Friday, August 10, 2007

Dear Mr. Shetty

In the midst of unrest, it is inevitable that there will always be those who suffer and those who prosper. In the aftermath of Cyclone Gonu, those who were affected are now looking towards restoration, services and household goods companies to help them return life to a state of normality. As a result, such companies are seeing their workload increase, sometimes even beyond their capacities, and their profits are going up.

Karim Baksh Trading and Contracting in Wadi Kabir is one such company. General manager, Divakar Shetty, explains that Karim Baksh, which specialises in interior design and restoration, has seen its earnings increase by RO200,000 since the cyclone hit Muscat. The company's latest project is to restore three or four shops in CCC and seven shops and one bank in the Al Araimi Complex.

Moreover, Shetty adds that Karim Baksh is fully booked for the rest of the year. As a result of this huge demand for his services, he has employed 60 extra staff members, including electricians, carpenters and wood polishers, to help deal with the added workload. "Whereas we used to work a ten-hour day, currently my staff and I are busy 18-19 hours a day." [link]
How very fortunate for you, Mr. Shetty. Unfortunately for me, I contracted your company in October 2006 to do the doors, kitchen, wardrobes, closets, staircase rails, and vanities in my house and you are yet to complete my order. At first you promised me to start delivering at the end of December but then you blamed the rains and flooding that happened that month for the delay. Then I heard that you had taken a job to restore all the damaged store fronts in the CCC and when I confronted you about it you promised to finish the job by February. Feb became March, and it flooded again and you went and took more emergency jobs. Then you promised to have it all done by May. Gonu came in June. And here you are boasting of how much work you have in BusinessToday magazine. What am I to do with you, Mr. Shetty? My house has been ready for months and I can't move into it because it still doesn't have a kitchen, the master bedroom still doesn't have dressing room closets, and worst of all my stairs still don't have rails on them. I've threatened to delay your payment and all you do is laugh and say that keeping the money with me is the same as keeping it in the bank. I threatened to tell everyone I know about your delays and you say that unfortunately your reputation for tardiness and long delays is already known by most of the people who contract you but they still give you jobs because they like the quality of your work. I know that posting this on my blog isn't going to help one bit but I don't know what else to do.


Amjad said...

"... I contracted your company in October 2007 to do the doors, kitchen... "

you mean October 2006?

Balqis said...

No contract or clause to shake this gentleman dishonest butt ?

Arabian Princess said...

hmm well thanks .. if any time I needed intiror furniture I will not go close to this shetty guy!!

Meticulousness said...

His name leaves a hint; depends on how you pronounce it though. The Shetty service lol

Anonymous said...

It is true that a lot of carpentary contractors are not dis-similar to yours - either that or one has to pay through the nose for the branded contractors. If your advance payments aren't huge then I suggest you reach some settlement with this chap and look elsewhere. In this overheated market it won't be easy but is still possible. Maybe you can make him do the doors as part of the settlement as this is the most problematic bit specially for non standard size or shape doors. For wardrobes and kitchens I would simply go to Ikea Dubai and arrange fixing through their delivery contract with Shuram.

Trust me, he won't give a tosh about the money. My contractor still hasn't bothered to settle his outstanding payment for a few years now. They simply have too much work and more valuable contracts to bother about individuals.

muscati said...

Amjad - Thanks. Fixed it.

Balqis - No contract. Typical Omani style. We kept meeting over a period of a couple months while he sent drawings and quotations back and forth. Whenever we reach a design and a price I like, I just sign my approval and tell him to proceed. There are no penalty clauses.

Arabian Princess - Thing is, his work is usually very good. For the price that he quotes, I don't know any other carpentry that can compete. I had worked with him before when he did all the design and furniture for the ESO's office. He's also done lots of work for my friends. He even does jobs for the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah. And the thing is, everyone who hears about him tells me they know he's got a reputation for delays, but since his work is good they still give him more jobs.

Anonymous - He hasn't taken a single baisa from me. He hasn't even billed me for the work that's completed. He's already done the doors, the outside kitchen, and wardrobes in the rooms other than the master. I don't want to go get an IKEA kitchen now. I want my custom designed kitchen which I approved almost a year ago. Every single carpenter in Oman is overbooked right now. We're in the middle of the construction boom and no one wants to say no to new work. If he can just give me my last remaining stuff I'd be happy. And I am definitely not paying him anything till next year. Maybe I'll use his money to furnish the house ;)

Balqis said...

hehe that's the Italian way no contract no receipt no taxes big discount

nibaq said...

I've been through contractor hell so and have heard the excuse "tomorrow, next week, soon, etc" more times that I choose to remember.

You really have to have a cold heart when building a house. If you let those little things get to you; it will kill you inside.

Just good luck with it, but keep your "blood cold".

Kishor Cariappa said...

The supply-demand ratio has taken a beating, thanks to Gonu and the economy boom. People who are in the business of supplying construction materials say they have orders to last for three more years, and they are in no position to take more orders (read they don’t want more business for now).

Sowhat said...

hmmm what a theive ur money already had been invested and re invested many times i guess ... i hate those ppl .... any how happy to see that u still here posting i think i got alot to catch up :)

john said...

I have a small carpentry division of my own with experienced carpenters.I am willing to take up the job if interested. drop me a line at

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