Yesterday, I went down to Commercial street to get a number of errands done, among them, getting two old backpacks and two old handbags fixed up, all with zips in different stages of repair. After asking around, we found this roadside tailor, quite a long walk from main Commercial street, through lanes where there is hardly space for pedestrians, leave alone cars.
He sits with his machine on the open lane, a tarpaulin offering some protection from the searing April-May heat. (Yes, even Bangalore is heating up these days…) I had assumed that the bags would all need their zips replaced, but he checked carefully, and pointed out to us that the zips were fine, and all he needed to do was change the runners. Now, I know zilch about such things, and would have happily paid up the higher fee for replacing zips. This man chose to take a smaller fee and save us unnecessary repairs.
Did he make less money? I guess yes. (The total repair for 4 bags cost us Rs 50. Assume an average customer with a single bag spends about Rs. 20. In the one hour we were around, he got about 3 customers. And yesterday was a holiday where more customers would land up. So he probably makes about Rs. 300-400 on an average day). Will I go to him again for more work, despite the long walk? Yes. Will I send friends his way? Yes.
Very basic, but often forgotten. Yes, Integrity in business is a good thing.