Wal-Mart Corporation — the mega store that’s famous for its supply chain management — has asked US government for a “pink underwear bailout”, say close industry sources. According to a Wal-Mart spokesman, Wal-Mart’s suppliers from China, and many Asian countries have been producing disproportionate number of pink undergarments, due to a sudden increase in the sale of pink underwear from its outlets in the first week of February. This unprecedented increase in demand for pink underwear triggered Wal-Mart’s supply chain to send automatic orders to its suppliers to increase the production of the pink underwear.
No one noticed anything wrong, till the sales suddenly went down post February 14th – the Valentine day. For a while, the Wal-Mart guys just assumed that the pink underwear sales were a Valentine Day related rush, just as every year, however the spike was so big, that the supply management chain software was not prepared for it, and sent unprecendented big orders to the suppliers.
Investigations revealed that this spike was the result of a “Pink Chaddi Campaign” (chaddi is an Indian language word for underwear/underpants, that’s slated to enter OED’s next edition), started by Indian bloggers in the wake of an attack on women by a political party workers.
“It was unprecedented. Each year we see a spike in the sale of anything pink, in late Jan to mid Feb, and typically it tapers out in next two weeks as we put those items on discount sales — which are mostly flooded by Indian-Americans. So we thought it’s just a Valentine Day phenomenon — but this time the spike was ten times the average. And the demands were back to pre-spike level right after Feb 14th”
In its appeal to the US Senate for a bailout package, Wal-Mart has cited a ‘bug’ in its supply chain management software, which was largely developed by a company (name withheld) outsourcing to India.
“Wal-Mart has been the vicitm of unprecedented turn of events, and outsourcing quality issues”, said another spokesman. “We want the US senate to buy the excess pink underwear at reasonable prices, to bail Wal-Mart out of this extraordinary situation. All we’re asking for is one time bailout, to save the livelihood of thousands of Wal-Mart workers”
Meanwhile, back in India, some right-wing groups have alleged MNC hand behind the Pink Chaddi Campaign. A right-wing intellectual talked to KandaBatata (under the promise of anonymity, as he was afraid of getting truckloads of Pink chaddis landing on his doorsteps) about what he calls “Chaddi Colonialization”
“It’s an old game, for these US corporations. They create a demand where there is none. After all, do you see anyone wearing pink chaddis in India? Pink is not an Indic color. But the west has been trying to re-colonize India, through this chaddi campaign. It’s rich NRI’s who are spoilt by the freedom of internet, who are funding this campaign through reactionary blogs, but a little bit of research will show you who’s behind this”, alluding to an MNC angle.
Obama administration has refused to comment on the “pink bailout”. However souces close to the President have insisted that the President was livid when he heard about the bailout request.
“This is what happens when you outsource”, he reportedly said to close aids. “America is the finest country in the world, and America’s workmanship has been the finest in the world, all these years. Just to save a few dollars, these greedy multinationals outsource their work to other countries, and end up in such a mess. It’s the responsibility of every American to act responsibly, in these times of deep distress”
Wal-Mart has already started a “buy one, get three free” discount sale for the pink underwear, but no one from Pink Chaddi campaign seems to be buying any. Indian Bloggers are busy debating if Slumdog Millionaire deserved to get all those Academy awards.