Sunday, April 08, 2007

Times Global Village: A Sellout!

It's amazing how far the BCCL group, owners of the Times of India and other major papers and media properties like ET, radio Mirchi, Times NOW etc will go for money.

I have always admired the group for it's sheer marketing savvy, which to me is just the perfect mix of polish and aggression. But with the talent wars coming home to roost, it is not surprising that they have started making some big mistakes. The Global Village has to be the brainchild of some such new despo, eager to make his mark in the intensely competitive group.

The Times Global Village could mark the beginning of the downslide for the group. For a paper, which, till last year, made the brave gambit of openly criticising the denudation and land grab on the Yamuna river bed, to organise by far the biggest event on the same river bed, was simply breathtaking for it's sheer arrogance. And no surprises, I haven't seen a peep on the issue in their 'competitor' and covert partner in the Delhi market, HT.

If you are a straight consumer, then the Global Village has much to recommend it. Stalls from about 15 odd countries, including the Czech Republic, Pakistan, China, some Arabian countries and african nation states. Displays featuring mostly handicrafts. In fact, see it as an international version of Delhi Haat, that other project, redeemed permanently by it's miraculous existence on what used to be a filthy nullah.

So not only do you have an abundance of art and handicrafts, you have all the food you want to eat.
With two major diffrences: True to it's moniker, and the Times undoubted ability to push enough traffic with wallets towards it, you might find the Global Village just a tad more expensive than it ought to be. Including the 'street' food there.

If it is any consolation to anyone who feels for the ravaging of the Yamuna, the place is absolutely thick with flies come dusk, making eating in the open a dicey proposition, and with summers finally on, that in itself is likely to keep a sizeable part of the crowd from recommending the place further. Some people have had their apprehensions in any case. Almost 40% of the stalls are unsold.

No comments: