Will anything free work?

About five years back, we were crazy about open source. We in fact developed a project management software Pragati under the OGL. It was pretty decent stuff, and unfortunately did not reach the tipping point.  It’s usage got confined within the sponsoring organization. The most fulfilling moment of this project was, when one of the contributor’s presented this project for her entry into Harvard business school. This prompted us to really think about ‘Why people do not admire free stuff in emerging economies?”. This led to a self introspection in the first place. I have had received many expensive pens as gifts in the past and none of them are with me now, at the same time I have with me the pen which I bought from my own money – five years before. Whenever i organized a  workshop free of cost, the audience strength was very lean. The more expensive the workshop, you can expect more audience…people perceive free stuff as useless and costly things as useful. This is very much prevailant in India. My relatives living in US, cherish the gifts they got – more than the things they bought. May be, there the gifts symbolizes love and affection, which is very rare. Here till now, the joint family relationships were well knit. With the propgagation of nuclear families, even this is also questionable these days. I am sure that the next generation will not have the luxury of well knit family bonds, and this will lead to the boom for ‘gift marchants !.

So tip to the marketing team…. inorder to market anything in India, the price attached to it should not be zero. A zero pricing symbolozes zero value !


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