The Failure Story of India’s Biggest Retail Chain “The Big Bazaar”

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  • Early Life and Education: Kishore Biyani was born on August 9, 1961, in Mumbai, India. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from HR College, Mumbai.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: From a young age, Biyani displayed an entrepreneurial spirit. He started his first business venture at the age of 19 by launching a small textile mill.
  • Foundation of the Future Group: In 1987, Kishore Biyani founded the Future Group, which initially started as a textile manufacturing company called Manz Wear Private Ltd. The group gradually expanded into various other sectors, including retail.
  • Retail Ventures: Under Biyani’s leadership, the Future Group ventured into modern retail with the establishment of Pantaloon Retail (India) limited in 1997. This marked the beginning of the group’s significant presence in the retail industry.
  • Innovative Retail Concepts: Kishore Biyani is known for introducing innovative retail concepts in India. He played a pivotal role in popularizing formats like hypermarkets (Big Bazaar), department stores (Central), and specialty retail chains (Brand Factory, FBB) in the country.
  • Private Label Brands: Biyani was instrumental in the development of private label brands within the Future Group. These brands offered consumers a range of products at competitive prices and contributed significantly to the group’s success.
  • Vision for Retail: Kishore Biyani is known for his keen understanding of consumer behaviour and trends. He emphasized the importance of understanding the diverse Indian consumer market and tailoring retail offerings accordingly.
  • Challenges and Controversies: While Biyani achieved considerable success in the retail industry, he also faced challenges and controversies. These included issues related to debt, business strategies, and legal disputes.

Authorship: Kishore Biyani has authored several books, sharing his insights and experiences in the retail industry. Some of his notable books include “It  Happened in India” and “The Tatas: How a Family Built a Business and a Nation.”

wImpact on Indian Retail: Kishore Biyani’s contributions to the Indian retail sector have been substantial. He played a key role in shaping the landscape of  wmodern retail in India and making it more accessible to a broader section of the population.       

The Journey started

Biyani began his career journey selling stone-washed denim fabrics in Mumbai in the 1980s. He later entered the retail business as Erstwyle Manz Ware, later renamed Pantaloons. Future Group came into existence in 1987. In 2001, the first ‘supermarket store’ in India was opened, within 6 years, and 100 stores across India ‘Future Group’ started spreading wings to other areas and in 2007, Future Capital launched Future General Insurance . He opened his first departmental store became Kolkata, after renting and changing the location into a 10,000 square toes shop, which become twice the scale of any store in Kolkata again then. Within the next 22 days, he opened extra than 2 greater stores in the town, and inside a year, Biyani correctly opened over 50 stores all throughout the us of a. Big Bazaar started out spreading across the U.S.A., and with the nice and cozy reception that the brand has visible, Biyani’s Big Bazaar shops passed the a hundred-mark by 2009.

The Growth Story

Being one of the oldest and largest malls, Big Bazaar ached for a wide range of quality products at affordable prices It was established in 2001 when the popularity of Big Bazaar catapulted in 2010, these outlets also claimed to have served 2 million customers per week  has also been mentioned.


1) RELIANCE FRESH: Reliance Fresh is the ease save layout which paperwork part of the retail commercial enterprise of of Reliance Industries of India that is headed by means of Mukesh Ambani. Reliance plans to put money into excess of Rs 25000 crores inside the subsequent four years in their retail division. The organisation already has in excess of 560 reliance fresh stores throughout the united states. These stores promote sparkling end result and vegetables, staples, groceries, sparkling juice bars and dairy merchandise. A normal Reliance Fresh shop is approximately 3000-4000 rectangular. Toes and caters to a catchment place of one-2 km. Reliance Fresh, Reliance Mart, Reliance Digital, Reliance Trendz, Reliance Footprint, Reliance Wellness, Reliance Jewels, Reliance Timeout and Reliance Super are diverse formats that Reliance has rolled out.

2)SPENCER’S RETAIL: Spencer’s Retail is one of India’s fastest developing retail stores. It has a couple of codecs for retailing meals, garb, style, electronics, way of life products, music and books. It is owned by using the RPG Group, a first-rate enterprise residence. Established in 1996, Spencer’s is one of the popular destination for buyers in India with supermarkets, hypermarkets and dailies unfold throughout India.

3)SUBHIKSHA : Subhiksha is an Indian retail chain with greater than 1400 retailers promoting groceries, fruits, greens, drugs and cellular phones. It turned into began and is managed by means of R Subramaniam, an IIM Ahmedabad alumni. Subhiksha plans to open 1000 shops by way of December 2008.[1] He additionally plans to invest Rs.500 crore to boom the range of outlets to 2000 throughout the U.S.A. by  2009. The name Subhiksha approach prosperity in Sanskrit. It opened its first shop in Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai in March, 1997 with an investment of about Rs. Five lakhs. The retail chain has visible a considerable growth by selling product in a cheaper rate to Indian consumers.

4)Trent (Westside) : Trent is the retail arm of the Tata group. Started in 1998, Trent operates Westside, one of the many growing retail chains in India. The foresight of the Tata group, which invested in retail relatively early is paying high dividends as retail is one of the booming sectors in India. The company has a turnover of Rs. 357.6 crores (FY 2005-2006) and currently operates 22 stores in the major metros and mini metros of India. An international shopping experience, a perception of values, and offering the latest styles, has created a loyal following for Westside’s own brand of merchandise.Westside operates stores in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat, Vadodara, Indore, Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Mysore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Nagpur.

5)Bharti Walmart Private Limited is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises, one of India’s leading business groups with interests in telecom, agri-business, insurance and retail, and Walmart, the world’s leading retailer, renowned for its efficiency and expertise in logistics, supply chain management and sourcing. The joint venture is establishing wholesale cash-and-carry stores and back-end supply chain management operations in line with Government of India guidelines. Under the agreement, Bharti and Walmart hold 50:50 stakes in Bharti Walmart Private Limited.The first Wholesale Cash-and-carry facility named “Best Price Modern Wholesale” Opened in Amritsar in May 2009 and subsequently in Zirakpur (Near Chandigarh), Jalandhar, Kota, Bhopal, Ludhiana, Raipur, Indore, Vijaywada, Meerut, Agra, Lucknow, Jammu, Guntur, Aurangabad ,Bathinda, Amravati ,Hyderabad and Rajahmundry.

The Down Turn

The recession of 2008 and some wrong decisions affected the future team. With Future Retail, Future Group’s debt burden grew, forcing Kishore Biyani to acquire its assets several times. He sold a majority stake in Pantaloons to the Aditya Birla Group in 2012. As a result, Future Capital Holdings also had to sell a majority stake to US private equity Warburg Pincus This process did not stop here, Biyani sold a 49 percent stake in Future Coupons to Amazon. This no doubt helped Biani reduce his expenses to some extent, but this decision proved to be a mountain of trouble for him.

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Future Group’s financial woes worsened in early 2020 when Future Retail defaulted on debt and lenders discussed a share offering. Covid lockdowns have added nails to the coffin.

Ashram said he would be Biani’s savior. And after months of talks, Reliance Industries Ltd has decided to buy Future Group’s assets for Rs 24,713 crore. Future Retail Ltd had earlier agreed to merge its 19 businesses with Reliance Retail. However, even after Future Group’s assets came to Reliance, it was managed by Kishore Biyani. At the same time, a deal between Amazon and Kishore Biyani came up, and the deal with Reliance ran into trouble.

Several of the group’s stores were closed. Many shops went to Reliance Industries Limited. Meanwhile, Bank of India filed an application with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to initiate insolvency proceedings against Future Retail, which was accepted by the NCLT.

But American e-commerce giant Amazon was reluctant to declare Future Retail bankrupt. Amazon’s petition to the NCLT to stop the billing, which would now ‘violate’ Future Retail’s right to initiate bankruptcy proceedings, has been unsuccessful.

In 2019, Amazon bought a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons, a company called Future Group.The deal h         was been completed for Rs 1,431 crore and Future Coupons holds a 9.8 per cent stake in Future Retail. Additionally, it was agreed in the 2019 agreement that Amazon would   purchase shares of Future Retail over the next 3-10 years. In such a case, when Biyani signed a contract with Reliance, Amazon embroiled him in a legal battle. Seeing this too, Reliance left the process.


The following reasons may be the factor for failure of BIGBAZZAR

  • Uncontrolled expansion of the formats
  •  Heavy investment on the formats like Easy day, heritage etc.
  • Marketing cost was high, do you remmber IPL, Femina Miss India, all such activity cost a lot.
  • Big Bazaar, Easy Day, FBB all formats were spending to much in customer loyalty program.
  • Big Bazaar customer loyalty program like Big Bazaar Profit club card, Future pay cash back werethe big investment. None other than Future Group spend so much on customer loyalty program.
  • And the experiments with its own brands or provate label was also not successful.

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