Bengaluru: 23-year-old Syed Khadar Basha of Ballari, a tea vendor, struck upon this idea to ensure more customers for his business. All he did was get a router and milk as a data war brews among telecom companies, a tea seller from a remote town in Karnataka has found a unique way to attract his customers.
He is offering free data for 30 minutes for those customers who buy a cup of tea priced at Rs 5! The answer to whether his data gimmick is working can be had from the long queue that forms at the shop of 23-year-old Syed Khadar Basha from morning till evening.
In fact, the scheme has worked so wonderfully for this tea seller in a town called Siruguppa in Ballari district that his sales have zoomed by four times since he started the ‘scheme’ in September.
When he came up with the scheme, Basha purchased a wi-fi router and unlimited data plan offer from a local cable operator. Anyone who buys a tea gets a coupon with a wi-fi password. The system works in such a way that the customer who logs on can access the Internet for the next 30 minutes before it automatically gets disconnected.
The tea seller also follows the policy that a particular customer can access internet only once in a day.
Basha says that before he kick-started the data tea offer, he would sell around 100 cups in a day but now it has gone up to 400 cups.
“Offering free data in cities like Bengaluru may not be a big thing especially when we have free wi-fi zones and also a few mobile operators offering free data. But, when we think of a remote town like Siruguppa, internet penetration is pretty low. These days, many people are buying smartphones as they are getting addicted to social media or they want to access their mails.”
Basha observed that most of his customers were college students who had come from remote villages near Siruguppa.
“During my interaction, I found that these students would get a pocket money of Rs 100 per month and they couldn’t afford to buy a data pack. So, I asked myself, why not go for a technique which will not only help these students but also boost my revenue. Following a series of discussions with my friends, I thought of offering free wi-fi,” Basha says.
So Basha spent around Rs 3,000 in buying a router and other accessories and another Rs 1,700 every month on buying an unlimited data pack for a month.
As the internet speed hovers around 1 to 2 mbps, this is sufficient for me to connect to 10 to 15 customers at one go. Now, I see that many of my student customers are enjoying reading their mails or accessing Facebook,” says Basha.
The tea seller says that despite studying only till the tenth standard, he is happy to help students, and at the same time taking his business in the right direction.
Basha’s tea stall would see around 10 to 15 customers in a day earlier; but now he is serving around 100 customers each day.
Basha also says that the internet revolution is such that it is not just students; even the poorest of the poor are now buying smartphones to get internet access at his tea shop.
Naveen Kumar, one of the customers at Basha’s tea stall said, “I would need to access my email and it would not happen earlier but this data sharing at tea stall is really helping me. I think this idea has really clicked.