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The story of Mr. Hiten Turakhia of librarywala.com

August 26, 2009

All of us are passionate about something in our life! Whether we are aware of it or not, it is true. One can be ardent about anything – writing, painting, bird watching, photography, music, cooking, being with children, books… the list is endless. It is something which makes us happy and complete. But to be content with your zeal one has to look at it in a broader perspective of unbridled creation, exploration, and dedication to further our knowledge and understanding of that which we hold dear. The problem is that we tend to relegate these things to the category of “hobbies” which diminishes their worth and the value they hold in our lives.

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The story of Mr. Hiten Turakhia, who actually turned his passion into living means, could be apt to narrate  here. Since his college days, Hiten Turakhia use to spend his maximum time in bookshops, devouring books. He did not let his passion wither even as he got himself a post graduate degree in foreign trade. Instead he translated it into an online book rental venture and his friends Hiten Dedhia, Dhairyasheel Pawar, and Shibanaryan Rath, who were equally mad about books, joined him in launching www.librarywala.com.

Inspired by an US-based online DVD sites, Turakhia figured that online video rental sites like Madhouse and Seventymm had successfully replicated the model in the domestic markets. So the next best thing was to take books online. Before starting out, Turakhia along with his friends did a thorough research on the viability of an online book lending service. They stood outside libraries, book-shops, and even nursery schools to get feedback from people on their business idea. Initially, people were showing hesitance as they wondered if the books ordered online will be delivered at home. Few even had said that they didn’t trust the online portals with their money.

Librarywala.com was launched in August 2007 in Mumbai with an inventory of about 8,000 books. After two years, the company has spread its wings to cities like Bangalore and Pune too. The library size has now swelled up to 12,700 books in Mumbai and almost 9,000 book titles in Bangalore. The young entrepreneurs have also tied up with publishers and distributors to enhance their literary stocks.

As you can see things were not really easy for him. Soon after launching, Mr. Turakhia was confronted with his first challenge. The company tried to strike a tie up with courier companies to deliver the books but it did not turned out to be a feasible option as each book is different in size and weight resulting in variable pricing.  So the next option that they came up with was having an in-house delivery system. In Mumbai, they have hired 14 people to build the delivery network and in Bangalore also they are planning to have similar kind of delivery system.

Mr. Turakhia, who has seen the subscriptions for his site touch 5,700 has roped in 15 corporate clients, and has taken all efforts to make sure that they don’t end up with books that don’t get rented out.  For this, they tried to understand the users demand and check their reading preferences. For instance, for the kids section they have approached nursery schools and asked mothers what kind of books they would like them to have on their list. The company now plans to add few more categories like regional books, audio books for senior citizens who cannot read any more as well as for the visually impaired. They are also tying up with non-government organizations. They dream to enter 20 cities in the next two years. Keeping everything apart, the best part is that they still get to read all the books!

This is how one lives his passion. One has to just do what one wants to do or rather one loves to do then everything falls in place! And who knows, one might also be fortunate enough to be able to make one’s living sharing their craft, their knowledge, their game, their skill, etc. with the world as Mr. Turakhia does!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2009 9:14 pm

    It will be great if we can see more cases of people who have retired and living their dream…

  2. Mihir permalink
    August 26, 2009 9:38 pm

    Can we have some info about other well know Entrepreneurs as well? Sunil Mittals story would be awesome!

  3. nika permalink
    August 26, 2009 11:46 pm

    Inspiring, indeed!

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