Sunday, June 03, 2007

It happened in India - Book Review

Book - It happened in India (Autobiography, Kishore Biyani).
Author - Kishore Biyani with Dipayan Baishya
Publisher – Rupa

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 specifically.

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.


1 comment:

js cheema said...

good review this will definately help me in my exam...