Jul 31, 2010

Herd mentality of some sort

How creative are Bhutanese people when it comes to generating new ideas to start new business ventures? It is an interesting and debatable topic. Of course there are so some creative Bhutanese who choose to differ from the mainstream. For instance, I am still fascinated by small company that cleans up water tanks or delivers LPG cylinders to the customers’ doors. There are people who make homemade soaps. All these tell us that we are capable of creating creative business ideas.  

Photo: Google Images
But by nature we are safe players. We do not risk being different. That’s why I think we have our young graduates competing for civil service posts.  Of course now that notion is gradually changing. Our business depends on what our neighbors are doing. We want to sell doma even when there are hundreds who sell the same goods in the locality. We open restaurant that caters to same group of people with same menus. We want to start mineral water plants even when there are already many established companies in the same business. We want to import same clothes from Bangladesh; same furniture sets from Bangkok, same culinary and toiletry items from Nepal and other countries alike that the next door shop is selling. 

And lo see even doma-sellers around the country follow the same rules – they are to sell 4 small pigeon-excrement-like betel-nuts for Nu.5. That’s the standard rule applied in Phuentsholing as of July 2010. I am sure it is even less in the capital city. Well, that’s the forces of demand and supply, says an economist. And they complain there is no business. In business sometimes we gain and sometimes we face loss. But that’s okay. Adding a doma khamdo or two in a doma-pack won’t necessarily make you poor and likewise it would never make you rich. At the most you will gain some loyal customers, ready to buy doma from you and recommend a hundred more to your shop. And here is one thriving business.     

Likewise look at the apple-sellers of the Paro and Wang valleys. They are too impatient. They have started transporting apples to the border towns even before they are fully ripened. But if these farmers have allowed these fruits to hang onto their branches, a few more days, the business would have been more lucrative. But there is only our herd mentality to be blamed.