The street that sells drives and chips
By TANU KULKARNI
With at least 2,000 shops in the same locality, survival of the fittest seems to be the mantra for the shopkeepers in Sardar Patrappa Road.
Also known as spare parts road, S.P. Road is the hub of all electronic items available at a ‘reasonable cost’ Popularly known as spare parts road, S.P. Road is the hub of all electronic items available at a ‘reasonable cost’
As I walk down a narrow lane, I see industrious activity. Customers haggling with shop-owners, men in a hurry to settle accounts, and a trader moving over to be of service to a queue of customers as he has a dozen more waiting for him.
People throng this street to buy electronic items, hardware, mobile accessories and other miscellaneous paraphernalia. The size of the shop and the smile on the owner’s face are in striking contrast.
Popularly known as spare parts road, S.P. Road is the hub of all electronic items available at a ‘reasonable cost’. Welcome to Sadar Patrappa Road, located at the opportune juncture of the roads leading from K.R. Market and Corporation Circle.
Mujahid Khan, a regular visitor to S.P. Road for the past ten years says, “I come here to buy pen drives, CDs and mobile accessories. Everything here is at least 10 per cent cheaper than the market price.”
Each shop owner is busy persuading his customers to buy his goods and at least a dozen of them refused to talk to me during their ‘business hours’.
With at least 2,000 shops in the same locality, survival of the fittest seems to be the mantra for the shopkeepers.
However, what used to be a place where one would get that rare computer accessory or spare part that might not be found anywhere else, is losing its USP, thanks to online shopping and easy availability of computer peripherals everywhere.
Ramesh Kumar, who has been running Shanthi metals on S.P. Road says, “Earlier, people would come here because this was the only place in the city where you could get electronic items. But today, all these items are available in different parts of the city; people prefer buying from the shop close to their locality.”
He points out that most of his customers are private companies. With a sense of pride, he asserts, “We bring our items all the way from Mumbai and Delhi.” P. Jagadish, who runs A.J. Electronics, feels that S.P. Road is more than a match to the shops in other localities. “The customer has an advantage if he comes here. He can approach a dozen shops before he makes his purchase,” he says.
Mr. Jagadish also adds, “Scientists from ISRO, Indian Institute of Science, HAL, DRDO and NAL would all come here to buy products from us.” Another plus to the area: all kinds of electronic items are readily available in one place.
What is interesting is how each community seems to have secured a part of the trade for itself.
Jagadish goes on to explain, “Electronic items are sold by Rajasthanis, hardware items by Gujaratis and iron and steel by the Muslims.” He explains that most of the shops are run by third-generation owners; each generation is taught the tricks of the trade and are moulded to run the stores and take over a part of S.P. Road.
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