A bookshop in a niche – Bhau Stores
Management case studies abound with niche products and niche marketing. Chapters are devoted to identifying and fulfilling such requirements of the consumer that then becomes a business strategy.
Babusha Shankar Dicholkar started a small stationery store – Bhau Stores – in 1952 at the Municipal Market building. He was not an alumni of any fancy Biz school, but his innate business experience told him that there was a requirement for religious and allied books. Heeding his gut feel, in 1972 he converted his stationery store into a place that stocked religious and mythology books in Marathi and Hindi.
The repertoire of Bhau Stores expanded with a stock of books on Bhajans, Bhavgeet and Natyasangeet with notations and lyrics. Also added were books related to astrology in Marathi and Hindi. Song books of old Hindi and Marathi films and Marathi drama script books came next. The all important “Panchang” and calendars in various Indian languages were also made available. The store now also stocks religious posters, stickers and children’s story books in Hindi, Marathi and English.
Other bookshops that were dealing in such books have all shut down or discontinued such books but Bhau Stores has chugged on and is now probably the only specialised store of its kind in Goa. This small store, therefore, boasts of a clientele from as far away as Sawantwadi in the North and Karwar in the South.
With the demise of Babusha Dicholkar in 1991 this niche bookstore was managed by his sons. Subash Dicholkar – the elder son – on retirement from the ESI department took over the full time management of the bookstore with part-time assistance of his younger brother Praful.
The store has over 10,000 books in its collection and Subash aims to continue fulfilling this niche requirement of such books.
It is stores such as these that retain the quaint and traditional character of the town.
If you wish to go back in time or shop for the lyrics of old Hindi or Marathi song head straight to Bhau Stores, at the side entrance to Municipal Market in the road opposite HDFC Bank leading from Swatantra Path to F. L. Gomes Road.