We are living in an interesting age. Aren’t we? The same way S. Sreesanth, the casual break-dancer, former Harbhajan-slapper and now, an ex-Big Boss contestant, well, also happens to be an ex-Indian cricketer, Ferrari, the not so ‘Prancing’ Horse of Formula 1 also happens to relish multiple roles; such as making money through fragrances and lifestyle products such as that red coloured bag which, well, isn’t a cliche after all.
But well, who’s to decide what is and what isn’t applicable to businesses, to speak specifically?
Certainly, the undersigned (author) isn’t.
Take, IKEA for example. This is a big brand. No, it’s a huge brand. The adjectives run endlessly so.
But in an age where anyone and everyone- and no, IKEA is not just any brand- is doing pretty much anything, with the possible exception of Snoop Doggy Dogg yet to officially release a legalized Marijuana brand (why aren’t you Snoop), the Swedes are expanding and why shouldn’t they.
IKEA, a furniture store- a noted one at that- is selling Biryani, and vegan biryani at that?
Did you know?
Funny? But well, who are we to decide? After all, and with all due respect, bookstores are selling chocolates.
Some swear by line extension and they must. The realm of advertising is bloody incredible, after all? Is it not?
That said, let’s return to where a key retail action is. This, therefore, takes us down south of India in the city of Nawabs, Nizams, Kebabs, the Hussain Sagar lake, Banjara Hills, V.V.S Laxman, the sensationally beautiful Taj Falaknuma Palace, and enterprising startups like Grey Ticket.
So basically, IKEA, the world’s leading furniture retail giant has resumed selling vegetarian biryani. This, to many, is a sudden albeit pleasant development for the simple reason that back in September 2018 there was a bit of a hiccup for the famous European brand in India.
So, care to rub your memory?
Well, a little over a quarter back in time there appeared a ‘foreign object’ (believe it or not, it wasn’t America gathering covert intelligence from within the rice particles) in IKEA’s Hyderabad store.
And this therefore led to the brand discontinuing what may have been a highly novel idea. Think of it? Why would anyone go to noted food outlets in the city to scout for vegan biryani when an international furniture brand is selling it and guess what, without introducing anything ‘wooden’ in taste?
But, hey, anyways, who are we to suggest Biryani variants, isn’t it? What will the likes of Masterchef and kitchen Didis and Bhaiyas do at the end of the day?
On a serious note and this time, we really are serious, revered media outlet NDTV reported more on the issue and shared the following.
“Today is the first day we have started reselling vegetarian biryani, said John Achillea, Hyderabad Store Manager, IKEA India.”
And to elaborate more, Mr. Achillea also shared that IKEA’s first store in India (is there a need to reiterate that this one is not in the political heartline of the country?) is selling the said dish for no more than INR 99 and that the same price has been persisted with as seen in the past.
Now, interestingly, what was the foreign object that had created such a ruckus in the past and for which the ‘Veg biryani’ operation had to be stopped?
This was no drone, wasn’t Kohinoor diamond for sure (for the Brits haven’t yet acted on Dr. Tharoor’s superb oration on them owning us Indian reparations) and, for sure it wasn’t the harmless housefly that habitually molests whatever’s been polished off of the plate with melted butter often left as a leave-behind.
This was, and truth be told, a frigging caterpillar. Now, what might have the animal rights activists- and make no mistake, they are among the real heroes- would’ve done on that, we don’t know.
What we do know is that there’s some scope for anticipating the future. So what now?
Simple! The way, Jean Claude Van Damme often promises to abstain from doing similar action roles but well, returns to playing the softie fallen on hard times, even if, for the millionth time, IKEA has resumed selling Veg Biryani in a city that perhaps has been selling it for the longest possible time.
So, what’s more?
So wishing you all the very best IKEA. You really are an incredible brand. And hey, in case you thought this is sarcasm, please care to check the brand’s 2016 revenue figures: 4,090.6 crores (USD).