Last week while on my way to office, my cab stopped at a traffic signal. A small kid came to me waving a copy of the Harvard Business Review (HBR). I asked him "kitne ka hai?" (how much is it for?) He replied "pachas rupiya" (fifty rupees).
I realised it was pirated, but it was a steal at fifty bucks, given that the original costs Rs 750. Before I could decide whether to buy it or not the signal changed, and I had to hand over the copy back to the kid.
All kinds of pirated books are available at Mumbai traffic signals. But this was the first time I saw a pirated HBR. A few years back, Dhirbubhai Ambani's biography The Polyester Prince, written by Australian journalist Hamish McDonald, and which has never been available in India, became a traffic signal bestseller. Gregory David Roberts the author of Shantaram commented in an interaction that his book sold thrice as much at traffic signals than through normal distribution channels.
Full report here Economic Times