Late night shoppers now have the option of shopping at India's first 24/7 store called House of Technology (HOT). Yes, HOT will actually be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to cater to those who need their middle of the night shopping fix or repair needs.
According to The Times of India, HOT will be located right in the well-known IT hardware hub Delhi Metro Nehru Place station, and spread over 40,000 square feet. It will be the single largest electronics retail outlet in India. HOT will have 350 employees, working in different shifts, at all hours of the day.
This is quite a novel concept, for this industry. In India, traditionally chemists are open 24/7 in certain areas, usually near hospitals. However, for those who work long hours and 6 days a week, this could in fact be a great relief to them, knowing they can do their shopping or repairs in the late evenings or in the middle of the night.
In my opinion, one area of service where HOT can excel and take advantage of is late evening and middle of the night topping up of credit on pre-paid mobile devices. Generally speaking by about 10pm., all the stores are closed in New Delhi/NCR to top up credit, and you’d have to wait until at least 10am, the next day to top up. Not a very efficient system for topping up pre-paid connections, if you ask me.
There are two others options of directly topping up pre-paid mobile credit; either online from your back account, or walking into an ATM, but for some reason, neither have been popular in India, especially the latter. Even with the posted security guards and their guns at ATMs 24x7, people still don’t feel safe using ATMs in the evenings or in the middle of the night. And as for the online recharge, many people aren’t even aware of it.
Furthermore, when it comes to topping up pre-paid mobile connections, if consumers do in fact do it either online or via an ATM, you will get full talk time credit for the amount paid for. That is, when consumers go the markets or bazaars and top up for an amount of 100 rupees (US$1.72), for example, instead of receiving the full amount, the amount is usually In the range of 80 rupees (US$1.38) to 90 rupees (US $ 1.55) instead. The middleman, being the person who sold the consumer the recharge coupon, receives that difference.
Over a span of year, this difference in paid recharge and actual recharge received, can be substantial, especially for heavy users. HOT could benefit from this by offering this service to their consumers, with the only drawback of people having to physically drive down there in the first place. For instance, even though HOT is located on Delhi Metro line, the trains stop running by midnight.