Monday, June 24, 2013

The Reliance Digital Store Experience

With an increasing number of gadgets, shopping for electronics is an activity that has become almost as frequent as shopping for clothes!  With an increasing dependency on gadgets and electronic appliances, a reduced life of these electronic items and rapid change in technology that makes our gadgets obsolete in a few months, a trip to the electronics store is usually a must for me every time I visit a mall.

Indiblogger came up with a fun contest that entailed visiting a Reliance Digital store from a select list and blogging about the experience. I chose to visit the Reliance Digital Store at the sprawling R-city mall at Ghatkopar.

A couple of other bloggers had visited at the same time, and we were welcomed by the store manager Arun.  We first presented the printouts of the emails we had from Indiblogger, and gave him our identity details.  Once these formalities were over with, a quick store tour was arranged for us. 
The store

The store manager giving us insights on the store

The store
The store itself was quite huge - about 15,000 sq feet.  Spacious aisles and spaces made movement much easier and the specially designed lighting that was conducive for shopping made for a pleasant visit.  There were designated areas for experiencing various products and appliances and well marked out zones for each product.

A large display of TVs

Kitchen appliances

The spacious gaming experience zone

The Customer experience
The theme of the Reliance Digital store was ‘happiness’ said the manager. And indeed, they had done much right from having the guard to greet customers to decorating the store with bright balloons, and brightening the atmosphere. Unlike a lot of stores, where for example, dummy mobiles are used instead of the real ones, Reliance Digital believes in enhancing the customer experience by allowing them to use and experience any gadget they fancy.

With the latest array of Smart phones, TVs, home theaters, gaming consoles, and other appliances, Reliance allowed its customers to try out everything in specially designated areas. There was a home theater room where one could experience sound, a huge panel of TVs where comfortable sofas were kept for easy viewing, a spacious gaming area where several kids and adults could be seen trying out the X-box or the PS3 and a mobile zone where mobile geeks were seen trying out the newest and exciting phones.

The Home Theater Room to experience sound

Playing on the PS3 using a motion controller

TV viewing

Checking out the latest mobiles

Knowledgeable staff
What was particularly good, was the helpful and knowledgeable staff who were very helpful in explaining features and functions of every gadget, no matter how expensive or inexpensive it was.  I was looking out for blenders, and the sales executive, patiently answered all my questions and even gave me a demo.

Product and service support
The third thing which Reliance scores on is its after sales service which it promises is excellent. I hope it is indeed so!

At the end of the store tour, the store manager, took pictures of us, asked us to take pictures if we pleased and instructed his staff to answer any questions we had. We were promised a goody bag and an ipod shuffle at the end of the visit. Although, this was not given at the time we went to visit the store, the store promised to send it to us later. All in all, I was happy with the experience and came away a happy customer with my blender as well!

This post was written for an Indiblogger promotional contest All the views in this post are mine.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Pedestrian rants

Walking has been well established as a great exercise for years now, and getting chores done around the block by walking to them instead of taking carbon emitting vehicles is an added bonus.  Unfortunately, in the city of Mumbai, one can’t help but rue the state of affairs for pedestrians. I live in the suburb of Chembur and find it downright depressing and difficult to walk outside the confines of my home within a radius of a km without stumbling or falling at least once.  If for the able it’s an onerous task to walk around the block. I shudder to think of how the disabled, old or pregnant manage! Every step I take is riddled with questions for the BMC and government in the order of difficulty I see in tackling the issue –

  • Why can’t that broken tree that has been lying on the footpath for the past two months be cleared up? Are the authorities waiting for the monsoons to break more trees so you can do away with them at the end of the year?
  • I know there is a need to dig up roads and footpaths for work around pipes and cables, but can the rubble be cleared up from the footpath once the work is done? And can the road be restored to its former condition instead of callous dumping of the rubble on the road making it uneven and potholed? The same goes for demolition of encroachments or slum rehabilitation projects. The rubble simply lies there for years!
  • Desilting the drains is great, but when will that filth get cleared away?
  • Can we have those absolutely scary open manholes covered and have the covers in line with the footpath?
  • The road on which the Chembur-Wadala metro is built near the Fine Arts Auditorium road  is really narrow and cannot house pedestrians, speeding vehicles, parked vehicles, bus stops and encroachments. How do we cross the road and where do we walk? Can we have a signal somewhere on this road near the Golden lawn restaurant to help us cross and a footpath to walk on?
  • Is there a lack of civil engineers at BMC?  I see people walking off footpaths solely because the footpaths go up and down, up for a while, then there’s a gate, and down we go and narrowly escape slipping.  And this too, near a school for disabled people! Can we please have more leveled footpaths?
  • I know people love hawkers, but the station road has absolutely no place to walk. Stringent vigilance or fines need to be meted out to free up some space on the road.
  • Lastly, we need more open spaces to walk!  The Gandhi Maidan is the only large ground for a huge radius around. While two corners are used as urinals or dumping garbage, the other corners and sides of the ground are used by smokers, drug addicts and gamblers who have made this ground a den for their activities in broad daylight. Safety of women is highly compromised with high fences, very poor lighting and the presence of antisocial elements. Can we have at least some lights on the ground, lower fences and regular security checks to ensure safety?

I can’t expect any change in the attitude of bikers and vehicles who believe pedestrians should not exist on roads and try and loudly honk this breed away or speed up when we try to cross, but a few simple measures of clearing up the filth, rubble, broken trees, defunct encroachments, fixing manhole covers correctly, and leveling of footpaths, and the addition of signals at junctions will certainly go a long way in ensuring safety of pedestrians.