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India's father of modern retail bows out with Future-Reliance sale

Kishore Biyani's relentless push for scale costs him his business empire

Kishore Biyani had hoped to turn his Future Group into Asia's largest retailer by 2047. (Photo by Shiho Miyajima)

TOKYO -- Credited as the father of modern Indian retail, Kishore Biyani found success embracing the idea of big-box stores in a market dominated small, family-owned stores. But his aggressive expansion drive ultimately cost the maverick billionaire the crown jewel of his Future Group business empire.

With nearly 130 billion rupees in debt from opening new stores, combined with the coronavirus' blow to earnings, Future Group, the nation's second-largest retailer, signed an agreement in August to sell its retail, wholesale and logistics operations to top-ranked Reliance for 247.1 billion rupees. 

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