Facing prospect of losing customers, small Mumbai vendors allow credit

Updated: Nov 15, 2016, 10:11 IST | Gaurav Sarkar and Laxman Singh |

Many small-time vendors in the city have either opened a credit line or are continuing with existing ones for regular buyers, allowing them to pay back at their convenience


Anil Kumar gives his vegetables on credit to regular customers in Oshiwara. Pic/ Nimesh Dave

How well do you know your local vegetable vendors? They may be the ones who’d help you tide over the current currency crisis. Many small-time vendors in the city have either opened a credit line or are continuing with existing ones for regular buyers, allowing them to pay back at their convenience.

Anil Kumar (32) of Anand Nagar in Oshiwara, Andheri, who has been selling vegetables from the footpath adjoining the income tax office for the last 15 years, does not keep tabs of his customers' credit in a notebook. "I know my regular customers. I tell them if they want veggies, they can take them. I mentally keep track of how much each one owes me. Sometimes, they pay back the same day, or in a day or two."

His average daily earning is Rs 5,000, which has shrunk by a quarter owing to credit lines. "It's inconvenient. But at a time like this, it is important to help each other out." Kumar's credit line is open only to regulars and acquaintances.

Dheeman Patel saw a 50% slump in business soon after currency withdrawal. Pic/ Suresh Karkera
Dheeman Patel saw a 50% slump in business soon after currency withdrawal. Pic/ Suresh Karkera

Dheeman Patel, a tea vendor in Bandra East, resorted to the same measure to get by after his business slumped by 50% within the first three days of the currency withdrawal. He said since opening credit lines, his daily average income of Rs 10,000 has dropped by Rs 1,000.

"When new customers come with old denomination notes, I refuse them," he said. He, too, doesn’t jot down customers’ credit. "Most customers pay up without being reminded," he said.

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