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Book Review : It happened in India

I have read this book when this was first published and re-read it again with all enthusiasm. This book has a lot of nuggets of wisdom for entrepreneurs and org leaders. 

This is a book about Kishore Biyani (aka KB), the unorthodox entrepreneur who created successful Retail chains like Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Central etc and put it under the umbrella group called Future Group. In this book, you will read how Kishore is a man of contradictions from not following conventional working models be it his traditional family business or that of his contemporary peers to then looking for Indianness in Retail. Thinking more about it, what is common, is that he followed his instincts and stood by his values.

The book also show how many leaders who worked with him, found him to be intriguing in the beginning. This is perhaps not just with him, but is something that you and I can witness when joining a new organization as a leader.

The book recounts Biyani's entrepreneurial journey and provides insights into his business strategies and the evolution of the Indian retail industry. I have my share of take aways on learning, unlearning and re-learning. Here are some key takeaways from the book:

  1. Entrepreneurial Vision : Biyani emphasizes the need to identify untapped market opportunities early on and create innovative business models to capitalize on them.
  2. Customer-centric Approach : Biyani emphasizes the importance of market research, consumer insights, and building a customer-centric organization. By focusing on the customer, businesses can create long-term relationships and build brand loyalty. It is fascinating to learn that Biyani, has in numerous occasions has lead this by an example.
  3. Experimentation and Risk-taking : Biyani encouraged his leadership team to take risks and embrace experimentation. What matters is the importance of learning from failures and adapting strategies accordingly.
  4. Localization and Cultural Sensitivity : In a diverse country like India, Biyani stresses the significance of understanding local cultures, traditions, and preferences. He cites examples of how his retail store in one state is different from the same store in another state. Typically each store is tailored to the local population and culture.
  5.  Trust and Delegation : How Biyani trusts the folks he works with and delegates the work expecting his leadership to take ownership and accountability of the delivery and the mechanics of the delivery is something that many leaders fail to do even in this age.

The same review of the book is also posted on Goodreads.