Our Information Technology Project Management professor was explaining how value of substance depends on it’s attributes which sometimes is marked by a label.
“Johny Walker scotch comes in different brands, red label 3 years old, black label 6 years old, green label some 12 years old etc. I can’t tell the difference but some people say they can, and that is why a green label costs more than red label. “
The same professor also described the difference between value and cost.
A Rs 15 pen that my son gifted me from his money he had saved, has insignificant cost but it is very valuable to me. I have saved many inexpensive but extremely valuable things in my safe which probably be thrown in dustbin after I die.
In last few years India has seen sudden growth. Those people who managed to get themselves good education despite the problems government created in their path have managed to offer themselves a good life style. But then these people have become rich suddenly, they spend a lot in Multiplexes, Malls and Spas.
A good movie show ticket cots Rs 250 in multiplex, the most ordinary branded shoes will not cost less than 3k, a humble meal at a good restaurant is never less than Rs. 500. I see a huge crowd going for all these goods are services which are smartly branded as “only for rich”.
It reminds me of story of Eklavya. Dronacharyaa refused to educate Eklavya because he did not belong to the varnam that deserved to get education from Dronacharya. During those times the determining factor for varnam was birth by default. today varnam is replaced by entrance examinations like JEE and GATE. [It’s ironical that the so called champions of so-called backward classes are demanding that “birth” be used as a criteria instead of merit].
Eklavya learnt everything he wanted to learn without any help from Dronacharya. But he wanted “Authority”, he wanted “certification” and he wanted it from someone like Drona. Hence when presented an opportunity he did not hesitate to sacrifice even his thumb for that certificate. Because he knew that, his sacrifice will also mean that Drona has accepted him as his disciple. Drona too knew Eklavya’s wish and exploited it to make sure that Eklavya will not become a threat to the ruling class.
Just like Drona, the companies which have established themselves as brands-for-rich have successfully exploited young people who are dieing to prove themselves as rich. This certainly has not happened by offering services and goods that have value equivalent to their cost but sometimes even far inferior value.
Rickshaw-drivers who never keep change, waiter’s who expected extra tip, Courier delivery boy who demands “Bakshish” for doing his duty, Policemen who makes a point to catch a non-resident-techie, landlords who demand extra deposit from software developers are all such exploiters.