The Way I See It

A Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr.

The way I see it, COMPETITION is good and healthy.

Without COMPETITION, companies tend to feel that they own an exclusive right to given products and tend to hack up their prices at will and treat their customers, as we say colloquially in HAG FASHION.

I checked my good friend GOOGLE for some of the listed benefits of COMPETITION and discovered the following:
1. “Awareness & Market penetration – The more the competition, the more the awareness of the product. At one point of time, mineral water or bottled water was not in demand. However, even though it is important, the demand increased when there were multiple players of bottled water

2. Higher quality at same prices – If you look at the Air conditioning market or any consumer durable market, you will find that you are getting excellent product quality for the price paid. It was not so 2 decades back.

3. Consumption increases – As mentioned in both examples above – Bottled water and air conditioners, the overall consumption of the product increased due to the increase in competitors. This is because the penetration was higher, the quality was better and most importantly, people could afford at the competitive price.

4. Differentiation – Once you have competition, the players try to differentiate themselves from each other. This leads to better products being developed, faster product upgrades as well as product innovation. Overall, it increases the market size considerably.

5. Increases Efficiency – When you have competition trying to overthrow you, you do business better. You use your resources better, you are on your toes to ensure that there is minimal loss, and you want to capture the market faster. All this means, you are working at your optimum level, and your work is efficient, giving you a better bottom-line.

6. Customer service and satisfaction – After reading all the reasons above, just turn around and look at the customers. The customers would be happiest when they are buying from a segment where there is competition. And why wouldn’t they be?”

Now, where am I heading with this?

Many, many moons ago, my grandmother passed away and I watched in awe as Cephas Taylor made a coffin in the yard and later that day, my grandmother’s body was carried, by six strong men, all the way to the St. George’s Anglican Church, for the funeral service and later burial at the nearby cemetery.

Nowadays, people can have their dead, hosted at funeral homes, for weeks and months.

Well I newa!

There was a time when we only knew the Hunkin’s funeral home and they have served our community well. Then Oris BLACKIE Elliot and family came up with the Elliot’s Funeral home.  So, now we had, one in the town and the other in the country.  Then suddenly, funeral homes from St. Kitts started to invade the Nevis market. It is said that in some cases, your dead would be taken to St. Kitts, taken care of, brought back to Nevis for the funeral service and sometimes at a lower cost than the homes in Nevis.

I can’t substantiate that, but that is instructive.

However, what the competition effectively did, was to make the other homes step up their game.

So, that is why we started to see innovations like the pigeon release; the keyboardist at the gravesite, to enhance the singing of the hymns; the limousine service …..  you name it!

So, now there is a new addition. The Oualie funeral home just opened its doors this week, to make it three funeral homes on Nevis.

We will watch closely. Will the prices go down?

Will the service be enhanced?

Will funeral homes invest in more ads, as to how well they will take care of your dead?

I passed by the new home earlier this week and it certainly looks impressive, but trust me, I don’t plan to pass back anytime soon!

However, I know from experience that taking care of funeral expenses can be an eternal headache and I do hope that the people of Nevis can get some relief in this regard, with the prices hopefully going down, at all three homes and the quality of service increasing at the same time.  If it is one business that will never be affected, it’s the DEAD business.  Whether it’s hurricane, corona, tsunami, carnival or Culturama, people will die.  People must die and the dead have to be buried, some more extravagantly than others, but all have to be buried.

I remember when I worked at Social Security, a young lady told me that she borrowed over $10,000.00, in order to bury her mother and she was still paying for the loan and now her father had passed away, she also wanted to give him a GOOD SEND OFF, so she was planning to borrow another 15,000.00 in order to give him such a SEND OFF.

Well I newa!

That is why I would recommend my dear readers to check out the Family indemnity plan being offered by the Nevis Credit Union. It will certainly save you much STRESS and DISTRESS.

The God we serve would have us to be wise in all of our undertakings and even in the taking care of our deceased loved ones, we have to be wise and prudent.

Remember the story about the man who asked his wife to pace his loads of money in his coffin with him?  At the church service, she went up and dutifully placed something in the coffin. When asked about it, she responded that she had written him a cheque!  Me? I can go out in a crocus bag. I won’t even know the difference anyway.

That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?

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