The Indian Retail Success Story – “It Happened in India” by Kishore Biyani

Kishore Biyani needs no introduction. He is the man behind the mushrooming retail supermarkets in India [Big Bazaar, Pantaloon, MegaMart and of course, Bangalore Central].

It Happened in India” is KB’s story of struggle, failures, restlessness, and sheer grit. If you are interested in building India centric products/services, there is no way you can afford to skip this book.

If you recall my podcast with Ziva’s Ajay Sethi , Ajay laid out the differences between insights and observations and why startups need to have greater insights in the market they are operating.

KB’ success is a classic example of how deep insights can create an impregnable differentiator among your competition which are purely led by observations and theoretical market research reports.

And most of KB’s deep understanding is attributed to his ‘marwari/trading’ family upbringings and his interest in observing people and understanding their behavior.

KB, famous for his unconventional style of running the business was ridiculed by media [his stores were referred as ‘dirty stores’], was never called for any trade body meetings/investors conference.
Maverick that he is, KB never gave a damn to all these , and went along shaping his own destiny.

What impresses me the most is KB’s ability to defy the status quo, to challenge the regular mindset and most significantly,think BIG, very BIG.

In this book, KB traverses thru’ his childhood days, how he became a big source of irritation to family members [used to question every damn thing in the world], talks about his college days [scarcity of girls and his “special” pen-friend:)] his first taste of leadership [by organizing a dandiya in his area], his first venture [selling stonewash fabric to small shops in Mumbai] to starting up Pantaloon and other stores.

The book isn’t just a mere PR exercise; KB isn’t shy of talking about his failures, especially his foray into Bollywood movies [he produced Na tum Jano Na Hum and Chura Liya hai tumne].

The book has quotes/anecdotes from KB’s family, co-workers, Investors, partners and others who helped KB in scripting the success story.
And these anecdotes really makes the book an interesting read [I realized I am ‘mall rat‘ after reading this book].

Living up the Big Bazaar spirit of lowest price, the book is available at an affordable price of Rs. 99!!

Buy the book online. Visit the official site.

tagged: It Happened in India, Kishore Biyani, Pantaloon,

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