January 18, 2012

It Happened In India

I recently read the book 'It Happened In India', the life story of Kishore Biyani, and by some length, of organized retail in India. You and Me may not think too much about the Pantaloons and the Big Bazaar stores, which are now almost present in all the big malls, but anyone who has ever applied for any license/passport/registration anywhere in India would know what a feat it is. By some logic, it may be a bigger achievemet than Walmart as well, assuming the US government offices are nowhere like India's.

There are parallels with Walmart, with Biyani being heavily inspired by Sam Walton, and thats reflected even in the way in book is written. Both the biographies follow very similar format, starting with a scenario, and then comments and quotes from related people. However, the book is nowhere near the Sam Walton's, and misses out on a lot of details.

My takeaway from the book is quite simple - if you are good at something, and are adaptive to ideas and changes, you can make it big. You don't need great ideas to be successful, but pure dedication and some risk apetite. Recommended for a casual reading, but if you want a good book on retail, Sam Walton's one is miles ahead.

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