The White Shop at Palakkad town in South India bids adieu to one of its oldest salesmen next year. Kumaran—or Kumarettan—who has been with The White Shop for 38 years, is ready to retire at age 57. Kumaran currently handles the garments section, overseeing a variety of clients, sometimes girls and women who come in looking for lingerie.
That a man can’t sell lingerie is a perception Kumaran has managed to shatter. As he deftly rummages racks of colourful undergarments—asking questions and suggesting sizes—there is no trace of unease in demeanour or body language. It’s easy to forget his gender as his professional experience overshadows all else.
Kumaran’s tips for the younger generation of salesmen:
The success of a salesman depends on the success of the establishment for which he works. Work for your company; it will work for you.
Be decent. Be patient. Be sincere.
Photo: Susheela Menon