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Babu Phanish (U309012)

Bibhushree Jena (U309013)
Divya Thomas (U309017)

Nishant Kumar (U309034)
Simi Mohan (U309053)
Sonal Agarwal (U309054)


Ôaats are periodic markets. Periodic markets mean that people assemble at a particular place
at least once a week in order to buy and sell products. Ôaats operate in a weekly cycle. They
may vary in the intensity of their transactions depending upon the season but they seem to
have a fairly stable periodicity. They serve the village in which it is located and also the
surrounding village.
Consumers and traders who form a major part so the population attending these markets do
not necessarily attach much importance to the population of the village in which the market is
held. In their view, the importance of a market is based on the number of stalls it has
specially the number of stalls selling urban consumer goods.

The Balianta haat is a bi-weekly haat which is located 5 kms from the NÔ5, in Balianta
region of Bhubaneshwar. The haat¶s main commodity of trade is vegetables, especially
potatoes and onions. It is held on Tuesdays and Sundays, every week, from 12 noon to 9 pm;
the peak hours of business being 5 to 8pm, when most people are free from the day¶s work.
The regions /areas serviced by the haat are: Balianta, Benupur, Ôanspal, Naharkantha &

The haat area is owned by the village panchayat, which leases out the land through tender, to
the highest bidder, for a period of 1 year. This year, the highest bid was of Rs1 lakh and with
this money, the panchayat organises recreational and entertainment events in the village.

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There are 132 shops in the haat, and the rent collected from each shop is 5-10 Rs depending
upon the area of the shop.

For the convenience of the traders and the customers, the facilities provided in the haat are an
electric generator and a tube-well for drinking water. The owner of the generator charges 5-6
Rs. per day to every seller. Warehouse facility is not available although a few concrete
sheltered structures are present, where temporary storage can be done.
Retailers collect market information from wholesalers, who, in turn, get information from
suppliers and newspapers

÷  ! !

The shape of the haat is triangular, which runs along the banks of a river.
Based on the response of the sellers we spoke to, there are two strategically ideal locations to
set up a shop in Ôaat- one is at the entrance of the haat and the second one is at the middle of
the Ôaat. At the centre of the haat, there is a very old peepal tree, around which people
assemble to rest and to chat with each other. This is hence an ideal spot to set up a shop.
p"#  $$ %&!' $ 
Table A
Sl.No Name of the product Number of shops
1 Vegetables 74
2 Fruits 9
3 Betel leaves and related product 12
4 *Readymade clothes 7
5 *Tailors 3
6 *Food grains 3
7 *spices 3
8 Plastic items (powder, cream, 4
bangles e.t.c)
9 Sweet shops 3
10 Datun and Pan Masala 4
11 *Egg 1
12 *Fish 4
13 *Shoes 2
14 Locks repairing & fish net wires 3

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Table B

Sl.No. Nature of shops Number of shops

1 Specific 23
2 General 109
3 Permanent 2
4 Temporary 130

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The sellers are free to decide the price of their products and there is no formal union or any
other authority which controls prices in the haat. Most of the sellers are retailers, who buy
products from wholesalers present in the same Ôaat. They decide the price of their products
taking in consideration the margin of profit which they want from the goods. The margin
ranges from Rs. 1 to 20. On any particular day, the price of products generally decreases as
day proceeds and it is very rarely that the price increases during the day. Every seller is free
to decide the price of the products and so, for the same product prices vary. Prices also
depend on the quality of product & volume of purchase.
There is no local association /union for the haat. The local panchayat officials loosely
oversee the administration of the haat and also interfere in case of petty disputes, in order to
resolve the feuds. If the need arises, the help of the local police force is also employed. Apart
from daily rent of the shops, no other fees are paid by the traders.
Norms & conditions followed by traders in this market:

uY There is an unspoken agreement among the traders that there shall be no disputes
regarding the prices set by them.
uY Sellers are supposed to set up their shop at the location only which is allotted.
Generally, they co-operate with each other, trying to maintain fair prices of products
through mutual understanding.
The wholesalers often act as middlemen by buying vegetables from producers and selling
these products to the retailers at the Ôaat. Some of these sellers have also formed a group and
deal in ³Chit funds´.

Average number of customers per day- Tuesdays: 250-300, Sundays: 550-700
Age pattern of customers: Varies from 20 years to 45 years
The customers belong to a wide range of socio-economic background from the well-to-do
government employees to the humble daily wage earners. Majority of the customers belong
to the brick factory workers.

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The Balianta haat faces competition from Palasuni Ôaat which is located 1.5 km away and
opens on Mondays and Fridays. As a result of this haat, the number of footfalls in Balianta
haat reduces since the farm produce is available to them on 4 days of a week rather than just
2 days. Within the Ôaat, competition is due to the free pricing mechanism. There is stiff
competition among traders of fruits and vegetables, since the number of vendors selling these
is high. But the competition among the other vendors is not as fierce.
There are around 7-10 sellers who are only 6 months old in this market. Number of sellers
also varies with the day on which haat held. There are more sellers on Sundays than on
Wednesday. In general, the number of sellers is not decreasing but increasing.
The haat faces competition from the permanent shops set up in the vicinity, which sell
readymade clothes, sweets. The quality of the products sold by these permanent shops is
superior to the haat shops and also they are present throughout the week. So, the permanent
shopkeepers have more loyal customers. The entry of new sellers in this Ôaat is free and open
to all. The new seller has to select a location which is not yet allocated to anyone and pay the
requisite amount of rent.

While most of the transactions between buyers and sellers in the haat are cash transactions,
credit sales are also prevalent here, though rare. Transactions between the traders are also
predominantly cash transactions although transaction of good in kind also exists. Wholesalers
often give credit sales to retailers and the size of the credit can extend up to 1000 rupees
which must be repaid on the next haat date. Besides this there is no other mechanism for
credit availability in the haat system of Balianta..

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  !" ( %  (!%&!$ (! !

Sl. Item Whole sellers (Rs.) Retailers (Rs.)

1. Vegetables 15-25 per bag of 1-3 per kg
50 kg
2. Fruits N.A 2-4 per kg
3. Readymade clothes N.A 10-20 per piece
4. Fish
5. Sweets N.A 50 paisa to2 rupees
per piece
6. Spices N.A 15-25 per kg
7. Food grains 20-25 per bag of 1-3 per kg
50 kg
8. Tailors N.A 2-15 per work done

From our interactions with the traders in Balianta haat, we found that Potato and Onion
wholesale is considered to be the most profitable business, while tailoring is considered the
least profitable since the number of people who buy the clothes is very less.

The common problems faced in the haat are:

1.Y Lack of space

2.Y Lack of electricity
3.Y During rainy season, mud and slush in the haat creates unhygienic
4.Y Bargaining
The traders are happy to claim that they are free from political problems, corruption in the
haat system.


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Niranjan Behera, aged 36 years, is a resident of Trinath Bazaar ,Phulnakhara .Ôe has chosen
the Balinta haat since it is near his residence. Ôe has been running the Dry Fish business over
the past 23 years without any involvement of any of the family members. The average size of
his business is around 50 kg or Rs 8000 per month. Other than Balinta Ôaat, he puts up his
shop in Trinath market. Apart from Dry fish business he got no other alternative source of
Ôe buys fish from wholesalers of Berhmpur, Astaranga, Paradip and Bhadrak. During
profitable business period he procures around 1.5quintal of fish and in lean period 50-60 kg
from the wholesaler. On an average he makes purchase from the wholesaler 4 times in a
month and middleman interference is absent in the procurement of dry fish. The suppliers
usually sell dry fish to him at a discount of Rs 1 -2/kg. The mode of transportation is bus or
truck and the average cost of transportation of supply comes around Rs 300-600 depending
on the distance travelled. Ôe lack the access to any kind of storage facility which compels
him to store the fish at his house leading to loss of dry fish of worth Rs 2000-3000 especially
during rainy and summer season. The attributing factor to this damage is melting of salt,
preservative for fish, leading to decrease in shelf life. The normal shelf life of dry fish is one
month only.

There is no formal pricing committee in the haat. Usually he decides the price on the basis of
prevalent price in the market for dry fish. Ôe is able to make a profit of Rs 5- 10 per Kg
depending on the demand. In general there is no fluctuation in the price of dry fish in the
same day in haat though seasonal fluctuations in the price exist. During rainy season price is
high as the supply is very low due to the risk of dry fish getting wet and in winter price is low
due to the abundant supply. Apart from purchase cost he has to incur the transportation cost.
The difference in pricing between shops in the haat and those in outside market is on the
basis of difference in quality. Ôis family is involved in dry fish business for generations and
he inherited the knowledge of this business from his father. Previously he was working along
with his father in Trinath market. Ôe gathers information related to the business from his

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discussion with other sellers in haat of Balinta and Trinath and the wholesalers from where he
procures the supply.

On an average he has footfalls of 100-150 / day at his shop. Out of which generally 50-60
comes for only enquiry and 40-45 turns into final purchasers of fish. In general customers at
his shop are of part of lower middle income class and poor class. Majority of the customers
are labourers and farmers. Majority of customer are man and belong to age group of 20-60
yrs. There is on an average 20% repetition in his customers and the frequency of repetition is
once in 15 days or once in a month or once in a week. The general buying behaviour of
customers at his shop is kokoli dry fish, costing around Rs 40/kg, purchased by labour and
farmers. Paniakhia, Ôilsa dry fish which comes for Rs 100/kg, Rs 300 /kg respectively are
bought by people of good financial base. The most important customers for him are
labourers, though they purchase the cheapest variety the profit is more from them because the
quantities of purchase is more and are often regular. Over the years customers have gained
more affinity for quality and price conscious customers give more preference to price over
quality. Younger generation customers compared to older generation are less demanding.
As a retailer his amount of sell is average. Selling by bulk is reducing day by day, before 10
years or so the bulk selling went up to an average amount of Rs7000/- but the catastrophe of
super cyclone plunged the sell which never get recovered. Now the maximum sell in a
favourable time is around 8-10 kg. During holidays especially Sunday sell is more, around
200 to 300 rupees deviation is seen in profit. There is no relation between festivals and dry
fish business though some reduction in sell is noticed in religious rituals. As per season not
drastic but slight augment is noticed in sell post harvesting period. Ôe does not have any
method to forecast his sale. Ôe is forced to do distress sale during rainy season due to decline
in shelf life of the product. During rainy season he faces several problems like discolouration
of dry fish, melting of salt coating which compiles him to sell the product at a low price. As
the quantity of unit sale is small most buyers try to get a discount of Rs 1 or 2 from him.
There is no advance booking of products.
Ôe has around 38 varieties of dry fish and there is not much variation in product portfolio.
Decision on product portfolio is solely taken on the basis of inquisitiveness and demand of
the customers.

Ôe has not noticed any influence of big company in the haat. Though sometimes Eveready
company agents come and advertise their products like batteries and torch, the frequency of
visit is very limited to cause any impact on buying behaviour of customers.
Including him there are 4 dry fish vendors in the haat and there is not much price difference
between them, so competition based on quality of product. According to him apart of periodic
seller, who come for a period of 8 months there are no newcomers in his portfolio in the haat.
Ôe also faces competition from fresh fish seller of Unit-4 market. Ôe considered potato and
on selling as the most profitable business as it is one of the necessary commodity of everyday
In his business transaction always takes place in cash. Ôe does not offer credit selling to any
of the consumer. Ôe does have access to financial facility through the account in the Indian
Overseas Bank and he has the credit borrowing of Rs5000/- for dry fish business with an
interest of 2%.

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Ôis total income per day is around Rs 500-800/- and profit average of Rs 100-200/- per day.
Ôis business was badly affected in the super cyclone of Orissa in 1999 and he had no backup
plan at that time, so he suffered a huge loss. In today`s context he does not have any back up
plan either in case of emergency.

Among the problems seasonal damage of dry fish due to rain is a major one. Apart from this
he also faces hurdles in transportation as most of the public transport like buses refuse to load
dry fish due to their pungent smell.
Regarding threat from other consumable products his rivals are fish and chicken which can
substitute dry fish position in consumer feeding habit if available at cheap rate.
Ôe has plans of increasing size and variety of his product if granted loan from bank.

Saroj Prusty, aged 22, has been a trader in Balianta haat for 4 years now. This young man
from Balikantia, which is 4 km away from Balianta haat, is a retail garment trader. Ôe has
been running the business alone. Apart from Balianta, he also does business in Bhanchua but
he prefers the former because it is a larger haat. The average size of his business by value
ranges from Rs 20000 ± 2500. Ôis alternative source of income is farming.
Regarding the supply chain of products, he purchases garments from Jauliapati and
Chaudhari bazaars in Cuttack. The purchase is made once in a month in sets of 6 pieces or 12
pieces at a time. There are no middlemen involved in the business. The mode of
transportation is by bus and the average transportation costs amount to Rs 70. Ôe stores the
clothes in his house and there is no other storage facility. There is hardly any wastage in the
stock that he holds. Ôe bargains with his supplier to clinch a discount of Rs. 5- 10 per set.

   Y Y
In the absence of market forces or a market committee to determine prices, Saroj fixes prices
according to the quality of the garments. Ôe makes it a point to reduce prices towards the
evening so as to boost sales during peak hours. Ôe also reduces prices during the rainy
season. Ôe is not aware of the pricing difference between shops in the haat and those outside
the market. Since his family has been involved in this business for generations, he claims to
be adept at understanding market dynamics and therefore does not depend on any other
source for market information.
The majority of customers who visit his shop are men who are daily wage labourers mostly
labourers engaged in brick making. The number of customers, both children and adult, range
from 5 to 20 per day. Ôe is able to command the loyalty of at least 5-6 % of his customer
base. Though he does not find the younger customers more demandin, he tries to rope them
in by catering to their changing fashion needs and displaying more varieties to keep in tune
with the changes in customers¶ base and needs over the years.

   Y Y
Ôis largest sale by value is Rs. 1000-1500. The maximum deviation in sale is observed in the
rainy season owing to the reduction in the prices. Ôe does not resort to any method (thumb
rule / heuristics) to predict sales. The Durga Puja festival brings in maximum sales. Ôe was
driven to the point of making distress sales in the rainy seasons when he incurred losses. Ôe
was also forced to sell at very low prices on a couple of occasions when his stock remained
unsold for several days. Ôe considers the winter season to be most lucrative for him as far as
sales are concerned. Naturally, winter garments show a marked change in demand with
change in climatic condition. Ôe does not receive orders in advance. Ôis profit margin is, on
an average, Rs 5-10 per piece. Ôe usually offers a discount of Rs.10-15 per piece. Apart from
offering discount, attractive display is another promotion strategy which he adopts. Since
there is a demand for fashionable clothes, he accommodates them in his product portfolio
often . According to him, shirts are the most profitable items in his portfolio. Currently, there
are 7 different varieties available for sale. Ôis product portfolio contains neither branded
product nor duplicate products. Ôe has never felt or observed an increase in presence of
agents of big companies in the haat. Ôe faces competition from a series of cloth shops just
outside the haat. Ôe observes that people with higher income prefer to make their purchases
from these shops. Within the haat, he faces competition from other garments sellers.
According to him, the sale of vegetables is the largest and most profitable business in the
market. The sales transaction takes place in cash always. Ôe neither offers nor avails credits
and has no access to financial services. Ôe dreams of putting of a garment shop outside the
haat after availing loans from the banks.

We interviewed one of the Onion & Potato Wholesale dealer at Balianta Ôaat named
Gangadhar Sahoo, who is of 22 years old and resident of Bhubanpur, Khurda. Ôe has chosen
the Balianta haat since it is near his residence and the market was good. Ôe has been running
the Onion & Potato Wholesale business over the past 22 years. Gangadhar and his one
assistant are involved in the business. No one from his family is directly involved in the
business. The average size of his business is around 355 and 900 kg of onion and potato
respectively per day. Other than Balianta Ôaat he operates in Rasoolgarh, Shahid Nagar and
Palasuni. Apart from Onion & Potato Wholesale dealer business he has a ladies corner shop.

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 ( %&!$
Ôe buys his stock from whole sale operators in West Bengal. The quantity of purchase
depends on the demand existing in the market. Generally the deals are made through the
mobile phone. The supply from the supplier is generally on time and regular. Ôe receives the
stock twice a week. There are no middlemen involved between him and the whole sale dealer
in West Bengal. The stock is transported through trucks. The transport system in place is very
reliable. After calculation the cost of transportation came out to be Rs. 10 per quintal. There
is no specific storage plant for the storage of his stock. Generally he stores them in his house.
Due to lack of proper storage facilities and proper handling sometimes the onion and potato
are damaged. Ôe is in no position to bargain with dealer in West Bengal. Ôe is a price taker
from the market.

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As mentioned before he is a price taker from the market. Ôe calculates his price by adding a
certain margin to the cost incurred by him. Generally there are no fluctuations in price within
a day. Ôowever the prices are influenced by the availability of stock some days. Also there is
fluctuation in price due to seasonal factors. The prices in the new produce season are
generally low. The prices increase during the rainy season. The major cost factors involved in
the business are raw material cost, transportation cost and some storage cost. Ôe takes a
margin of Rs. 0.75 per Kg of sale. There is considerable difference in the price he offers and
the price offered in the outside market. Generally the difference varies from Rs. 2 to Rs 5 per
Kg of onion/potato. As earlier mentioned, the major source of stock is West Bengal market.
The information from that market is known through the mobile phone. The same is used for
giving orders and performing other trade with them.

As the business if whole sale nature mostly the customers are retail vendors. The average
number of customers that come to him are around 25 ± 30 per day. The customers generally
are the retail vendors in the same haat, retail vendors outside haat in the village or sellers on
cart pullers. Mostly the customers are men of the age group of 25 ± 45 years. The loyalty of

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the customers is high. This is ensured by the vendor through different ways which include
lower price for repeat customer, credit sales etc. The customer profile is relatively
homogenous when compared to other business in the haat. The vendor has not diversified
into other varieties to improve his customer base. It is observed that the old customers were
more price-sensitive and were more bargaining in nature when compared to the younger

The sales are complete wholesale in nature and customer he addresses to are retailer in
nature. The highest sale for volume recorded as of date by the vendor is about 72 quintals
(both potato and onion). The lowest sales recorded were of 10 quintals in last year rainy
season. The deviation in sales is high due to the seasonal fluctuations and the cultural
implications. The sales increases considerably during the festive seasons like time during
 , etc. The vendor uses his sales register to predict the sales and takes the
festive season into account while calculating the sales demand. There are few occasions
where the vendor has to do some distress sales. Few of the situations when the vendor was
doing distress sale is when the stock is spoiling, when the sales are low for continuous weeks,
when the stock is piling up etc.

As mentioned earlier the haat operates on two days of which Sunday is better in terms of
sales. The season of 
  is highly profitable as the localities consume very less non
vegetarian resulting in high demand for potato.The vendor is in a good position to bargain
with buyer. The vendor easily manages a margin of minimum Rs.0.75 per Kg. It is also
observed that the vendor receives orders in advance. The vendor sticks only to potato and
onion; he is not interested in diversifying his portfolio as he anticipates more risk in other
products like vegetables.
The only products in his portfolio are onion and potato.

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" ! ! (
The main competition to this vendor is from three other wholesale vendors in the haat.
Ôowever these three vendors are small in scale in comparison to our vendor. Our vendor ha
loyal customer base so he do not see any serious problem in his operations in near future.
According to our vendor potato and onion business is the largest business in the haat. The
reasons he attributes for his thinking are more margin, low price high volume products and
the risk is very less.

 ((& (% !$

In his business transactions mostly takes place in cash. Ôowever there are few customers who
transact through credit. These credits are not formal in nature. These operate at a personal

The minimum margin he maintains is at Rs. 0.75 per Kg. The more profitable business is of
onion when compared tp potato. The margins can be as high as Rs. 7.25 per Kg.
# "$
The major problems for the vendor are disputes between the sellers and the market fair. Due
to market fair the haat is generally displaced causing a lot of problems.

! (
The future plan is to expand into new areas.

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The haat survey exercise at the Balianta Ôaat brings in its wake many learning experience for
us. Not only it gave us a chance to intimate with the rural haat but we learnt the perspectives
of the buyers, sellers and other stake holders like local government. Ôaat remains an
important point in the lives of villagers. It caters to the many needs of the villagers at a single
We found stark buying differences in the buying pattern of different age groups. The
youngsters were more attracted towards fashionable and attractive packaging whereas the
older generation were inclined towards tested and economical goods. We also found a fair
sized market of the duplicate product in the haat. The prices of those products were no less
than the original product. On finding out we came to know that since the margin is more in
the duplicate products the sellers are more inclined to keep them.
From the consumer¶s point of view we learned that in case of clothes and other related
accessories the rural buyers are ready for a trade off between quality of the products and the
price. Thus many of the customers do prefer to buy from street vendors though the quality of
goods is lower. In the case of products of daily use which are perishable such as vegetables
and fruits, ease of availability and convenient location of the market becomes an important
factor rather than the price.

One common problem that was faced by all the sellers was the credit crunch. Even when
they want to expand their business they do not get institutional support. The sellers who are
willing to upgrade to ownership of a permanent shop from being a street vendor cannot do so
because with such a less amount of assets they cannot get credit from the banks for their

   Y Y