He was a farmer, growing groundnuts and other products. But in 2006 when Nokia set up a manufacturing factory in the area, he started a small roadside shop in the same place.
The sales started picking up with the growth of the plant. Contract workers, who didn’t have access to the canteen facility inside the premises, started relying on Dayalan’s stall for meals, snacks, tea and and cigarettes.
At its peak, the shop used to earn about Rs 800-1,000 a day, with a small profit.
As the inflow of new workers stopped, the sales of the shop also started declining. Now Dayalan hardly makes Rs 100 a day, most of which goes in procuring supplies.
Another makeshift shop next to Dayalan moved out a year back when the issues started. The only other shop near the gate was closed almost three months back. But Dayalan is determined to stay. He says local people and vehicle drivers will help him sustain. But it won’t be on the same scale.