I finally finished reading the book “It happened in India“, the reason I am saying finally is that I have been reading this book for nearly 2 months but managed to complete the last 30 pages only today. The book is kind of an auto-autobiography of Kishore Biyani – it’s about the story of Pantaloons, Big Bazaar & Central chain of retail stores. Let me say at the beginning, I am a little biased in favour of Indian success stories – apart from being an Indian, the reason is that I feel there is a dearth of good books on Indian business stories.
The first thing that you will notice when you pick the book is a close resemblance of the title It happened in India with Made in America (Sam Walton’s classic book). When you start reading you will continue to see the unmistakable resemblance in the presentation format as well. The chapters are presented in a fashion of first-person voice intertwined with quotes from various stakeholders (business partners, employees & friends of the author).
While reading the first few chapters this resemblance put me off a little as I thought Kishore Biyani had nothing original to say. Only after I came near the halfway mark of the book I realized how mistaken I was, the chapters started to get interesting and the outlined experiences were very much original and Indian. Definitely, Kishore Biyani and his team have to be congratulated on their exciting journey in the world of Indian retail and for bringing many of the now common innovations. I was happy to read in pages 116-199, Kishore Biyani quoting Chennai’s own Saravana Stores as the inspiration behind their Big Bazaar venture. He writes on how his team camped in Chennai, visiting Saravana Stores every day for weeks to understand their merchandise mix and pricing. The book tapers off towards the end where the author starts talking about his personal views on philosophy & his beliefs about business.
Overall, a good book to read at an attractive price of Rs.99 (~USD 2.5)
Also published on Medium.