It happened in India is a candid and close book by Kishor Biyani, the king of retail as often called by lot many with every growing day. This book which is sort of a young biography of Kishore is co-authored by Dipayan Baishya.
Kishore or KB as often referred to in the whole book starts with telling the Big Bazaar story esp the ‘Sabse Sasta Din’ campaign of 26 January 2006 and it reads like one hell of a fiction. I wont leak the story but how much you can imagine a grocery store can make by selling Atta, rice and low priced tops and jeans. They do sell TVs and Washing Machines but these are not the ones which get picked up in large nos. Ever heard someone who wanted to buy one AC, actually ended up buying three of them. This happens all the time for folks who go to Big Bazaar to buy a T-Shirt or a Juice can or even a shampoo.
Coming back to fiction, the first story is very well sold to readers and that sort of binds you to read the remaining book. Some of the things which KB talks about are how there store are never a few steps up guarded by a inhibitive security person or on how not to have long aisles and how the concept of having mini-bazar is so much common sense. One of the things which everyone keeps telling us is that when WalMart or other such biggies come here with their expert inventory systems, people like KB will go bust. Well after reading it doesn’t seem like as KB tells us stories and stories on how we need to Indianize things.
After the big bazaar story, KB tells us about his background, how his parent came from Bikaner and setup shops in Mumbai as traders. He is a Marwari like some of the other big businesses but he didn’t chose to do what his parents were doing. He dabbled in many things, from tailoring patlooons (yeah thats what it was called way back) to setting a fabric factory.
You would be surprised to know that KB even produced a movie called ‘Na Tum Jaano Na Hum’ followed by another flop and decided to stop. He talks about the future and the ‘future group’.
Pretty easy and good read for all. He finishes with another equally fascinating fiction which they pulled off next year on 26 Jan 2007.