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How Kishore Biyani's maverick moves pushed him to breaking point

The pioneer of India’s modern retail built an empire but created little value for shareholders 

Kishore Biyani, or KB, had taken a “pilgrimage” in 2000. It was actually a visit to Saravana Stores, on a thickly crowded Chennai street. Families spend hours in that five-storey shop, jostling each other, to buy everything from utensils and clothing to jewellery and gadgets. KB wanted that. That urgency of customers, that push-and-shove of demand and that clamour for everything; they thrilled him, he told Outlook Business, for the Secret Diary edition in 2018. It is a rush he has continued to chase, only to bring himself to the brink of losing control of his business time and again.