It happened in IndiaJust finished reading Kishore Biyani’s It Happened in India. It’s a decent read, largely autobiographical in nature. The book traces Kishore Biyani’s journey from a garment seller to a retail mogul. Kishore Biyani (KB) for the uninitiated, started off a successful chain of stores (Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar) in India and was one of the first to move into the organized retail segment. Today his ‘small’ retail empire is worth over $2 billion.

The book offers a rare peek into the mind of this notoriously media shy entrepreneur of modern day India. Through the book we learn of his humble beginnings, his paranoia of losing touch with the common man, his little idiosyncrasies and most importantly a X-Ray look at his firm and business model.

To me the story of Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar was very fascinating. This is largely because these are success stories I can relate to, since Pantaloons has come up literally before my eyes. That apart the manner KB has grown his organization and gradually moved into areas other than retail is awe inspiring. The kind of foresight he showed in helping set up Idiom, getting real estate for setting up retail way before the competition could, design of the stores definitely needs some really good business acumen. He is a true ‘maverick’ who has constantly defied convention. This is even reflected in the book, in the non-linear fashion in which the tale is told with commentary from his friends and colleagues. If you get a chance, this book is definitely worth reading.

To end this post, here is quote from the man himself, one that I agree with completely:

I believe that we all come to this world to kill time. Therefore, we pick up some activity that we like doing and call it our profession. I call this the Time Pass theory.

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