Rewrite the rules but retain the values",-moto

Name Kishore Biyani FututrGroup CEO Education Industry Products Country Company Website Graduation in commerce Retail Discount Stores, Supercenters India Future Group http://www.kishorebiyani.com/

Summary The story of how a simple shopkeeper who started off by sold stone wash fabric to ordinary retailer and later became a retail-magnate himself. The story about Kishore Biyani and his extraordinary stunt in the business with unconventional ideas. The man who retained Indian-ness in his business concepts be it Pantaloons, Big Bazaar or Central. A must read for all enterprising entrepreneurs. His favorite mantra-´Rewrite Rules, Retain Values. Kishore Biyani is the Group CEO of Future Group, one of India¶s leading business houses with businesses in retail; capital and investment advisory services; consumer finance; insurance; brand development; retail media and logistics. Headquartered in Mumbai, the group has a footprint in 53 cities in India and employs over 25,000 people. Back ground Kishore Biyani belongs to a trading family from Rajasthan settled in Mumbai for more than 60 years now. He was born in a family of traders on August, 1961, graduated in commerce from HR College, Mumbai in 1981 and initially joined his father's business. Biyani recalls that his father belonged to the old school and was a conventional businessman. Soon Biyani began to tire of the business and chose to start a yarn-manufacturing unit, which in those days offered high margins. Of the Rs7 lakh needed, he put only Rs2 lakh, saved from his trading deals, in his father's business, and borrowed the rest from his family. A down-to-earth man, Biyani who lives with wife Sangita and two daughters, is a firm believer in the Indian value system. He is proud of being Indian and considers Indianness as the driving principle behind the enviable success of his company Establishment of first Business Biyani began to tire of the business and chose to start a yarn-manufacturing unit, which in those days offered high margins. Of the Rs7 lakh needed, he put only Rs2 lakh, saved from his trading deals, in his father's business, and borrowed the rest from his family.

Pantaloon started in 1987 as Manz Wear Pvt Ltd. Biyani took the company public in 1991, changing its name to Pantaloon Fashions (India) the following year, and then again in 1999 to Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd. Today, the company has approximately 14,000 shareholders. Biyani's company initially made trousers, which were sold to shops that stocked multi-brand clothes. The response was decent though not overwhelming. The same year he set up a plant at the family's premises in Mumbai installing machinery worth Rs20 lakh borrowed from banks. The next step was to begin advertising. In the first year, Pantaloon Fashions' advertising budget was Rs17 lakh on a turnover of Rs70 lakh leaving Biyani with a profit of Rs8 lakh. The next step was to position Pantaloon in the office and casuals segment with an all-India network. At a crucial juncture when Pantaloon Retail needed funds to expand and set up its own retail shops to stock everything under one roof, the Ahmadabad-based Arvind Mills, flagship of the Lalbhai group, asked him to market its denim brand. This helped bring in much-needed funds. In 1988-89, the launch of Pantaloon's own brand, Bare Necessities, helped establish Pantaloon in the fashion industry. Expansion of Business In 2001, Biyani evolved a pan-Indian, class-less model ² Big Bazaar, a hypermarket chain, leading to the democratization of shopping in India. With Food Bazaar, a supermarket chain, he blended the look, touch and feel of Indian bazaars with western hygiene and it has now evolved into the favored destination for Indian homemakers. The Future Group operates through six verticals: Future Retail (encompassing all lines of retail business), Future Capital (financial products and services), Future Brands (all brands owned or managed by group companies), Future Space (management of retail real estate), Future Logistics (management of supply chain and distribution) and Future Media (development and management of retail media spaces). The group's flagship enterprise, Pantaloon Retail, is India's leading retail company with presence in food, fashion and footwear, home solutions and consumer electronics, books and music, health, wellness and beauty, general merchandise, communication products, e-tailing and leisure, and entertainment. The company owns and manages multiple retail formats catering to a wide cross-section of the Indian society and its width and depth of merchandise helps it capture almost the entire consumption basket of the Indian consumer. Headquartered in Mumbai, the company operates through 3.5-million square feet of retail space, has over 100 stores across 25 cities in India and employs over 12,000 people. Lines of Business various formats: The company is present across several lines of business which have

Fashion Pantaloons(40), Central (7), Brand Factory (6), Blue Sky, Top 10, Fashion Station, Big Bazaar (90), Lee Cooper (JV) (31), Planet Sports & Sportswear formats (54) Food Food Bazar (135) General Merchandise Big Bazaar, Shoe Factory (17), Navras, Electronics Bazaar (90), Furniture Bazaar (85), KB'S FAIR PRICE (72) Electronics eZone (37), Electronic Bazzaar, STAPLES(JV) (2)

the Indian jeans brand. M-Port. Home Town.IPAQ ServiceE Care . Bangalore and Hyderabad. a home building and improvement products retail chain is launched along with consumer . ConvergeM. Vadodara. Gurgaon. F123 Wellness Star & Sitara. 2004 Central . Home Bazaar E-Tailing www. Hyderabad. The company starts the distribution of branded garments through multi-brand retail outlets across the nation.Home Improvement Home Town (7) Furniture Collection (13). Indore) Other Specialty Formats (97) These are the major outlets of Future Group. Pune. H Care. 1997 Company enters modern retail with the launch of the first 8000 square feet store. 1992 Initial public offer (IPO) was made in the month of May. 2001 Three Big Bazaar stores launched within a span of 22 days in Kolkata. 1994 The Pantaloon Shoppe ± exclusive menswear store in franchisee format launched across the nation. Kishore Biyani as a whole (Future Group) have entered and topped their Business Categories.India¶s first seamless mall is launched in Bangalore.futurebazaar.5 billion in real estate. Sets up India¶s first real estate investment fund Kshitij to build a chain of shopping malls. acquires stakes in Galaxy Entertainment.. the supermarket chain is launched. Pantaloons in Kolkata. 1991 Launch of BARE. Future Axiom Consumer Durables Koryo. 2006 Future Capital Holdings. Tulsi Telecom & IT Gen M. 2002 Food Bazaar. Plans forays into retailing of consumer finance products. the company¶s financial is formed to manage over $1. private equity and retail infrastructure funds. M Bazaar. Sensei . 1] Consumer Finance 2] Retail Real Estate Development 3] Retail Logistics Company Timeline 1987 Company incorporated as Manz Wear Private Limited. Indus League Clothing and Planet Retail. 1995 John Miller ± Formal shirt brand launched. Mumbai. Future Money (120) Malls Central (Bangalore.com (Online Shopping) Books & Music Depot (112) Leisure & Entertainment Bowling Co. Furniture Bazaar. India¶s first formal trouser brand. 2005 Group moves beyond retail. Launch of Pantaloons trouser.

The next step was to begin advertising. IPR and brand development and retail-led technology services become operational. who has lived abroad for years and does his monthly shopping at Food Bazaar (despite other malls being more prominent in the South) says. and borrowed the rest from his family. Mumbai in 1981 and initially joined his father's business. logistics. marking one of the fastest ever expansion of a hypermarket format anywhere in the world. changing its name to Pantaloon Fashions (India) the following year. Biyani recalls that his father belonged to the old school and was a conventional businessman. "The so called hypermarkets in India are nothing but a giant hoax. Big Bazaar crosses the 100-store mark. Soon Biyani began to tire of the business and chose to start a yarn-manufacturing unit. Specialised companies in retail media. The next step was to position Pantaloon in the office and casuals segment with an all-India network. The response was decent though not overwhelming. 2008 Future Capital Holdings becomes the second group company to make a successful Initial Public Offering in the Indian capital markets. Generali. 2007 Future Group crosses $1 billion turnover mark. in his father's business. Total operational retail space crosses 10 million square feet mark. Furniture Bazaar. Of the Rs7 lakh needed." He adds. and then again in 1999 to Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd. Being a cloth trader he could never associate fabrics with fashion. There is no secret behind Biyani's success. Future Group acquires rural retail chain. the son of a Mumbai-based textile merchant. Ezone and furniture chain.durables format. Aadhar present in 65 rural locations. Futurebazaar. Today. Staples. which in those days offered high margins. Forms joint ventures with US office stationery retailer. Biyani's company initially made trousers. Pantaloon Retail wins the International Retailer of the Year at US-based National Retail Federation convention in New York and Emerging Retailer of the Year award at the World Retail Congress held in Barcelona. Rajesh Gupta. Biyani took the company public in 1991. Future Group enters into joint venture agreements to launch insurance products with Italian insurance major. "Food Bazaar and Big Bazaar are the closest to global brands like Carrefour and Walmart in India in terms of value for money. saved from his trading deals. In the first year.000 shareholders. the company has approximately 14.com becomes India¶s most popular shopping portal. Pantaloon Fashions' advertising budget was Rs17 lakh on a turnover of Rs70 lakh leaving Biyani with a profit of Rs8 lakh. graduated in commerce from HR College. he put only Rs2 lakh. Pantaloon started in 1987 as Manz Wear Pvt Ltd. The same year he set up a plant at the family's premises in Mumbai installing machinery worth Rs20 lakh borrowed from banks. ." Biyani. which were sold to shops that stocked multi-brand clothes.

Five years later he launched the first branded ready-made trouser. This helped bring in much-needed funds. as a garment manufacturing company. Pantaloons. has tie-ups with multiplexes like Rave III and Inox and is in the process of tying up with the Delhi-based PVR group. touch and feel of Indian bazaars with western hygiene and it has now evolved into the favoured destination for Indian homemakers. he is candid enough to admit that money is important as it provides leverage in exercising a choice and that without money the world would be a terrible place to live in. the Ahmedabad-based Arvind Mills. a supermarket chain. 45. Future Group. Founded in 1987. As Biyani consolidates. class-less model ² Big Bazaar. With Food Bazaar. Na tum jaano na hum. is CEO. After graduating in commerce. a hypermarket chain. marketed through The Pantaloon Shoppe. Pantaloon entered modern retail in 1997 with the opening of a chain of department stores. helped establish Pantaloon in the fashion industry. Pantaloon Retail has now entered the entertainment market with the Hrithik Roshan-Esha Deol movie. provides expertise in managing malls. Biyani joined the family textiles business. Kishore Biyani: New face of Indian retail Biyani. In 1988-89. Biyani evolved a pan-Indian. Future Space (management of retail real estate). Bare Necessities. asked him to market its denim brand. the launch of Pantaloon's own brand. which is designed to cater to the entire Indian consumption space. Future Logistics (management of supply chain and distribution) and Future Media (development and management of retail media spaces). . Future Capital (financial products and services). Future Brands (all brands owned or managed by group companies). In 2001. leading to the democratisation of shopping in India. called Pantaloon.At a crucial juncture when Pantaloon Retail needed funds to expand and set up its own retail shops to stock everything under one roof. he blended the look. The Future Group operates through six verticals: Future Retail (encompassing all lines of retail business). flagship of the Lalbhai group.

000 people. gifts and stationaries). a first of its kind. music. fashion and footwear. home solutions and consumer electronics. health. and entertainment. Some of it's other formats include. which leads the group's foray into home improvement. Future Bazaar India Ltd and ConvergeM Retail India Ltd. Other group companies include. the company operates through 3. respectively. seamless mall located in the heart of major Indian cities.The group's flagship enterprise. the group's financial arm. Pantaloon Industries Ltd. consumer credit and offer other financial products and services. aLL (fashion apparel for plus-size individuals) and Blue Sky (fashion accessories). general merchandise.1 billion in private equity funds for investment in retail real estate and consumer-related industries. etailing and leisure. it also plans to get into insurance.5-million square feet of retail space. communication products. Some of the group's subsidiaries include Home Solutions Retail India Ltd. The company owns and manages multiple retail formats catering to a wide cross-section of the Indian society and its width and depth of merchandise helps it capture almost the entire consumption basket of the Indian consumer. a company that owns the franchisee of international brands like Marks & Spencer. Collection I (home improvement products). It has also entered joint venture agreements with a number of companies including ETAM group. Debenhams. . Apart from asset managment. books and music. e-tailing and communication products. Depot (books. The company has also launched Central. Guess and The Body Shop in India. recently raised $1. has over 100 stores across 25 cities in India and employs over 12. is India's leading retail company with presence in food. Pantaloon Retail. E-Zone (consumer electronics). Liberty Shoes and Planet Sports. wellness and beauty. Galaxy Entertainment and Indus League Clothing. Headquartered in Mumbai. Gini & Jony. Future Capital Holdings.

He was also awarded the CNBC First Generation Entrepreneur of the Year 2006. Kishore Biyani led the company`s foray into organised retail with the opening up of the Pantaloons family store in 1997.IIM Lucknow Young Business Leader Award by Prime Minister. It Happened In India that captures his entrepreneurial journey and the growth of modern retailing in India. Residency Road is almost complete. He has led Pantaloon Retail s emergence as the India s leading retailer operating multiple retail formats that now cater to almost the consumption basket of a large section of Indian consumers. Dr. 2006 marked the evolution of Future Group. that brought together the multiple initiatives taken by group companies in the areas of Retail. new mall. Central and Home Town. This was followed by a number of other formats including Food Bazaar. a uniquely Indian hypermarket format that democratized shopping in India. The year. Capital. Kishore Biyani was born in August. The sort with escalators and huge grey metal flanks clamped to the walls outside. Kishore Biyani was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 in the Services Sector and the Lakshmipat Singhania . It blends the look. Space. It's a sharp. Logistics and Media. The makeover of 26. touch and feel of Indian bazaars with aspects of modern retail like choice. He recently authored a book. Brands. convenience and quality. 1961 and is married to Sangita and they have two daughters. Bangaloreans walking down this tree-lined avenue slow down to stare at the megalith that has replaced the old Victoria hotel. Manmohan Singh in 2006. .Kishore Biyani is the Managing Director of Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Future Group. On this Thursday morning. This was followed in 2001 with the launch of Big Bazaar.

Labourers are clearing the dirt from the cobblestones that surface the driveway. As a result. he pulls out a cellphone .S. Nagesh of Shoppers' Stop or RPG Retail's Raghu Pillai. a mason is relaying a slab at the fountain. Biyani's stores occupy 1. his topline will be about Rs 650 crore. A clear Rs 100 crore more than RPG's." he would say to anyone who cared to listen.and said so bluntly . because the man strongly believed . For. correctly conclude that the store is about to open. And few people gave him any chance of succeeding. he expects to have 30 Food Bazaars. Truckloads of merchandise are arriving. 13 Pantaloons and one Central. Nearby.that his peers in the retail business were mere copycats. which was dominated by personalities like the suave Nagesh. He doesn't seem to be doing much. "I use people as hands and legs. that straddles the food and grocery business. "Most Indian retailers tend to blindly copy from Western models. And yet. Ask people who India's largest retailer is. and it looks like the Congress might win after all. Biyani hung around the periphery of the retail industry. watchers notice a somewhat nondescript man sitting on a ledge between the fountain and the steps that lead up to the mall." he once famously said. Biyani made no bones about the fact that he liked to run a oneman show. 22 Big Bazaars. and the man escapes most people's scrutiny. the final election results are being tallied. more observant. both professional managers and investors avoided him. Food Bazaar.one of three he carries . Shoppers' Stop is in third place with revenues of Rs 400 crore. But there are more interesting sights that engage everyone's attention. The property opening in Bangalore is his fourth model. This June. That seems to be something of a running motif throughout Kishore Biyani's life. Right now.to ask about the latest election results. the second largest player in the Indian market.All around it. and his original Pantaloons apparel stores. No one took him seriously.something that scared away most financiers used to dealing with more conventional businessmen. when Businessworld last wrote about him. By the end of . 21 Pantaloons and four Centrals. Little wonder. the 'bania' from Mumbai was in much the same position as the Congress Party was before the elections. ft of retail space. He fidgeted constantly during formal meetings. Back in 2002. and how the stockmarkets are doing. when he announces the 2003-04 results of his company Pantaloon Retail. Between them. a lot has changed. it is Biyani who is the largest player in the Indian market today. 9 Big Bazaars (the 10th is opening next week in Nashik). people are zipping around in what can only be termed as desperate hurry. and chances are they will say B. I am looking for a pan-Indian model of retailing. a mall called Central. he seldom received invitations to speak at industry seminars.1 million sq. Between then and now. Biyani has moved centrestage. on this Thursday morning. No one quite liked him either. he was taciturn to the point of being tonguetied. and walk on. he has 13 Food Bazaars. which made the task of carrying out any serious conversation with him quite an ordeal. His search for the ideal model also meant that he took colossal risks . I prefer to do the thinking around here. By the end of next year. Every few minutes. Today he has three highly successful retail formats: the Big Bazaar hypermarket. On top of that. Other. Most onlookers take all this in. unlike whom.

he would have ended with huge debts and a loss. the store clicked. Biyani says that his appetite for experimentation is now sated. ft. up from Rs 51. the whole place is a mess. Just like it has with his entire business. Why is it rising? Can Manmohan Singh be the next PM? Perhaps Biyani is in an unusually good humour because he knows that the chaos will settle down soon enough. Drawn by his growth. The escalators are not working. but had just Rs 4 crore of profits. And there are not many growth stories in Indian retail. the Pantaloon stock was among the best performing on the BSE. so it could not have raised much from the bourses. Biyani would also have had to part with a lot of equity . Pantaloon's topline was Rs 180 crore. And. but not on quite the same scale as. who served as ICICI Venture's representative on the Pantaloon board." he says. And when the stockmarkets looked buoyant just a few weeks before the poll results. They also became more comfortable with the idea of him being a maverick. he will concentrate on ramping up each of his four main formats. was Big Bazaar Mumbai. "Things have really fallen into place in the last two years. It is noon. say. Around 2001. Pantaloon saw its turnover of Rs 286 crore (2001-02) climb to Rs 445 crore (2002-03). his first Big Bazaar or his first Food Bazaar. The shelves are still coming up.25 a year ago. Riding on the hypermarket. The stuff which has come in hasn't been unpacked yet. If Big Bazaar hadn't worked." Don't take him too literally. plastic sheets lie everywhere. though. The merchandise is still coming in. and we are walking through the mall.5. In week one. The format was a huge gamble. Investors began to take notice. so far. A big factor. And yet. Biyani took a Rs 120-crore loan that pushed his debt exposure to as high as 1. With the opening of Central.next year. Instead." . The share price was low (Rs 18).his family and he hold 40% in Pantaloon today. He wonders about the stockmarket. Cardboard cartons. Biyani had opened three more Big Bazaars. By the end of the first year. What he means is that he will continue betting on new opportunities ranging from gold to car accessories. But. Says Biyani: "Investors look for growth. Most companies are growing very slowly. there is something oddly relaxed about Biyani's demeanour. nothing is in place. he says. as it turned out. It quotes at Rs 311 today. and did a crore in turnover. Even as his competitors like the Rahejas (who own Shoppers' Stop) embark on new formats (food and grocery). The company needed money to expand. "I will no longer try out newer formats. Biyani says his portfolio is complete. they will occupy 3 million sq. Things are going so well now that Biyani has stopped talking about selling out to foreign retailers when they come in. when the first Big Bazaar opened. says Bala Deshpande. in the last two years well-known financial institutional investors like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup Global Markets have picked up stakes in his firm. the first Big Bazaar store pulled in over a lakh customers. Inside. There are less than 30 hours to go before Bangalore's newest and largest mall opens for business. My focus will be to consolidate our operations.

Right now. the turnover will be Rs 1. ft store and I would have done an annual turnover of Rs 35 crore..he is short of site engineers. "and so that is when we do our interviews. The current cash flows should take care of debt servicing without much problem. The company has an EBITDA (earnings before interest. In the old days. Biyani pulled in the head of Globus. we are creating history. says C." he says." And so. Another Rs 60 crore is being raised though debt. Toshniwal. Sanjeev Agrawal to handle marketing." In contrast. he didn't want to join.5 crore for a 50. And so. "I would have paid Rs 7 crore-7. His team has just one when it needs at least another three. I had also heard that the company was a one-man show. Ved Prakash Arya. it is discovering all the advantages of scale. Kush Medhora from Westside to look after new store rollouts. all of which help fund the expansion. V. "Alternate Saturdays are holidays." As the company grows by leaps and bounds. and calls for a very different way of thinking from the other stores. the company is hiring chartered accountants for store managers. Biyani told him he wanted to abdicate everything except strategic planning and the selection of new locations. he says. he is making that cash work harder. Bina Mirchandani came in to look after the merchandising. "Such expansion is fun. Biyani began to pay a lot more attention to what the investors wanted. The margins are slimmer. the economies of scale kick in. It is this frenetic pace that drew him to Pantaloon. Of that. There is probably another reason why Medhora joined. they told him that he needed to delegate in order to grow. His job. keeps him on the road for 220 days in a year.1 million sq. Biyani estimates he will need an investment of about Rs 250 crore." Medhora grins. . the rapidly growing profits can be ploughed back to fund the expansion.P. Take Kush Medhora. The business runs on faster stock turnarounds. at the same time. But by next year. Ambrish Chheda came in to look after Food Bazaar and handle business development.. from raising finances to negotiating rates. he is running around . Rs 32 crore has been raised through a convertible debenture offer made in November 2003. Persuading the professionals wasn't easy. Initially. Interestingly. In a break from regular retail recruitment. Jaydeep Shetty from Inox to create new brands. He is also interviewing aspiring Big Bazaar store managers. Managing Big Bazaar is like financial tap dancing.It helped. Muralidharan came in from Lifestyle to head Central. also. to handle operations. "We will be (worth) Rs 5. In everything. That helped Medhora make up his mind. Shoppers' Stop will throw up Rs 24 crore as EBITDA this year. depreciation and amortisation) of a little over Rs 65 crore. he went on a hiring spree. He enjoys the adrenaline rush. we will have an EBITDA of Rs 130 crore. ft of retail space to 3 million sq. Meanwhile. even as Biyani gets more cash from his business. Says Deshpande: "As the new investors came in. chief of corporate planning." But during the job interview. In a way. "I thought the company was unprofessional from the way the first few stores looked. opening new stores. tax. To go from its current 1.000-sq. that around the same time.000 crore by 2007. So. "Our turnover is around Rs 650 crore. Pantaloon is looking for people with an eye for numbers. ft by the end of 2005." Right now.300 crore.

His consumer insight is. he says. say. Over the years. John Miller and Bare." But the Kolkata store was an eye-opener. It did Rs 10 crore." You can attribute that partly to the mall-making frenzy in this country. We should look at communities: techies. are seeing an interesting evolution. while the margins on individual garments are high. Biyani had been hoping it would do about Rs 7 crore in its first year. we did not know when the second store would come up. the company will always be forced to order in lots of 90-120 days. says Biyani. From that unsteady perch. Which is why I believe studying Indian consumers by demographics and psychographics is a waste of time. it takes 90-120 days to design and ship. Take Pantaloons. who worked with Biyani as a chief operating officer (COO) in that period: "When the first store came up.at least ones that can pull customers in. and Biyani is exploiting that. the margins are low. Even though his products were good. eventually. The Businessworld photographer is trying to get some elevation into the photograph. There is a shortage of anchor tenants in this country . Pantaloons has been through a few makeovers. do the fittings and so on. I spend about Rs 4 crore for a store of that size. Kishore Biyani is standing on a scooter. And right now. people were thinking and dressing and acting very differently. he has begun insisting that mall owners also develop the place for him. Biyani was manufacturing two brands. the company is saddled with inventory which then has to be liquidated. At this stage. Recalls Kabir Loomba. Pantaloons will now be about affordable fashion. metrosexuals. it is getting another one. in this business of fashion retailing. but I am going to sell half of them after a 12% markdown. Pantaloons will be the Indian equivalent of Spanish fashion retailer Zara. That year. Back in 1997. That is because the unsold stocks have to be liquidated through heavy discounting. One. like always. Not only is he able to negotiate lower rentals. This was when the aggressive retail expansion started. Says Biyani: "If the margins on every garment are 50%. All his formats. high distribution costs and margins were making the whole business unviable. lest it runs out of stock halfway. he is talking about why he thinks the best is yet to come for his chain. the first of these came up in Kolkata. no more. and do a business of Rs 50 crore-60 crore.) In the next two years. the plan was that the company would open another 2-3 such stores. I just take a fully-appointed building from them. Now. Biyani is junking the old positioning of 'India's family store' and is planning to target the youth instead. This is the brand that started Biyani's transformation into a retailer." . a shade radical: "Within a family. etc. ('Fashion from Pantaloons' is the new adline. he says. a new line of fashion merchandise. This means two things.Now. and the pricing was competitive." So. And so he decided to set up his own stores. Internationally. Loomba feels this taught Biyani an important lesson: the Indian market was under-retailed." Day two. For instance. my margins are already down to 44%. In the old days. Both were struggling. Two. "We would buy the property. if the fashion changes.

And then.") That flies in the face of conventional wisdom. From now on.And so. of the company's topline of about Rs 650 crore. What made it possible is that it had its own factories. by half or so. sales will rise. says Anshuman Singh. drive prices down. it will be available only through Big Bazaar. But it is important to recognise that it should not be more than 30% of my topline. as fresh stocks hit the market faster. was the cheapest pair of jeans in the market. Biyani's new strategy for Big Bazaar also centres on fashion. who looks after the supply chain. Take denim. So. the company is trying to crash the time to market from 90 days to about 21 days. "We can up our margins by 5-6%.blue jeans. It will retail what Biyani calls commoditised fashion . Right now. that is price. and sell. For ketchup. Pantaloon will carry no stocks. Pantaloon is trying to engineer its own low prices. it has an in-house label for Rs 38 as opposed to an industry average of Rs 58 for the same size. In businesses where there aren't any large manufacturers. If you look at the rival hypermarket format Giant from the RPG stable. There is a similar deal for T-shirts." That is where Ruf-n-Tuf came in. he says." As it were. priced at Rs 599. If cost of operations is 30%. In contrast. there is the format that fascinates and worries Biyani: Food Bazaar. for the latter is also based on apparel. Recalls Singh: "Pantaloons has jeans from Bare at Rs 695 and above. He says: "I could double the stores I have and still face no problem. At the same time. Biyani worries that Food Bazaar is growing too fast. But that might create a problem between Pantaloons and Big Bazaar. Most retailers believe food is central to their retailing operations. food technologies. "Pantaloons will have to really bring prices down. leather. Biyani is doing something similar. Newport. He has a simple explanation: in India. So the real question is: what will it take to drive disposability of clothes higher? According to retail consultant Devangshu Dutta. Rs 250 crore has come from Pantaloons. This will have to be a lean operation. we contacted Arvind Mills and asked if they could give us jeans at Rs 299 if we were willing to take 100." Right now." (That is why. will let the company keep less inventory. 50% of its revenues come from food. By becoming much more responsive. Biyani doesn't want the share of foods to rise over 30%. Faster manufacturing. he has brought the time lag down from 90 to 40 days. Biyani is planning to buy these in very large numbers. says Biyani. They will lie with the manufacturer and replenished just in time. and food doesn't offer adequate margins. Zara has a neat model that lets it launch new lines in less than 21 days. the apparel store. food . but with a volumes orientation. "I have underplayed food in Big Bazaar. cost of modern retailing is very high. The brand had been discontinued when Pantaloon first contacted Arvind. But fashion tastes in India don't change that fast.000 units a month. another Rs 230 crore from Big Bazaar and the rest (Rs 160 crore-170 crore) is contributed by Food Bazaar. like plastics. which will make it more responsive to market changes while reducing the amount of stocks to be sold at a discount. white shirts.

he put in place a team of four people. "We knew we would have to create that same mix of the mandi in whatever new format we evolve. when Big Bazaar was conceptualised. Right now." That flies in the face of conventional wisdom. In contrast. It is the MBA culture." Or take Food Bazaar.000 litres a day. We make our own paneer and pasteurise milk.margins are just 12-14%. he is working on a new focus for Food Bazaar. If cost of operations is 30%." promises Biyani. He calls it 'farm to plate' .essentially. And one of the first insights the team had was that all neighbourhood markets are the same . apparel and non-food segments offer margins of 2530%. Part of his success is the ability to paint on a blank canvas. Incredibly. In contrast. In contrast. none of whom understood the hypermarket business.each of them has a bania. he put in place a team of four people. "We knew we would have to create that same mix of the mandi in whatever new format we evolve. But most managers take that as a mandate to set up a cold chain in this country. Biyani doesn't want the share of foods to rise over 30%. he is working on a new focus for Food Bazaar. That is what I need to give my consumers. including himself. but I don't think that is necessary. He has a simple explanation: in India. apparel and non-food segments offer margins of 2530%. Incredibly. The company is also adding spice grinders and atta chakkis (flour mills). Says Biyani: "It is obvious to everyone that what Indians prize most in their food is freshness. and food doesn't offer adequate margins." . "I am going to change the face of food retailing in India. "I am going to change the face of food retailing in India. We make our own paneer and pasteurise milk.000 litres a day." Or take Food Bazaar. But I wonder. why cannot I have a farm next to my store? Managers always complicate things. And one of the first insights the team had was that all neighbourhood markets are the same . including himself.essentially. none of whom understood the hypermarket business. a plank to improve freshness in the products. If you look at the rival hypermarket format Giant from the RPG stable. food margins are just 12-14%. when Big Bazaar was conceptualised. the chief of business development: "The Ahmedabad Food Bazaar has a full-scale dairy set-up in place with a capacity to produce 1. Life is quite simple. Boasts Chheda. He calls it 'farm to plate' . Most retailers believe food is central to their retailing operations. Part of his success is the ability to paint on a blank canvas. Right now." promises Biyani." It's an example of how earthy entrepreneurs think differently. 50% of its revenues come from food. a plank to improve freshness in the products. a dry cleaner and a chemist. Boasts Chheda. The company is also adding spice grinders and atta chakkis (flour mills). cost of modern retailing is very high. B-schools teach you how to manage complexity. a dry cleaner and a chemist. the chief of business development: "The Ahmedabad Food Bazaar has a full-scale dairy set-up in place with a capacity to produce 1.each of them has a bania.

Known for his insights into Indian consumer behavior. leadership is all about thought leadership. leadership means. and Central Mall. who has often been called "the Sam Walton of India. a more upscale aggregation of merchandise. That is what I need to give my consumers. co-authored with Dipayan Baishya.000 copies. Central and the Great Indian Consumer. Food Bazaar supermarkets. Life is quite simple. but I don't think that is necessary. the Indian retail market and why he would never consider collaborating with Wal-Mart. which is original thought. not skills leadership. But I still could not find an answer to what. There are two types of leadership. He offers some glimpses into what makes him tick in his recent biography titled. both domestic and foreign." talked about leadership. believing in it and making things happen based on those thoughts. It Happened in India: The Story of Pantaloons. I have read many articles on leadership and met a couple of experts on that subject. But most managers take that as a mandate to set up a cold chain in this country. why cannot I have a farm next to my store? Managers always complicate things. Says Biyani: "It is obvious to everyone that what Indians prize most in their food is freshness. India Knowledge@Wharton: What does leadership mean to you? Biyani: In the last six months. a department store group. Big Bazaar. The second type is skills leadership. Biyani. The first is all about thought leadership. India Knowledge@Wharton: What part of leadership is inborn and what can be developed? Biyani:For me.Skills . Big Bazaar. Excerpts from the interview follow. which refers to doing things consistently and in your own style. replaced conventional wisdom with "guts and instincts" to create Future Group. But I wonder. Kishore Biyani. among other topics.It's an example of how earthy entrepreneurs think differently. B-schools teach you how to manage complexity. exactly. India's retail czar. In an interview with India Knowledge@Wharton. the company's name for hypermarkets. Biyani also represents an enigma to the country's emerging retail players. The book has sold some 100. more than any other business book published in India so far. a $1 billion company that includes Pantaloon Retail. It is the MBA culture." Interview Born into a small trading family.

things change. Secondly. creating some kind of paradigm shift by looking at the world or anything in a different way. The environment around you keeps changing and you must keep creating new lenses to look at things. I believe everybody is a victim of systemic thinking and has their own mental syntax. What are your thoughts on this? Biyani: Our measurement of effectiveness is a capitalistic approach based largely on how successful leaders are in terms of balance sheet performance. Business schools work on creating efficiencies. That is a very difficult thing to do as we have our own mental maps. India Knowledge@Wharton: How have you developed leadership in your organization? . We are not trained to change mental models. Leadership is all about making effective change. I am a businessman and entrepreneur. creating productivity and managing consistency. The whole problem is people believe that if they have achieved something they have reached Mount Everest and then leadership is over. Life is chaotic.leadership can be developed even after the age of 24 or 25. But it is a continuous process. your syntax of thinking will be in a particular direction. India Knowledge@Wharton: Leaders who are effective in one context may not be so in another. If you change that syntax. India Knowledge@Wharton: How do you define thought leadership? Biyani: Thought leadership is about building scenarios and making them happen. But we must also look at many other benchmarks. If you have a business school orientation. First things come first. One would have to change everything to look at things differently. so my syntax of thinking will be in a different direction. But life is not like that. and everything else is a reflection of where you started on that first thing. but thought leadership cannot be developed after a certain age. India Knowledge@Wharton: What is your biggest leadership challenge? Biyani: I guess the biggest leadership challenge is always how you handle conflicts. Business schools also have not been trained to do that. Very few leaders are consistent throughout. Each has a unique method of sequencing to arrive at answers. there is no end to growth in leadership.

India Knowledge@Wharton: In your book. We believe in destroying what we have created. If you look at nature. You say your father and uncles were "preservers" and you call yourself a "creator" and a "destroyer. You will find all the answers in nature. Love. everything is built on these principles. Nothing is constant here. We create segments. as I have said in the book. We follow the principles of nature. We don't have structures. One cannot go against the flow of nature. hate and all the other emotions are still the same. is to go with the flow. whoever has to create has to destroy. Everything gets destroyed to create something new. It is great to be a preserver. But for us. we have . Nothing is constant for us. anytime. Without destroying. Look at the seasons. We never do anything against the flow of nature. human beings have not changed over a period of so many years. We believe the structure has to be broken up to change. That is also the law of nature. the design has to be altered to change things." Biyani: Most people are trained to be preservers. India Knowledge@Wharton: Can you give an example of how that works? Biyani: We can chop and change anything we do. But we all complicate things. ideas will get destroyed and recreated. but we break it up and start looking at it through lenses that are very different. We run a seamless organization. One of the biggest principles we follow. India Knowledge@Wharton: How do you use these principles to build your business? Biyani: Everything. It is an amorphous organization that can be given any shape and any direction anytime. you have described three types of entrepreneurs. A design-driven organization has flexibility and maneuverability. And when you follow the principles of nature. It is a simple world. In our group. But unfortunately. business does not take any cues from nature. None of the business schools takes anything from nature. It is also a very design-driven organization. psychographics and other indices. we don't follow business principles. If you see our offices. you cannot create anything new.Biyani: We have developed a very different style of leadership. it is a non-hierarchical organization that works with people coming together to do things.

There has to be some fresh air blowing through our thought processes. or did you develop this attitude along the way? Biyani: It has evolved. Which of his principles did you find the most appealing? Do you think any of them could be applied in India? Biyani: I was struck by Sam Walton's theory that the retail business is driven either by efficient operations or by very good merchandising. Now when people see it has worked. when we used to do this. When the second thing was right. It is all about acceptance. India Knowledge@Wharton: Did you always believe in going with the flow. Then people started believing in us. they still did not believe in us. Operations can be gotten right anytime. Anybody can walk in. We have become a merchandising-driven organization rather than one that is operations-driven. you say you were inspired a lot by Sam Walton's biography. Made in America. India Knowledge@Wharton: What kind of challenges did you facewhen nobody accepted your thinking? Biyani: It was not a challenge. I strongly believed we needed to develop our own original thinking. we were called stupid. when the fourth thing was right. The first thing to do is to get your merchandising right. people did not believe in us.designed them in such a way that there are no locks in any of the rooms. Earlier. When we got one thing right. they did not believe in us. This country has a lot of talent. Now my thoughts are accepted. But we also have to benchmark ourselves against some international standards. or something like that. India is a unique country and we have to look at our problems in an original manner. everything could not have been a fluke. which is reflected in everything we do. We followed that principle and worked quite a lot on merchandising. All over you can see openness and transparency. but unfortunately we are borrowing everything from the West. All the rooms are transparent. India Knowledge@Wharton: In your book. When we also got the third thing right. they call me a maverick. It is okay. Finally. We can use the West as a reference point or an inspiration. Look at any . but we cannot ape it entirely. because they have to label me. people realized that if I got four out of four things right.

Biyani: This is a question I am asked at least three times a day. Nobody likes an extraordinarily large group. Wal-Mart has not really shown any signs of breaking up. We have a lot of challenges to face before becoming a consumer-driven society. We are an agrarian society where aspirations are not as high as in an industrialized nation or society. They want to perfect their operations on Day One. We don't know. Retailing is also about leading the group. leading the cheerleaders. it is all about passion.they are all operations-driven. India Knowledge@Wharton: What is happening in the retail environment? A number of companies. We are a huge economy now. with an annual growth rate of 10%. Wal-Mart is the only organization I have seen that has gone against the law of nature. how to view the management and the family as two separate entities and how to manage wealth. The market is big. you get cut down. India might be on the cusp of a change. having Saturday meetings. how to treat sons and daughters. That is one big difference between them and us. One of the major reasons they have survived is because they have treated the management and the family as two separate entities. which says that when you keep growing bigger and bigger. and bigger than [the gross domestic product of] many countries. It has broken one natural law. have announced their plans to get into the retail business in a big way. Reliance has been divided into two. Secondly. Walton's book also presents insights on how to manage the family. You cannot become bigger than a country! Then you are bound to get cut down. Biyani: It is not opposition. Wal-Mart is huge. But now we are seeing some signs of that. Walton created an unbelievable design. They want to have control. including Reliance. . We realized that retailing is always done with passion. It is not done with corporate imagery. India Knowledge@Wharton: Wal-Mart is now facing some opposition in India on a few fronts. a tipping point where a lot of things can happen.of the companies that are entering India -.

not in partnering with someone. There is nobody like WalMart. We observe people anywhere . But can the Indian economy be genetically changed into one that is spending-oriented? It is going to be a slow process. while we are at the airport we are watching people.something works. Partnerships should be of equals.With more and more players entering. It is like [the Hindi film industry] making 140 movies in a year -. you say you like to watch people shop. India Knowledge@Wharton: Many international retailers like Wal-Mart and Woolworths are entering India. there is no comparison. How often do you do that? Biyani: I do that every day. The trick is in doing something on your own. India Knowledge@Wharton: From where do you get your ideas? Biyani: Ideas come from everywhere. Kansa (representing evil) was warned that somebody would be born to destroy him! India Knowledge@Wharton: Have you considered collaborating with Wal-Mart? Biyani: Wal-Mart is too huge. Wal-Mart's revenue is more than the total consumption of India. Are you concerned that it will change the dynamic of the retail market in India? Biyani: I don't know whether it could be the other way around. In the Indian mythological epic Mahabharat. India Knowledge@Wharton: Wal-Mart is likely to prove a formidable competitor. We would always love Indian competition because the money remains in India. there are so many opportunities and that can be trying. More players coming in can create and increase demand. They can be change agents who bring a consumption-driven economy into the country. something doesn't. How do you plan to handle the competition? Biyani: Competition is competition is competition. from observations. India Knowledge@Wharton: In your book. So. Everybody is coming in with their own agendas. and then at the stores and the malls. It is good to have an Indian company as competition rather than international competition. In India. Wal-Mart is a phenomenon unique to this era. we will come to have the answers a little sooner. We are trained to do that.

India Knowledge@Wharton: You have about 22 different retailing formats in your organization. If it is a gloomy day. We correct some of them. That is not the case in Punjab or West Bengal. I know sales will drop so much. first show. but the consumer tells us everything else. I can forecast what the sales will be. We launch it and the consumer tells us whether it will work or not. It is like a movie. Mondays behave one way.and everywhere. Mela. Tuesdays another. though it continues in some form. India Knowledge@Wharton: What have you learned about forecasting consumer behavior? Biyani: India is such a diverse country. We thought we did not have the competency for that. sales will be up. We get a feel for it while we are launching it. It is for you to notice and pick up what they are saying. Within one month we decided that Mela (a small chain of home furnishing stores) was not working. Every catchment area is different. If the day is a little darker. How do you evaluate whether a format is working or not? We come to know within one month of launching a new format. India Knowledge@Wharton: In your book. We have a lot of data and research to support us and tell us how things move. We got quite a few things wrong there. Every location is different. For example. you point out that consumers in various parts of the country have their own peculiar styles of consumption. India Knowledge@Wharton: It does take a lot of time and investment to make a movie! Biyani: Until now. Consumers react very differently in different places. we must have developed about 24 to 25 different formats. We changed its content. Some have to be destroyed. If it is a brighter day. Could you tell us more about the different patterns of consumption in the . both at the broader level and the consumer-entry level. Fashion Station (discounted private-label fashion merchandise) got everything right but still it did not work. I think we have destroyed one. We are now destroying Fashion Station slowly and steadily. the consumers tell you whether they like you or hate you. First day. consumers in Gujarat buy their staples at one time for the whole year.

less than $1 million at the time). so there was the thrill of [doing that]. I have read somewhere that once you dream big and think big. India Knowledge@Wharton: As you grow bigger. We were the first retail company to go public. But we track the changes as and when they happen. People in Gujarat buy their staples in bulk. We experiment and do everything on our own. you realize that there are other issues involved. you should share your gains with the public. do you think the cost of failure gets higher and higher? Biyani: It all depends on how you design your organization. It might take another three to four generations for a person to change himself culturally. at the time Pantaloon Retail went public (1992). for the full year. at one time. we have not changed genetically. The north Indian still remains a wheat eater and the south Indian is still a rice eater. very small (Rs.25 crore. We have a very low cost of innovation. We would achieve that amount within 10 minutes of business now. But how do you actually measure success? I don't know whether we are successful or not. We never thought we would become this big. Basically. We do not hire consultants. The classical mode for going public today is very different.country? Biyani: Everybody has their own way of looking at things. We have just restructured our organization.say. India Knowledge@Wharton: Tell us about the challenges you faced in the process of building up your enterprise -. We run the largest design company and are very fast in our approach. it was always the sense of creating something new. for example. 2. We don't do research. So we went public. That is evolution for us. We have gone through our pains. . because it ensures a consistent quality of products for them. The size of our public equity offering was very. and created an innovation and incubation group which works only on developing new concepts. for a wheat eater to become a rice eater. Once you go public. Biyani: For us.

they are not. but it is not as complicated as it is being made out to be. The consumers tell you that you have done something right when they keep coming again and again into your shop. But I have not seen a single retailer who is so perfect that he can readeverybody's mindand get everything about his products right. India Knowledge@Wharton: As you have grown in size. but we do not want to lose the guts and instincts that have gotten us here. the supply chain is all about forecasting a demand for a particular product and ensuring that it is available. There is no rocket science to it. how have your organizational systems kept pace with the growth? Biyani: We have faced quite a lot of challenges here. what would be their impact on society. we have to bring in systems and processes. is success? Biyani: Success is when people start following you or start believing in your thoughts. according to you. We are able to record it now and will be able to simulate an environment to find out that if so many things happen together. Ultimately. As a big organization. guts and instincts. If you ask us whether our systems are very strong. and whatever you do is accepted. we know whether a particular product will work or not. We are tracking various trends around the world. New issues surface all the time. one of the biggest challenges is how the supply chain responds to changes in market demands. India Knowledge@Wharton: In a retail organization. The challenge is to create a balance between systems. they quite often find it hard to avoid situations of either oversupply or insufficient stock. How do you tackle these issues? Biyani: This issue is always going to be around. That will take a while. economic influences and political influences. and what businesses and communication strategies could evolve around them. and different events or happenings that could have widespread cultural influences. The supply chain concept has become the subject of much study. Nobody can predict human behavior. . As organizations grow bigger. Everybody talks about supply chains. We are now looking at some technology that can complement our guts and instincts.India Knowledge@Wharton: What. but I think the bigger issue is forecasting. processing. As we are so consumer-centric.

We are optimistic but we are pessimistically optimistic. We are trained to be only marketing agents. opening stores all over the country. When the Wharton School comes to us and conducts some study or writes an article. but that is not going to stop us. I believe that after every level you climb. whether we are accepted or not. India Knowledge@Wharton: Would you consider starting a retail chain internationally? Biyani: Never. We train our people accordingly. . or designed. It is a very difficult question. Both words are used to confuse people! India Knowledge@Wharton: Your Future Group is growing rapidly. You cannot factor each and every thing in life. We can only survive in chaotic environments. I have a different philosophy. We cannot deal in major markets. We cannot survive in cleaner environments. Secondly. But ultimately your guts or instincts. India Knowledge@Wharton: How are the capital markets and investors responding to retail stocks? Biyani: There is an acceptance of retail stocks. things change. to be happy in various situations. together with some research and data. and retail is going to be a high-growth business. Things are changing so much that your guess would be as good as mine. we always take the next step. From each new height. we are happy. and then another journey begins. It is the permutation and combination of many small. small moments of happiness that get triggered into a larger happiness. People believe that we are getting into a consumerist mode. very difficult job. You can get into any analytical mode. We might fail. guide you.Forecasting is a very. you start seeing things very differently. India Knowledge@Wharton: Do you have any predictions on how the Indian business environment will shape up? Biyani: That is a closely guarded secret. we are happy in the moment. It is all a journey. Are you happy with the group's progress so far? Biyani: The human being is trained. When things go right.

t socialise. But to understand how Tirupati is changing. starting something on your own? How did it all lead to retailing? I completed my post graduate degree in marketing in 1983 and did not join the family business. Why did you not join the family business? Were you clear in your mind that you want to be in textiles/garmenting business? No. I think work is all about complications. so I am home before 9:00 p. I faced huge labor problems and the factory closed down and we were into debt we had to pay the debt. hyper-marketing in 2001 and then into property funds. How do you manage time? I don. a department store in 1997. If it was not the retailing business that you are in.m. Though I must tell you that I go to Tirupati every three years. I don¶t go to temples but I would not displease my family if they tell me to come to the temple occasionally. I was clear that I wanted to do something different. I also became an atheist as I grew up. We had a plot of land in Tarapur so I started a factory. Tirupati represents a large section of society.person who is managing a lot is busier. I rather extend the family business by getting into fabrics to supply to the garment industry. They are 100% aware of this. which manufactured yarns to make fancy fabrics. We did a lot of things on the way ± franchise retailing. multilevel marketing. . I am always there when my family members need me. Now we believe we are firmly in the consumer space.. what business would you have been in? I would have been in some creative business. I was called the black sheep of the family. Unless you make mistakes you would not have learnt so much. What are your weaknesses? Many! One of my biggest weaknesses that I was able to overcome only 2-3 years ago was my inability to say no. job. my views were contrary to the popular view. you must be a really busy person. How do you manage your time between work and home? With so many things happening. It represents how a typical Indian really is and behaves. Once I look back I feel I want to do something where one can create and make a difference to a lot of people. one you¶d like to correct? I don¶t think I would like to correct my mistakes. When I started in my yarn business. Work does not require so much time. What is your biggest mistake. I believe that if you don¶t go through the process of mistakes you would not evolve. Then over time we evolved from a garment manufacturer to a brand to a multi-format retail player. I was not a conventional thinker and I questioned tradition. family business. You create problems and you solve them and you get busy. Something that touches the masses and that can influence a lot of people. We were into textile trading at that point in time. Many times.Tell us about your initial days and the choices you made . I think its all in the mind when you say that . So one has to go through the process of making mistakes. Doing a job did not occur to me.

I think I will be at the highest level to break down. Stephen Covey among others. everything. The Alchemist talks about something that is very interesting. I have read a number of books. and they do not know how to enter and exit. you will always get an omen in your life. Somebody will break down at 25m. On self improvement I have done a lot of reading. But competition will make you more efficient? It¶s not the question of efficiency. will you sell? I don¶t know to be very honest. Anthony Robbins. Yes any competition will make you more efficient but that is not the only way of becoming efficient. If Wal-Mart offers to buy. Otherwise it does not matter. Earlier I was a reactive person. If you look at everybody¶s life journey or career there would be enough omens which have come into everybody¶s life I don¶t regret any omen which I have missed. I believe that competition is always worrisome when the opponent is psychologically very strong. Tintin. that¶s what I call opportunities . I have become very proactive in the past 3-4 years. its all about what passion you have in life and what you want to do.it¶s for you to reason. You have to design your organization accordingly. to learn and to leave a legacy. Every information has a message. It¶s not about money. a 300% premium. Competition does not have any color. There is a theory which says that everyone has a price in this world. I need to have something where I can deploy money or make my knowledge more effective or more useful. I can¶t spend a whole day without doing anything. Efficiency is within you. Which books do you read? In the early stages of my life. whether I . I am living well. I am reading a book Fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid.Are you worried about MNC competition? Are you worried more about MNC or Indian competitors? We are worried about any competition. MNC or anything else. You should keep on improving. Any social economic trends which will impact us in a far reaching way. In English ± I was into fiction as well as comics. How do you handle the information overload? We like to read the trends. Somebody will capitulate at a million. Foreigners can be psychologically more vulnerable. Design was the last subject that I read . How do you define success? To live well. I used to react to every information. Design management. I am currently reading The Argumentative Indian.Archies. it got a different meaning. I must have read every comic in the world . I am learning a lot. whether its Indian or foreign. Over the past few years. I have read The Alchemist a number of times. So there is no information overload. Over time. I pick up a subject every year and finish it off in that year. at say. somebody at 50m. Because they are in a different territory. I read the book The Alchemist twice and thrice and every time I read. I used to read a lot of Hindi literature (eg Harishankar Parsai).

. The solution typically lies in the diagnoses of the problem. what is the reason? And if you come up with the right reason you will be able to find the problem also. if someone tells me he is not happy or he expects something more. I have transformed myself totally when I came up with a theory which I worked upon myself. Out of every ten thoughts that comes to a human being. I remember 5 years ago.let us see. I have to analyze why he is asking for it. For example. and in terms of categories broadly we work on numbers-on-a-matrix structure for evolution of businesses. First we used to stretch the targets a lot but . There is something definitely behind it. How does the organizational planning process work? Now it¶s a top-down. Other than that. But now the line managers make plans which are prepared on store level and all of us agree to it. The biggest idea which we hit upon at Big Bazaar was the exchange mela and the idea came from the Bangalore office. We have a very open system of sharing ideas and we believe in the theory of bottom up and top down.we thought of making 26 January the biggest day in our organisation and every year we celebrate it as .Big Bazaar day. I was able to convert nine out of every 10 thoughts to positivity. Similarly . We work on a three-year numbers-on square foots in terms of top line. The forecast / planning period is one-year broken down into 52 weeks. The rational side and the creative. We are looking at Rs260m of business on a single day. . Our accuracy levels on category Forecasts are reaching very high levels of 90-92%. If he has joined me and is not performing it¶s my mistake. How frequently do you refine your plans and targets? We don¶t refine our yearly plan at all. It¶s a big process now and it takes nearly a month+ to come to numbers and it still continues for the next month of operations. I don¶t think that¶s a problem.right and left. And that is why it works. How do you promote innovation? We are training people to use both sides of the brain .leave a legacy or not . How do you manage employee aspirations? What are the challenges in attracting quality employees and the motivating them to live up to the energy that you have? I had to change myself a lot to do something like this. Once you are able to convert all your thoughts into positive thoughts its Nirvana. Making them empowered and making them Understand. bottom-up approach. That¶s a scientifically recorded fact. I believe that every human being has something in him. We are training people to think a different way I believe everybody is innovative in our office. Similarly such ideas keep coming and keep getting implemented. What do you attribute this high rate of success/forecasts to? I think its all about people. We don¶t work on long-term plans. I used to be the key driver for the top down/ bottomup planning. Otherwise. eight are negative. Is he being influenced by his family or peer group. Even the planning process is that way.Big day idea.

owning. things are very different .once you start .

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