It happened in india book review:
Kishore Biyani is not a very popular man and neither old enough or idolized enough to have written an
autobiography. But, I bought the book for a number of reasons. I had read the name Kishore Biyani
some 5 years back in Business World when organized retain was starting to emerge as a massive
industry of future. I have been interested in organized retain because of my personal interest in mass
customer business i.e. B2C over B2B. The book has a glitzy cover and pulled my attention quickly plus
only for Rs 99 (original from Landmark, Bangalore).
Now coming to the contents of the book. It is a good, simply written book with no big words or
teachings. One unusual approach in this book is so may reviews about "Kishoreji" from various people
who have been with him during his ascent. This includes family members, friends, colleagues and
business partners. In an autobiography this is unusual because an autobiography is supposed to be the
story of the person from the person. But disappointingly rather I must say ‘as expected’ all the people
who reviewed (20% of the book is only made up of other people writing about him), none has
mentioned any weakness or shortcomings. This makes the book so very usual since it is only human to
have shortcomings and weakness and then he too is a human.
What I liked about the book/kishoreji is the extreme focus on learning, un-learning and re-learning.
Though Biyani is also writing about customer as his only focus but I think that is something most of the
people say. I offcourse do not intend to say that it might not be the case with him but for me an
autobiography is not proof enough. Though I would still agree with him as I myself have been a keen
observer of the Big bazaars and Centrals and I had noticed a lot of things that he is mentioning
An autobiography normally (in fact very often) contains 98% past(history) and 2% future. This one
contains almost 60-40. Instead at times Kishoreji is laying so much focus on his projected plans and
future strategies that it starts to seem like an investor meet where the idea is to impress about the
company and then ask them to invest in it.
It is a good read for those who are part of the retail industry or aspiring to be part of it. I also liked it
because it is very much Indian with usage of Hindi words at a number of places, which makes it so very
easy to relate to things.
I have been seeing the book - It Happened In India - around, and was interested in finding
out more about it. The book is about Kishore Biyani - the man who created the retail
revolution in India with Big Bazaar, Pantaloons et al. Swaroop has written an excellent
review today, including some thought provoking excerpts.
You can read the full review onSwaroop’s blog, but here are some excerpts that I liked:
I interpret life very differently and I have this belief 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.
The central objective for earlier businesses was to bring in stability and consolidation. They were built to
enforce order. However, in the new era where nothing remains constant, the dominant theme for
businesses need to be speed and imagination. Going forward, companies will be lucky if they can write a
five year plan for their business.
The new macro-differentiator can be design. Design is helping companies to sell differentiated
experiences and solutions that connect with the consumer’s emotions. It’s no longer about selling
products and services alone. Nor is it just about completing transactions. Every time a customer walks in,
it is an opportunity to build a relationship and invite the customer to become a part of the
transformational scenario. Design management is helping us position the customer at the center of every
decision we take and also operate with true entrepreneurial spirit.