Read the following case-let and answer the questions that follow
Rajinder Singh was 32 years old from the small town of Bhathinda, Punjab. Most of the families living there had middle class incomes, with about 10% of the population living below the poverty level. The population consisted of 10 percent small traders, 30 percent farmers, besides others. Rajinder liked growing up in Bhathinda, where people knew and cared about each other.
Even as a youngster it was clear that Rajinder was smart and ambitious. Neighbors would often say, “Someday you’re going to make us proud!” He always had a job growing up at Singh’s General Store - Uncle Balwant’s store. Balwant was a well-intentioned person. Rajinder loved being at the store and not just because Balwant paid him well. He liked helping customers, most of who were known by the nicknames. Setting up displays and changing the merchandise for different seasons and holidays was always exciting. Uncle Balwant had one child and off late, his interest in business had declined. But he had taught Rajinder ‘the ins and outs of retailing’. He had taught Rajinder everything, including ordering merchandise, putting on a sale, customer relations, and keeping the books.
The best part about working at the store was Balwant himself. Balwant loved the store as much as Rajinder did. Balwant had set up the store with a mission to make sure his neighbors got everything they needed at a fair price. He carried a wide variety of goods, based on the needs of the community. If you needed a snow shovel or piece of jewelry for your wife, it was no problem - Singh’s had it all. Rajinder was impressed by Balwant’s way of handling and caring for customers. If somebody was going through “hard times”, Balwant somehow knew it. When they came into the store, Balwant would make them feel comfortable, and say something like, “you know Jaswant, let’s put everything on credit today”. This kind of generosity made it easy to understand why Balwant was loved and respected throughout the community.
Rajinder grew up and went to school and college in Bhathinda. Later on, he made it to an MBA program in Delhi. Rajinder did well in the MBA course and was goal oriented. After first year of his MBA, the career advisor and Balwant advised Rajinder for an internship at Bigmart. That summer, Rajinder was amazed by the breadth and comprehensiveness of the internship experience. Rajinder got inspired by the life story of the founder of Bigmart, and the value the founder held. Bigmart was one of the best companies in the world.
The people that Rajinder worked for at Bigmart during the internship noticed Rajinder’s work ethic, knowledge, and enthusiasm for the business. Before the summer ended, Rajinder had been offered a job as a Management Trainee by Bigmart, to start upon graduation. Balwant was happy to see Rajinder succeed. Even for Rajinder, this was a dream job - holding the opportunity to move up the ranks in a big company. Rajinder did indeed move up the ranks quickly, from management trainee, to assistant store manager, to supervising manager of three stores, to the present position - Real Estate Manager, North India. This job involved locating new sites within targeted locations and community relations.
One day Rajinder was eagerly looking forward to the next assignment. When he received email for the same, his world came crashing down. He was asked to identify next site in Bhathinda. It was not that Rajinder didn’t believe in Bigmart’s explanation. What was printed in the popular press,especially the business press, only reinforced Rajinder’s belief in Bigmart. An executive viewed as one of the wisest business persons in the world was quoted as saying, “Bigmart had been a major force in improving the quality of life for the average consumer around the world offering great prices on good, giving them one stop solution for almost everything.” Many big farmers also benefitted through low prices, as middlemen were removed. At the same time, Rajinder knew that opening a new Bigmart could disrupt small business in Bhathinda. Some local stores in small towns went out of business within a year of the Bigmart’s opening.
In Bhathinda, one of the local stores Singh’s,now run by Balwant’s son, although Balwant still came in every day to “straighten out the merchandise.” As Rajinder thought about this assignment, depression set in, and the nightmares followed. Rajinder was frozen in time and space. Rajinder’s nightmares involved Balwant screaming something- although Rajinder could not make out what Balwant was saying. This especially troubled Rajinder, since Balwant never raised his voice.
Rajinder didn’t know what to do - who might be helpful? Rajinder’s spouse, who was a housewife? Maybe talking it through could lead to some positive course of action. Rajinder’s boss?Would Bigmart understand? Could Rajinder really disclose the conflict without fear? Uncle Balwant? Should Rajinder really disclose the situation and ask for advise? He wanted a solution that would make all satkeholders happy.
Which is the right ascending order, in terms of proportion of population, benefitting from Bigmart, in and around Bhathinda?
Correct order: Retailers, Farmers, Customers
The answer is option C.
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