Have you ever been called a ‘Baniya’ when you were particular about your expenses in school? Have you ever been called a ‘Baniya’ when you told your friends about having a family business that you plan to join after completing your education? Have you been called a ‘Baniya’ at work when you preferred spending on market shares rather than food deliveries?
Well, all of these, things that portray a sheer additional sensitivity about money is what usually makes one a ‘Baniya’ in the eyes of the world.
Traditionally, it is a community of bankers, money-lenders or merchants in commercial activities that have their own special group nickname. With time, anyone that portrays the talent of book-keeping or starting a business is also called a ‘Baniya’.
The reason why this nickname become so popular?
It’s because this community has made a name for itself in the world. Their skills, talents, and style of running a business make it successful with good returns. It’s a few qualities that set them apart from everyone else, the same few qualities that get you the nickname, rolling of the tongue of your colleagues with ease, even if you are in school, college or in office.
So, what are these qualities that give their competitors a run for their money?
1) The business Upbringing
Usually, Baniyas exist because of their upbringing at home right from their childhood. They are taught the value of money at every step of the road, be it making purchases while shopping, being involved in monthly budget planning or even using too many luxuries like the Air conditioner.
In fact, mostly Baniyas get married within their community and hence both parents support this same style of upbringing. Moreover, merchants tend to take their kids to see how business works, teach them the ropes and system of their business, once kids turn into adults. This ensures early learning and training for the best output.
2) Accountants to the core
Baniya are known as ‘pucca’ accountants. They have their ‘khattas’ which they treat as their very own bible. The family business, whatever kind it might be, has years of accounting books to prove the point. In fact, even if a merchant or a trader might not be well-educated or his children might not be experts in commerce, accountancy runs in the family DNA.
It is usually impossible for a well established chartered accountant to also find any errors in their records. Not only does this ensure the smooth running of the business, but also keeps the calculations or ‘hissab-kitab’ in place.
3) Bargaining and thrifty
Another special feature is what ensures that they get their value for money. If you see a lady bargaining for a really long time and even succeeding at a local shop, high chances are that she belongs to this community. Every penny is accounted for and they don’t do wasteful expenditure. With this comes the nature of ‘kanjoosi’ or being thrifty.
Given free time, a Baniya would prefer to walk a few minutes away from home to buy a product at a lower cost rather than paying a few bucks extra rights under his house.
Don’t underestimate the power of the ‘BANIYA’ man. Their values go way back, their learning is different and yet, they always succeed.