Pan bidi shops are commonly found in towns as well as in villages. They are scattered fairly well over the district. But they have a flourishing business near market places and entertainment corners. Many a shop are situated by the side of hotels. A rack-like wooden pattern, generally hung on the wall or supported by small pillars, contains all the articles of sale. Though accommodated in a small place, they are attractively decorated by fixing mirrors, placing a time piece and a radio set, and the pictures of deities and film stars. The glittering bowls and shining brass plate are an added attraction.
The accessories consist of betel-leaves, betel-nut, tobacco, lime, catechu,
cloves and other spices, bidis, cigarettes, etc. Some of them are purchased from
local markets and the rest are brought from wholesalers in the district. The
monthly expenditure of different shops varies between Rs. 200 and Rs. 400. Some
of the establishments also keep post cards, stamps, envelopes and kites, in addition.
Tools and equipment include nut crackers, scissors, racks, shelves and pots for keeping articles of sale. The entire
set costs approximately Rs. 250 to Rs. 400.
Cigarettes of different brands, bidis, pans of different kinds and match boxes are the main articles of sale. The daily turnover primarily depends on the location of the shop and speciality of pans that it provides. The daily turnover, however, varies between Rs. 15 and Rs. 75.
The main heads of expenditure are the cost of accessories and payment of rent. The cost of raw materials accounts for three-fourth of the total expenditure. The rest varies between Rs. 10 and Rs. 40 depending on the size of the shop. The net income of a shop is found to be ranging between Rs. 125 and Rs. 300 per month.