New Zealanders have a penchant for quality over-riding all other factors and the success of market players would depend on their ability to sustain internationally accepted standards, combined by the country’s unique tastes and styles.
Contrary to the popular belief, fierce competition does not drive companies out of business but enables them to find ways and means of adding value to their products and services and retain customer loyalty.
While almost 90% of businesses in New Zealand are small enterprises employing less than ten staff, most of these thrive on personalised service.
But cutthroat competition is not only counterproductive but helps none in the long run. Which is why, many companies forge a common approach to pricing and compete on quality of the environment, products and services.
The Papatoetoe business community is no exception.
With a host of businesses including retailing, fashion houses, jewellers, textile and garment dealers, supermarkets, food outlets, takeaways, restaurants, consulting and other services, Papatoetoe rightfully takes the place of a hub of the Auckland City.
Indian businesses thrive in the area, with the area at and about Hunters Corner as their mainstay.
From a modest beginning a few years ago with just a retailer and professional services provider, Papatoetoe has become a place of importance for Indian businesses and multi-ethnic shoppers.
A number of Indian businesses have opened their doors in recent years, encouraged by the increasing number of shoppers.
Papatoetoe, with its Hunters Corner has developed to become a significant business hub. With almost all services, including banking, post shop, medical practitioners, professional service providers and others available, this area has come to be on its own.
Companies such as Vastra New Zealand Limited add value to not only the products and services that they sell, but also the relationship that they forge with their customers. Honesty and integrity are also vital in business, which, according to Dixit Chauhan, Director of the Company, are paramount.
Years ago, he told customers that he valued their association and business and that his prices were realistic and reasonable.
“Please do not ask for discounts,” he said.
“Is it not a way of doing business?” someone asked.
“It is a simple logic,” Mr Chauhan said. “If I have to give $20 discount, I would perhaps add that to my price and pretend to the customer that I am offering a discount. Why this drama? It is better to keep the prices as low as possible at all times, rather than offer discounts on special occasions or events. I believe in selling my products at the best possible prices throughout the year rather than offer inconsistent discounts.
“You are paying a price for my product and hence you do not have to beg for the markdowns. It does not help anybody,” he said.
According to Mr Chauhan, retailing has shifted from the conventional style to high standards of professionalism.
“You cannot keep the stock in your shop for long. At Vastra, we have a high turnover of stock, giving customers options all the time,” he said.
Mr Chauhan is a veteran in retail business, with three successful showrooms in his native Fiji, trading as ‘Memsaab’ and ‘Vastra’ in Suva and as ‘Vastra’ in Lautoka.
Mr Chauhan said the Auckland enterprise, located at 208 Great South Road in Papatoetoe is believed to have changed the way customer demands are met.
“From traditional and modern dresses for formal occasions, cocktail suits and dresses for men and women for weddings and dresses for youngsters, the range at Vastra is stated to be extensive and exclusive.
“The showroom has introduced a ‘Loyalty Programme, which allows customers to gain points after every purchase, with periodic rewards.
“Vastra Gift Vouchers are also available,” he said.