Friday, December 17, 2010

Candle Stall at Patni conducted on 17th Dec 2010

As part of the initiative to empower women, Lead had trained the community women in making candles and we had planned to have stalls at various corporates to sell these. The money collected will be given to the ladies so that they can take care of their families in a better way.

Our interns from SIES Paraag and Jo had been closely working on this project, buying the materials and packing all the candles. The pricing had also done by them.

17th December:
I met Priyanka and Binjal in the centre and were soon joined by Paraag. Karta madam had brought her neighbour along who was kind enough to give us a ride till Patni. We reached Patni by 10. After completing the formalities of the entry we reached the section where we were given the stall.
The stall was not at the location, it was last year ie near the canteen. In fact it was in the ground floor near the parking and we feared no one we would venture this far. Fortunately Rupesh had come by 11 and convinced the Patni people to relocate us to the position we were in, last year.

Once there, we set up the tables once again and arranged the candles. We just hoped we will not mix up the prices. Soon Patni employees were coming to our stall and all of us ( Rupesh, Paraag, Jo, Priyanka, Binjal and I ) got to work. We explained them about the NGO, about who made the candles and the intention behind it.

As priyanka had expected (she had earlier managed two stalls for LEAD) there was lot of crowd between 12-2 and we were continuously working. Everyone was impressed seeing that the candles were scented, the flower candles were a huge success and the rose ones got over within 2 hours. Since our stall was on a Friday, the employees were in a relaxed mood and the crowd near our stall was constant.

Around 2:30 when we took a lunch break, we were pretty happy with how things were going, plenty of people had shown interest in our cause, registered, many more had appreciated our work and brought candles to show their support. The sale picked up once again around the tea break and we realized that all the 25 rupees candles are almost sold out and we need to get the bigger ones going. Soon we put the bigger ones in the front and too our surprise Rs. 150 worth candle was bought in the next five minutes. :) Many other bigger candles were bought and we were pretty excited.

Rupesh and I waited till 6:30 as we knew many bought the candles even while leaving and rightly so, there were people who just picked up the candles and paid the money. We earned more than Rs. 800 in the last hours itself. Finally when the employees were leaving, we decided to pack up and leave.

Total earnings at the end of the day - Rs. 6100 :D and satisfaction!!

Observations from the stall:
The flower candles are super hit and we need more of these.
People like choices so give them as many colors as possible.
Women are the real customers, they see, ask questions, buy many varieties. Men don't buy that much. Men buy faster, women linger, take time choosing the colors. (we already knew these.)
We need to gauge the interest of the customer about the cause, if they are more interested in the candles, then just let them buy. if they show interest tell them more about lead and the activities.
We need to keep a mix of expensive and non expensive candles in the front.
Let those interested in the cause note down their contact details so that we call them even if they forget ;)
In short, it was a lovely experience for me personally to manage the stalls. Another skill which LEAD taught me :)

Swagata

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