William Nanda Bissell

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William Nanda Bissell
Born (1966-06-10) 10 June 1966 (age 55)
New Delhi, India
Known forManaging Director of Fabindia
Notable work
Making India Work (Penguin India, 2009)

William Nanda Bissell (born 10 June 1966) an Indian businessman and the chairman of Fabindia. Until 2018, Bissell served as the managing director of the company.[1][2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Bissell was born to Bimla Nanda, a Punjabi, and John Bissell, an American from Connecticut, who came to India in the 1950s as part of a programme by Ford Foundation to work with rural craftsmen and develop artisanal clusters in a newly independent nation.[4] In 1960, John Bissell founded Fabindia, a company that connected rural craftsmen, weavers and artists from across India to urban markets.[5]

Bissell grew up in Delhi and later attended Wesleyan University in the United States. After graduating in 1988, Bissell set up an artisans' co-operative based on the Gandhian model, which involved working with "untouchable" leather workers in Rajasthan.[6] In 1993, Bissell returned to New Delhi to help John run Fabindia.


Bissell acquired Organic India.[7][8] He has also served as a trustee of Centre for Science and Environment in Delhi.[9]

In 2009, he authored Making India Work, published by Penguin India, in which he drew from the experience of working with over 40,000 rural craftspeople in India and addressed India's economical and socio-political challenges.[10]


Bissell is an angel investor and has made numerous investments across sectors, some of which include, the publishing platform Juggernaut Books, Wow! Momo, educational and school software startup Foradian.[11][12][13]


  1. "William Bissell: How Fabindia's William Bissell is changing the rulebook of business - The Economic Times". 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  2. Mathews, Prince (2012-10-08). "William Bissell: Turning Fabindia's Artisans to Company Owners". Forbes India. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  3. "William Bissell | BoF 500 | The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry". Businessoffashion.com. 2015-09-07. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  4. "We empowered Fabindia family in 50th year: William Bissell | And More ... News". Zeenews.india.com. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  5. By KENNETH N. GILPINMARCH 3, 1998 (1998-03-03). "John L. Bissell, 66, Entrepreneur In Handloomed Textiles in India - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  6. "Fabindia: Empowering rural weavers and bringing ethnic experience to consumers - Cover Story News - Issue Date: Aug 21, 2017". Indiatoday.in. 2017-08-21. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  7. "William Bissell | World Economic Forum". Weforum.org. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  8. Thomas, Prince. "William Bissell's War Against Junk Food | Forbes India Blog". Forbesindia.com. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  9. OCT. 22, 2000 (2000-10-22). "WEDDINGS; Anjali Kapoor, William Bissell - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  10. Books. "Making India Work - Penguin India". Penguin.co.in. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  11. Vidhi Choudhary. "Bharti Airtel buys stake in Juggernaut Books". Livemint.com. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  12. "Fabindia MD invests Rs 3 crore in Wow! Momo - The Economic Times". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  13. Thomas, Prince. "Fabindia's William Bissell is turning more of an angel investor | Forbes India Blog". Forbesindia.com. Retrieved 2019-03-17.