TIC - A'Haven of

Fun & Frolic
A Prelude to Marketing Case> 1

Purpose of the Case
T h eidea isto assimilate the relevant concepts at work and analyse along the following lines:


To discuss what led to the fast growth and evolution of TIC from a mere tea shanty to an eating joint providing a variety of foods To focus on the importance of building your product range/services around customer needs, his growing expectations in a subtle and unobtrusive manner To debate how the principles of marketing are in operation at TIC, in a most elementary way

Thakur was very happy, ecstatic in fact, choked with emotions, he flashed the bank draft of Rs. 5,000 he was holding in his right hand and told all young students sitting on concrete slabs strewn all around TIC and enjoying their CNN' (twin pleasures of caffeine and nicotine), "Do you know Pant? That lamboo got confirmed posting in Pune in TELCO ... Arrey yam; the same tall, lanky fellow who strummed the guitar ... Arrey yaar, the one always trying to impress that Lucknow BT girl from CBSH ... Arrey yaar, all those Angrezi gaaney wala, what you call them ... yes, yes ... arrey yaar ... Dhillon songs." Thakur had cultivated this habit of saying 'arreyyaar' before every sentence he spoke and well, students had by now deciphered the Morse code ... Thakur wanted to convey ... 'Dylan' not 'Dhillon' songs. Most Engineering students knew which Biotechnology ma' am of College of Basic Sciences and Humanities was being referred to.

It was a routine affair at TIC; the young students knew what exactly Thakur meant. .. their Mechanical. Engineer super-senior Manish Pant, the one who loved to strum Bob Dylan songs had probably cleared his khaata (balance money to be paid) with Thakur. Thakur knew they would always pay even when they left campus ... often substantially more than they owed him. Their existed an unwritten rule between Thakur and his beneficiaries, of course within tacitly agreed boundaries: for final year students, if your campus interviews were on, you could practically have endless udhaar; for others you were supposed to pay upfront the moment you got your draft or your parents transferred money in your ATM at start of the month. And well, well, well 1! Pant Sir had formally proposed to Alpana ma' am of Biotechnology department and she had smiled. Of all the people in the world, these youngsters knew Thakur was the one to be told first,

he was the ultimate confidant for aU souls residing in the campus. 8. . probably to cook Indian food for him there. schoolgoing kids. actually everybody. and from that very moment onwards.8. shopkeepers. open air kitchen. it was summer vacations time and an unmarried Prof. Thakur had accompanied a Professor of Computer Engineering for 15 days to AIT. the staple diet of watery dal and rotis that would decapitate a pig if thrown at the correct angle and the cafeteria version 0 1 veggies .e. Students.. philosopher and guide to almost every student there. Today everybody. often wondered why such a modest establishment with thatched roof. eggs and maggi packets hanging from the rafters in makeshift hangers. a bluish white display stand where Wills and Gold Rake King-size cigarettes would temptingly be placed.. Pant University of Agriculture and Techriology. Nobody knew where Thakur came from. when Thakur returned. nobody really cared .. be if faculty. unless the guys put an alarm of starting time of mess i. Bangkok. On Saturdays. the mess served 'non-veg' dinner. more often than not used by the residents to give directions to visitors.. they would have to deal with long queues and only 'chicken flavoured curry'. housewives. students rechristened Thakur dhaba as TIC. In fact. over a concrete slab strategically placed below the tap was called TIC. The junta Uunta was a term used by all students for every other student who studied in the hallowed portals of the G. the menu would term it as Shahi Gobhi. Lots of students had faced this question during' ragging: What does TIC stand for? It was pet question asked with we-know-it-all arrogance and certitude by seniors while they sipped tea and circulated fags amongst themselves. he once began to cook fish and possibly declared its Thai curry.. It was a different matter though that every day a daily menu was put up on the door of the mess that gave The Glob a difterent and pretty creative name to compensate for the lack of taste. especially harsh for a teenager who would join the University after being dog-pampered by mother at homes for years . students for whom TIC is the raison d' etre. the answer lay in knowing the fact that in 1981. Well. Pantnagar) knew how he would console first year students who suffered from various demons in 1st semester: ragging to top it all. tor all the 2-lakh inhabitants 0 Pantnagar. in full public view. Well. a prominent landmark . that glob of sticky stuff that went by the generic term 'Subzi' . cut-throat competition to excel and worst was the sultry weather and those power cuts. the intersection of road leading fro m Machine shop and hostel road connecting Taqon hostel (lst year hostel) to Badi market is TIC . eve'[\}one knows TIC \i~e the\) know thei own home. He was a friend. all they knew was that he meant a lot. Singh had asked him to come along. a running tap in the comer where an omnipresent chhotu would be washing utensils.. One day the subzi appeared as Alu-Gobhi next day it would appear as Gobhi-Alu.a permanent fixture 01 Pantnagar. pressure of studies. staff.. especially the freshers.. On those days when the amount of red chillies was too much for an average student to handle. Not knowing thatTIC stood for 'Thakur Inter Continental' would be further extending your ordeal of getting on your haunches to become a murga..30 pm and then acted like a cross between Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson sprinting towards the mess... This university was no exception and all students were exposed to quintessential 'hostel food' .

Wasn't it a historical fact that the University was the harbinger of green revolution in this country? Didn't it bring pride to all of us when we could face the world and see straight in their eyes? Thakur knew all these stories. came with some relative in search of a job as farm labourer in Pantnagar in early 1960s. periodicals and books but also because invariably every student would take his parents or relatives there on a sight seeing trip and then in return expect a compliment like 'Did you see what a great place our son studies in!'. Badi Market also had a few coffee houses and ice-cream parlours which facilitated breeding of nascent friendships and burgeoning romances in Pantnagar. . he even knew how Shastriji. even their hostel room numbers when they studied here. disease in Pantnagar and he found his mental state and income too unsporting. The VC. He told them how every senior position in this country. However Thakur seems fiercely protective about it and never discussed the same. How Thakur landed in Pantnagar is an apocryphal story but most students believed it for whatever it was worth. Agriculture and Forestry. His two kids apparently died of some unknown. Otherwise he would parrot out names. of time and living in over 12 hostels (design of girl's hostels was inspired by Roman fortress. this was a place where everybody knew everyone. who was a very humane and emotional gentleman.Technology. Biotechnology and Basic Sciences. their designations. It is said Thakur's father. hate. a University geographically spread across 12 kilometres or more. Jai kisan"... didn't you bump across the same faces wherever you went . pleasure. pride and win all around the campus. Veterinary. However the place was absolutely isolated in terms of its geography and distance from anything that could be called a city it was a world cocooned in itself .000 students would be studying here at any point . water section. hopes. but one is not too sure if he thought of the dhaba beyond tea and some occasional snacks at that time. gardening. seniors always told juniors!). The library was a tourist attraction not only because of its 4-storied magnificent building and great collection of journals. probably he too was fed up of students' complaints 'about food. About 4. our late Prime Minister felt crassly humiliated when he went to USA asking for foodgrains when there was an acute drought in India and how we (as he passionately thumped his chest) toiled day and night to fulfill his promise of "Jai Jawan. international-quality stadium.every inhabitant had resigned himself or herself to the monotony of life there and over a period of time cultivated his or her own world of fun. It seemed Pantnagar was some kind of kaalapaani as only two kinds of people constituted the . love ... Incidentally..Pantnagar University was opened in1960s under collaboration with few leading US universities and students had heard how the great Prime minister Nehru and lots of phirang scientists had' initially joined the University as Vice-Chancellor and Professors. Pantnagar University was self-contained with its own cinema hall. vegetation and gardens all around. in any large employment sector of India had a Pantnagarian on top.. he appeared to remember them all . instead offered him a small plot of land at a nominal rent near Engineering college hostels. insecurities. swimming pools and gymnasiums. One could barely argue with him.. when he pleaded before the ViceChancellor to give him a permanent job in 1967. Thakur knew each and every detail and regaled students with the anecdotes liberally enlivened with his imagination. fisheries. a poor peasant in some village of Bihar. population here which was very systematically organised as township: either you were a student or you were working to improve the intellectual lot either as a Professor or lab assistant or else you worked in support departments like electricity. he was the unofficial 'Encyclopedia Britannica' of Pantnagar University. Pantnagar University had 6 professional colleges viz.to the college or library or Badi Market ( a shopping centre of some 50-odd shops was called so). The University was lush green .

TIC was witness to innumerable heated discussions. the entrepreneur in him started thinking of innovative ideas.. fun look.. Thakur was not sure whether they would be able to dish it out-they tried it a couple of times but Thakur was not.. it was a huge improvement over the mess food but more important than that TIC was a place for students to hang out at. quizzes. grew green soft grass. Mehta. lab tests and taxing syllabi. idli and dosa were being perfected by Didi. obviously. The rest they say is history. He had noticed that boys would spend more when the~e was a girl along. No matter what. where all one had to do was slog ..Mahatam Singh. someone had picked up quick noodles on a trip to Delhi. they decided to try and make some jalebis . she had become a surrogate mother to all the students in this God-forsaken isolated place. the students loved and lapped them all . due accolades were also given to Didi for her culinary expertise . 7 days a week.. Students. when they came back from vacations vouched that one got better South Indian food at TIC than at leading restaurants in Delhi and. Bill Gates to Brian Lara to Brazilian soccer to Reservations to English August to Tom Hanks to Bryan Adams to American-Iran imbroglio-they were all animatedly debated. This area was virtually littered with leaves and other dead plantation. In summers of 1989. shredded to pieces and put together again into packages of optimum solution. cool.. Students relished it this time and Thakur was lifted in arms amid loud cheers. hourlies. he was fanatic about cleanliness and crispiness of stuff that he served. cultivated a hedge along the boundaries and put lots of plastic chairs. the couple would stay up late till well past 10 pm everyday. Thakur took de fado charge of the dhaba pretty young. His wife turned out to be even more enterprising . One day they made some samosas. it was a place to relax and listen to Thakur play the mouth organ. they demanded more of it. The eternally hungry and everappreciative students kept encouraging Didi to try something new.. making tea and serving fags for nightbirds of hostels. the couple were up again making tea. The hot samosas and jalebis were like ambrosia to the gourmet starved students and were devoured in no time at all. he did go back off and on for few days but he went for a relatively longer stretch of 15 days in 1985 and got married.in favour of serving itto students till he could make it as good as you get in Delhi. and slog more to relax. Since students had limited influence over the mess food. A bevy of girls also started joining the . Well. But Thakur was a very strict quality control guy. Didi (as Thakur's wife was lovingly called by students) encouraged him to keep adding new stuff to their menu. was a mere young 7 years old kid then. Once when it was Ramnavami.. and why not. Taj during her Hotel Management. he cannot go on with TIC being an all-boys joint all his life. Somewhere in late 1980s. arguments and confessions . By 6 am. they concentrated on getting Thakur to extend the menu beyond samosas and jalebis which by now along with sambhar uada. TIC made. at least for the students. Didi was very persuasive and took a few cooking lessons from some Mrs.if only the people concerned would heed these young turks Thakur very soon realised that if he has to get more business... coffee and tilk (an indigenous preparation of tea made in milk was called tilk in junta's jargon). at highly affordable prices. a newly married Professor's wife who apparently had studied from some leading convent school in Dehradun and had also done her F&B training in . just to get away from the maddening medley of pontificating professors.. Thakur got the place cleaned up. The canal was also cleaned up and in tum gave TIC a chilled.. his father did not maintain good health and left for his native place in Bihar leaving the whole business in the hands of an 18 years old boy. Some guys suggested Thakur why he did not constructively utilize a shallow but around 3 feet wide canal and two huge peepal trees that were just there at the backyard of TIC. better known as Thakur today. He realised that the ultimate mark of customer confidence would be demonstrated when 'couples start making TIC their preferred stopover rather than those ice cream parlours at Badi Market.

And. chikkan ( Chicken as spelt on TIC's handwritten menu cards) and mutton tikkas to vegetable and chicken fried rice . around 20 of us from Delhi decided we will be there in September.k. Thakur also noticed that in every paper in every semester. few minutes of breathing space from never-ending grind of routine. Slowly the students started going there for lots of activities . am serving tea. L& T. The astute observer in Thakur also noticed that during chilly winter nights. It also ensured increase in business per student because any student who came to buy a notebook would more often than not end up drinking tea and feasting on a bread pakora at least.. Going to TIC was not all about food. Thakur opened a PCO also in TIC as he noticed students shouting to each other to rush up as they would exhort each other to go to Badi Market. Getting food 'room-delivered' when pariahs would go to the well to drink. fun. hence Thakur started charging one rupee extra over and above the bill for room services and it became a major hit with some students.a Thakur' too swayed with the peppy numbers.and they all knew what it meant. maggi and of course 'nicotine sticks'. moreover some students found it stylish to get aluminium foil wrapped food in their rooms. students wanted to remain in their cosy rooms.. TISCO. buoyed by our invigorating presence and some spirit (pun unintended) . IIMs.. These were the days of alumni meet in 2005 in Pantnagar. During these days. sambar-vada to chowmein. freedom and camaraderie. Mahatam Singh a. . dosa.it never looked he was doing this with a business motive. -listened to lots of speeches about the progress the institution has made . burgers. Very soon. Soon the range of products at TIC widened to include chocolates. most students would bum the midnight oil. a starting of 'home delivery' within university campus.a self appointed foster father.from just samosas . Thakur cashed in on the popularity by extending the range of cuisine . Soon. But no prizes for guessing where our heart lay. It was a journey down memory lane with gratitude and affection for our self-appointed guardians during our. Sensing an opportunity Thakur opened TIC till 2. yes. In summers of 2000.. idli. we danced. As soon as decency permitted we all rushed to TIC.What do you think: was Thakur 'marketing' or 'selling'? Defend your answer. Combiflam and ORS solutions at TIC. coffee. But even foster fathers have expenses. he seemed a very caring. the enjoyment of thrill. Question 1.. Thakur started keeping basic medicines like Paracetamol. finger fries. Civil services and blah blah blah . Thakur installed 2 major equipments at TIC which most students found revolutionary: one was a freezer to store Amul icecreams and those 5~rupee bottle cold drinks of Coke and Pepsi and second was an OTG (Oven-ToasterGriller) to start serving hot patties too . Thakur had a couple of times sent wrapped alu-paranthas to hostel whenever someone was not well. Infosys.. academic life. . Haldirams and Lays kurklue and peanuts. Reynolds pens and rough notebooks. momos . a token of which was a sari for Didi and a pair of jeans and T-shirt for Thaku~ from all of us. PSU's. it was an experience to share. will diminish their 'fundas'. college days. increasing number of selections in IES. partied all night long. was a conspicous symbolism to flaunt your 'first-among-equal' status. we all friends.to keep evolving with changing food preferences. the ghotu ( your typical 'nerds' in junta's parlance) the types who thought leaving their book for even a second. jalebis . offer him a lift to the University hospital in his old Yamaha motorcycle .. sensitive soul who felt from his heart and that it was his preordained duty to help these youngsters who lived away from their families. students wrote 3 hourlies (sessional exam of 1 hour) and 1 lab practical before they wrote their final exams.refreshing and relaxed environment of TIC. which was 4 kilometres away. We all attended a formal function. Thakur would personally go and meet the student who was not well. just to make a phone call.

Theoretical concepts to be prepared: 1. CRM 9. Target market 4. Outsourcing . 4 Ps / 7 Ps / 9 Ps 7. Needs and wants 3. Value proposition 5. Selling 6. Marketing 2. Marketing environment 8. Marketing management 10.