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Rolodex not available in India

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A Rolodex

A Rolodex

With my burgeoning business level contacts I have managed to so carefully develop over the years, I wanted a Rolodex desperately to store all my business card contacts and have been researching a lot on the Internet. I have a powerful contact list on my LinkedIn as well but I still am a firm believer that the old fashioned way of business cards is key to successful business relationship building.

The irony is that Rolodex is far from being easily accessible to any country outside of the United States.

I do not know the reasons for this but even did not carry this!

Yesterday, after a lot of persistent efforts, I managed to get one dealer that did do International shipping. For a Rolodex of sticker price $21 or whereabouts, I mistakenly ordered it through Paypal and the shipping charges worked out to be a whopping $90 or roughly 4.5X the cost of the base product! Not just the cost but they also wanted me to do weird things like photocopying my bank statement for proof of address, a photocopy of my ID proof and moreover a signed copy of the email they themselves sent! So much for an online world!

This is what was my conclusion after this experience: Not worth it; really – no product in the world is worth being procured paying roughly 4.5 times it’s sticker price for logistics alone so I realized my folly and immediately hastened to cancel my online order and thankfully, the charges on my Paypal got reversed.

But, it still intrigues me. What is it with a popular product like Rolodex that it is not easily accessible in India? I even searched every nook and cranny of the local Staples (a supposedly American office supplies company from where I have bought many a office supply in recent past and all imported and US manufactured) outlet here in Bangalore to see if I could lay my hands on this product but to no avail. I had to settle for a business card holder that carries 500 business cards and one that was manufactured by Staples themselves. I know even that would be imported from US but still a Rolodex is a Rolodex and this one I have is not leather while the Rolodex I was eyeing was pure leather.

If anyone knows the reasons for this, please feel free to let me know. There must be something about office supplies and non US locations that makes it so inaccessible. Whoever proclaimed the flat world has arrived (Nilekani and Tom Friedman in his book – the world is flat)! Just kidding but then this is a point to ponder. With all these MNC outlets coming into India still makes a lot of foreign products inaccessible to the Indian consumer. Why?

We saw this earlier with the Kindle series produced by and now Rolodex!

I will now be trying to acquire this product through my good friend’s in US. Will post a review of the product once I am in possession of one!


Written by Naveen Athresh

July 28, 2009 at 8:40 am

Posted in Gadgets, Strategy

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