How Vadaam Mami is thriving post-demonetization

A real life story of how Vadaam Mami Jayalakshmi is thriving post-demonetization

Vada Mami Jayalakshmi is thriving post-demonetization.
Vada Mami Jayalakshmi is thriving post-demonetization. Graphic courtesy Chennai Memes

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]L[/dropcap]eaders of all Opposition parties including Rahul Gandhi have gone to town claiming that the demonetization declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the night of November 8, 2016 is a sure recipe to economic disaster. The conglomeration of political outfits did not allow both the Houses of Parliament to function and the last session was a total wash out. Manmohan Singh, who was described as an accidental Prime Minister by his own former media advisor Sanjay Baru, claimed that the demonetization would cause grievous injury to the honest Indian who earns wages in cash. “At the stroke of the midnight hour on November 9,2016, the confidence of more than a billion Indians was destroyed,” wrote Singh in the December 9, 2016 edition of The People’s Daily of Chennai which is also known by the name The Hindu.

This the same Manmohan Singh in a nationally televised press conference on January 3, 2014 said it would be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

In his speech delivered in Rajya Sabha on November 24, 2016 , the former Prime Minister attacked Modi’s decision as “monumental mismanagement”. “Prime Minister has been arguing that this is the way to curb black money, to prevent growth of forfeiture currency notes and also to help in control of terrorist finance activities. I do not disagree with these objectives. But I do want to point out this that in the process of demonetization monumental mismanagement has been undertaken about which today there is no two opinions in the country as a whole. Even those who say that this measure will do harm or cause distress in the short term but be in the interests of the country in the long run should be reminded of what John Keynes said once, “In the long run all of us are dead,” said Singh in his speech which was listened with rapt attention by the members of the upper House as well as the nation.

This the same Manmohan Singh in a nationally televised press conference on January 3, 2014 said it would be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. Singh’s face turns red with anger and hatred whenever he mentions the name Narendra Modi – one wonders why…

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]nother economist, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen says demonetization of high value currency notes was an undemocratic act and it acted like an unguided missile. Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, a self styled economist, misses no chance to lambast Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his November 8, 2016 decision to demonetize high value notes.

Thanks to demonetization, a 72-year-old illiterate woman in West Mambalam, a Chennai suburb, is all set to go global.

Visuals beamed by 24X7 TV news channels were full of people lamenting their woes to the world in spite of the Prime Minister’s assurance to the country that everything would be over in two months’ time.

The criticism continues unabated and attacks against union government has reached feverish pitch. But there are instances from South which could dampen the spirit of the critics.

Thanks to demonetization, a 72-year-old illiterate woman in West Mambalam, a Chennai suburb, is all set to go global. Jayalakshmi, brought up her children (three sons and a daughter) by door-to-door delivery of appalams, pickles, vathals, Idli podi, chundakka (a Tamil savoury) which she makes with her own hands in her small house. Initially, she used to go around the neighbourhood by walk and deliver the products. “Those days, there were hardly hundred customers, all households for whom these pickles, vathals and idli/dosa podi were essential items,” said Jayalakshmi.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]M[/dropcap]esmerised by the taste of her products, her customers prodded her to make more and more delicacies which she obliged. “Over the last five to six years, the customer base increased from 100 to almost 600 households. This was due to the social media like FaceBook and WhatsApp,” said Jayalakshi, popularly known as Vadaam Mami (Vadaam is a snack similar to Papad, Mami is Tamil for aunt).

Vadaam Mami says since she switched over to swipe machines, her customers are buying more and more quantity as well as products.

Jayalakshmi has not heard terms like balance of payment, global economic meltdown, recession or even payment crisis. All she has understood about demonetization is that the government had decided not to entertain currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations.

“After November 8, there was some setback in my daily collection due to shortage of currency notes. If customers do not make on the spot payment, I would not be able to sustain the business. So I was asked by my son Shankar to go for online transaction. The transaction involving cards and swipe machine have come as a boon to me as sales have increased,” said a smiling Jayalakshmi who now describes demonetization as a best step. “Change is inevitable and we always should adapt ourselves to changing environment. I would have gone bust had I not switched over to the swipe machines,” she said.

Vadaam Mami says since she switched over to swipe machines, her customers are buying more and more quantity as well as products. “Till recently we managed without any brand names. People used to describe our products as Jaya Mami’s appalam or pickles… Now it is Jaya Home Made Products.. Well, in coming days. We may have to go for a brand name,” said her son Shankar, who in addition to his business, is helping Jayalakshmi to widen the customer base.

“Now my idea is to go global with these products. Go with the trend and make India Digital ”, Vadaam Mami said with a smile as she boarded the auto for door delivering the products.

Are you listening Messers Singh, Sen and Chidambaram?

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Dooms day predictions not withstanding it is the small but honest people who adopt to changes/inconvenience brilliantly, they are praise worthy.
    ‘jo jaake saran gaye so raakhe taake laaj; machari tairat ulat jale bah jaye gaja raaj’.

  2. Those who want to make a living by decent means without cheating the Govt should not worry about demon… It is only those evils who want to beat the system by corrupt means will be affected, Congress and its cronies like Sen will only support these corrupts as they do not want India to progress By giving Nobel Prize to these guys, Nobel prize loose its credibility.

  3. There are lot of traditional recipes which has niche market.TamBram is one of them who have unique recipes and they should encourage the most knowledgeable and talented to get into commercial venture.Digital world has made it easy for such ventures because these hard working sincere people are not short changed by shop owners who have always kept them at their mercy.It is time that every caste/community should commercialise their traditional cuisine as there are many willing takers.More the merrier.

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