generations of women.
Only time will tell. For the time being, however, he has set up his sidewalk shop to target passing tourists.