July 03, 2007

Review: "It Happened In India"

by Kishore Biyani & Dipayan Baishya

The business biography/autobiography of Kishore Biyani is a refreshing, inspiring and entertaining book which is related in a manner someone in the family would talk to you to pass on the wisdom of their experience in life and business.

For those who came in late, Kishore Biyani is the owner of brands and businesses such as Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Central, Bare, Food Bazaar and many more!

Personally I was eagerly anticipating the book launch – since the Big Bazaar at Phoenix Mills has always been my favourite hangout since day one of their opening. If I was not at home or in the office at Hungama (which was right next door at Raghuvanshi Mills back then) – anyone could tell I was at Big Bazaar! This was a few years back. Today, I’m helping associate MTV with Futurebazaar.com, the e-retailing arm of Biyani’s group. So honestly, I already was a ‘fan’ of the business and the man. My review might therefore be less of a critique and more of a rave.

From the word “Go” this book oozes enthusiasm, passion and creativity in the true sense of the word.

Ashni Biyani sums up her dad’s book best from the youth viewpoint “I realise that India needs role models who will make it believe that it can happen right here, in this country”.

Dipayan Baishya does a wonderful job at synchronizing the content into chapters and creating a captivating flow of things.

Why I loved the book:

  • KB (as Biyani is called by those who know him) is extremely candid and non-superfluous.
  • The language is common-man friendly.
  • KB is a deviant, not a formula man.
  • Contains tons of stories of successes and failures of his life.
  • Inspires entrepreneurs and yet doesn’t paint just a rosy picture.
  • Most importantly, it’s an INDIAN business story so you can relate to pretty much everything. I haven’t come across very many books by Indian businessmen who have shared their life and business story.
  • Being a designer and an ideas person, I appreciated how much emphasis the Future Group puts on these otherwise intangible assets of a business. I also particularly liked his theories of memetics, consumer behaviour study and (sic) “life is about timepass” :) and learnt a bunch of things I would want to apply in my own life and business.
  • A zillion noteworthy quotes, words of wisdom, philosophies and musings by KB.

On a sidenote, the timing of this book is perfect since the group is coming out with an IPO soon – and I have no doubt that the best seller will only add to the oversubscribing of this issue. Oh I’m buying!

(Will try to update this with a more detailed review later).

No comments:

Post a Comment