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Tea Time

Tea Time

Scene 1: We have been expanding in my company and our adding people in various shifts. Most of the employees we hire need to graduate or higher and do complex processes supporting US business. The average salary that we offer to candidates is anywhere between 2-3 lakhs plus other perks like food coupons, insurance, cab facility, bonus etc. All in all the TCC or Total cost to the company comes to around 3.5 to 4.5 lakh per employee at the beginning level.
Scene II: I like to observe what is happening around me. We have a Coffee shop on the ground floor of our building, you know one of the Jazzy Coffee bar where you go more to be seen and see the rather than try the coffee. The average cup of the coffee in this shop is around 50 Rs. It is manned by two English Speaking young men and occasionally a girl also. I am not sure how much they are paid but my guess would be nothing less than 100000/ per annum. That is 2 employees with a salary of 2 L per annum. Add rent of 2 L per annum and the total cost will come to around 5+ L including maintenance utilities etc. The daily sale is not more than 2000/- Rs, and I am pretty sure the coffee shop is in losses as most of the companies have their own T and coffee machines which dispense free beverages.
Scene III: In the garden close to the building of my office we have a friendly neighborhood Tea Stall wallah. He and his Chintoos come around 8 am in the morning and are there till about 9 pm in the night or may be even later.

One day I decided to observe the business of our friendly neighborhood Chaiwallah.

His gas stove is constantly on and water and milk are boiling regularly in two separate containers. There are 2-3 spare gas cylinders always lying next to his stall. He gets milk in poly packs that are stored in a drum which is about 5 feet tall. The thermocol glasses he serves Tea are brought many times from a small godown some where near by during the day.

You typically have to wait for 5-10 minutes before he will accept order from you. My guess is he is selling about 1000 cups of T every day. With 5 Rs per cup for T and 6 for coffee his annual sales is 15L rs. He is easily making a 50% profit on the same considering the cost of milk, gas, T powder, salary to Chintoos, rent/bribe to cops etc. This gives him an income of 750000/- annum tax free. This does not include any income that he makes on side by selling Cigarettes. What beats me is why are people coming to pay for this Tea when they have free tea and coffee machines in their office. I guess it is more of a hanging out place than for the tea itself.
Now an barely educated T stall vendor is making 750000/- annum after all expenses and no taxes and we have our employees who have gone through the rigorous B.Com etc don’t make that kind of money. So some thing is wrong some where, either our salary structure is flawed or this T wallah is exceptionally lucky to be in the right spot ( but I am sure you would know many such T wallah, Vada Pav wala, Chat walla etc). Also it is very clear what we are teaching in our colleges is not making people employable. I have very high respect for this chaiwalla and I am sure he is on his way to become the next Jayaram B?
Thanks for reading do leave your comments.

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