Blooming Flower Biz In Poll Season

Updated: Apr 30 2004, 05:30am hrs
As election season has peaked and politicians struggle to make an impression, flower vendors are laughing all the way to the bank. In addition to meeting local demand, flower vendors are rushing to meet orders from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and other cities. We are exporting chrysanthemums, lilies, marigold mixed garlands, which can remain fresh for over four days, said a vendor Md Yousuifia.

Just for the record, a garland in Hyderabad today costs anywhere up to Rs 1,000. South India Floriculture Association vice-president T Ranga Rao says the demand for roses, lilies, chrysanthemums and jasmine is on the rise. Lilies cost about Rs 100 per kg (up from Rs 60 per kg), chrysanthemums Rs 60 per kg (Rs 30), jasmine fetches Rs 80 a kg (Rs 70) and marigold is Rs 40 per kg (Rs 20 per kg). A single rose costs Rs 12 as against Rs 8 earlier. The prices of loose flowers at the wholesale market range from Rs 60 per kg to Rs 130 kg.

Interestingly, flower vendors are now teaming up with shawl-sellers. Says a flower vendor from Punjagutta, We share some percentage with the shawl sellers (shawls are the second most sought after item during elections especially in south India) as and when they send their customers to us for big-sized garlands.

Besides wedding season, we make good profits during election times. On an average, we get anywhere between Rs 40,000 and Rs 50,000 in a day through our established networks across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, says a flower vendor, Md Ghouse.

Post-elections, as results trickle in, the demand for flowers is only set to jump. The garlands for winners will feature rows of zari and silver threads They will be studded with fancy materials including pudina leaves worth anywhere between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000.

Florists already report bagging orders for different varieties of bouquets ranging anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 800 to please the next rung of VIPs.