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Heritage Retailers of Calcutta

Author Name: Ashish J. Sanyal | Format: Hardcover | Genre : Business, Investing & Management | Other Details

The story of retail is the story of a city. Retailers follow demand, as did the young entrepreneurs who set up their shops around Calcutta’s centers of power and commerce in the 19th and early 20th century.

The 36 shops whose stories are presented in this book are a testament to survival. They have persisted through the British colonial period, post independence, liberalisation of the 90’s and now the growing emergence of e-retail.

Shutting shop has never been an option for these family businesses. As one of the owners said “You do not break what you did not make,” an honorable sentiment which may well explain their longevity.

This legacy will be helpful to the 2nd and 3rd generation family members facing stiff competition from modern day malls and e-retail. But I have confidence they will stay the course by adapting and changing to new circumstances as their forefathers did to build great businesses.


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Ashish J. Sanyal

Ashish Sanyal has been in the retail industry for the last thirty two years and learnt his retailing in the heat and dust of the shop floor. He has an MBA from IMI New Delhi and has recently published a book on Mumbai—Heritage Retailers of Bombay.

Avneesh George Vincent recently graduated from St. Xavier’s College (Kolkata), with a BSc. degree in Mass Communication and Videography. Besides freelancing as a cinematographer and sound designer as well as working on non-fiction, he has been an intern reporter at ‘The Statesman’, covering various events ranging from political, natural disaster, sports and so forth.

Priya Singhdeo is a communication designer from the Srishti Institute of Design and Technology, Bengaluru. She practices both print and digital design and works in the areas of brand identity design, publication design, packaging design and illustration.

Deepa Sanyal works as an editor for an international academic publishing company. She is also a Master Gardner and helps people create beautiful and sustainable spaces with native and wildlife friendly plants.