Sunitha K, who employed to run salons in Ruwi, stated, “Economic downturn has hit numerous tiny businesses tough. Earlier, lack of consumers forced me to close a men’s salon. Now, I have closed the women’s parlour also. The revenue from the women’s parlour was barely adequate to cover the expenses. I had to send my staff back to reduce expenses.
“Since my customer base was strong, I get calls for home service now. I am available on call. Customers know my work. I have reduced price for various services so customers are happy with that.” Echoing the exact same sentiment, yet another beauty salon employee stated, “We have the skills and people need our services. I have been offering home services for a while now. Customers are reluctant to come to the parlour due to high rates. In these troubled time, we struggle to pay the municipal fees. So, I have shut my parlour. I am yet to find a buyer for the shop. My customers include both citizens and residents.”
Even the owners of electronic goods and mobile repair shops are feeling the heat. Raghu S, who runs an electronic goods repair shop in Ruwi, stated, “When I opened my AC, TV and fridge repairs shop many years ago, there was hardly any competition. The business was lucrative in those days. Economic boom in the later years saw opening of many such shops. Unfortunately, many in the sector lost their jobs in the last few years and left the country for good. I have closed my shop too, but offer on-call repair services at homes. When I get more work and if I am busy I outsource it.”
An owner of a tailor shop on Rex Road close to Ruwi, stated that Eid is the busiest time of the year and he cannot afford to have his sewing machines break down. Earlier, when machines had to be repaired they had to be sent to the technician’s shop. However, now items are various.
“I can’t afford to give a single sewing machine for repair for even for a day as we have to work to meet deadlines. I call the technician over to the shop to repair the machine even if it costs more and they come as they need work desperately.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily