Ease of doing business
Economists and policy makers world over cry over ease of doing business, or lack thereof. More so when it comes to markets in the developing countries, especially India.
I do not normally agree that doing business in India is difficult, making money is even easier. But, recently I had an experience that made me think about what exactly is that ‘ease’.
Here is a very normal transaction that takes place everyday in the western markets (read UK, US etc), that would not happen so readily in India.
Say you have contracted a plumber to replace a broken sink in your bathroom. Plumber has agreed to provide all the materials for the job. He calls the shop and puts an order for the required items. The shop calls you and asks for payment which you provide by phone. The shop then either delivers the items or your plumber collects them as and when he needs them.
Same could be the case for a gardener, or any other service you use. And this happens, everyday in mature markets. At every level of this transaction there is a certain level of trust associated with parties involved in the transaction.
- The plumber trusts that the shop would take an order without upfront payment.
- The shop trusts that the customer (you) would make a payment.
- You trust that the shop would charge your card for the amount you are due and not more, and would not save down your payment information, or leak them.
All this, in my opinion, encapsulates the ease of doing business. Not to mention the various avenues of recourse available to the customers in case a fraud does occur.
Only when doing mundane things in everyday life becomes stress free that a economy and its society really becomes easy to doing business with.