Early life and education
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. In 1960, John Bissell founded Fabindia, a company that connected rural craftsmen, weavers and artists from across India to urban markets.
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. In 1993, Bissell returned to New Delhi to help John run Fabindia.
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.
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.