100 Sights of Chennai 10: A Nation of Shopkeepers
Napoleon said of the British that we were a nation of shopkeepers, well India beats us hands down.
The entrepreneurial spirit of the millions of small businesses is something to behold. From the neighbourhood Kirana which will home deliver your groceries and give you credit, to the myriad number of single product shops, stalls and carts which spill out onto any open piece of pavement Chennai has no shortage of shops. Leave a space and somebody will start to trade from it.
The debate is still ongoing as to whether India will ever open up to wholly multinational retailers (FDI). I’m not sure it will, but I’m pretty confident that even if it does, the small shops of India will survive as so much shopping is local. In fact it’s nigh on impossible for a large part of the population to travel to distant hypermarkets.