Little India sees boom in business

Colourful draw: Little India in Jalan Lahat, Ipoh, is packed with cars as well as shoppers doing last minute shopping for Deepavali.

IPOH: Several shops in Little India here are enjoying brisk business as bargain seekers try to look for the best deals for the coming Deepavali celebrations.

Those who spoke to The Star said business had been good and the lively atmosphere is so different compared to the past two years when the Covid-19 pandemic was still raging.

Decoration shop owner S. Mathialagan, 60, said even though it was relatively competitive now, his shop still saw good business.

“Compared to the last two years, there’s definitely a bigger crowd this year.

“I would say business has improved by about 50%,” he said.

“With another week to go before the big day, I expect more people to come to Little India, especially during the last few days for last minute shopping,” he added.

Mathialagan said he would continue to open his shop during Deepavali.

“I think there are still a number of people who are on leave and they will come here to shop for more stuff, like decorations, sweets and prayer items.”

He said while it was good that business was booming, it was taxing for him.

“There’s hardly any time for sleep during the festivities. We open the store at 8am and close at about 1am or 2am when it’s nearer to Deepavali,” he said.

“One needs to have strong willpower and must work hard to maintain the business,” he added.

Boutique shop owner Deep Singh, 36, said the festivities and bazaar at Little India started on Oct 10 and the atmosphere had been quite lively.

“I think people are very eager to come out after they did not get to celebrate properly in the last two years.

“Business has improved by about 30% to 40%,” he said, adding that a huge crowd would visit Little India daily between 3pm and 11pm.

“There will be concerts at the square next week, so I believe it will attract more people,” he added.

An administrator, who only wanted to be known as Nanthini, 33, said it was nice to be able to get back to the festive, joyous feeling before Covid-19.

“With all sorts of restrictions last year and the fear of contracting the disease, it was quite a damper.

“It certainly feels more cheerful and ‘happening’ now,” she said.

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Deepavali bazaar.


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