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