I was having a discussion with a friend today morning. He designs websites for local businesses.
When he approaches prospective clients, some of them reason with him as below:
Client: I want to develop my website. How much will it cost?
My friend: Sure. What do you want the website to do? What features should it have?
Client: You know I developed these 2 pages last year for Rs. 1800. My new website that you are going to build, is going to have about 6 pages. So what would be the costs?
My friend: It’s not like that. The cost is not determined by the number of pages.
Client: Oh well. Which technology are you going to build this in?
(You guessed it right. He knows nothing about technology except the names “PHP”, “Java”, etc.)
My friend: If you want it build in Java, I can get it done that way. If you want to use PHP, or something like WordPress, I can get it done that way too.
Client: I don’t care what technology you use! Can you give me a quote asap? I need this super urgent & I need it done yesterday.
My friend: Ok sure. We can do this in PHP. I will get you a cost & time estimate.
Quote given: Rs. 90,000
Duration: 10 days
…Fast forward to 1.5 months after giving the estimate…
Client calls up.
Client: Hey dude, I am getting quotes in the range of Rs. 20,000.
My friend: Sir, I gave you my estimate. There is not much I can do beyond that.
And the client is still waiting in the hope that my friend will bring down his estimate, for his very urgent website.
What does this mean?
In India, the awareness among some customers for having a website is close to nil.
They compare costs based on number of pages they had it done by somebody else v/s the number of pages they want it done now.
This is similar to how we bargain when we go to a vegetable market. We ask the vendor:
Us: How much are the tomatoes for?
Vendor: Rs. 100 / kg
Us: I want 4 kg. How much it will cost?
Vendor: Rs. 400, but I can give you a 10% discount, so Rs. 360.
Yeah, that’s how certain clients tend to deal. Sad, but true.
That is also one of the many reasons I do not take up any projects from the domestic market.
I sincerely hope this changes over the years to come.