Long before Jeff Bezos thought of reaching masses to deliver and diversify Amazon Kindle, an entrepreneur in the heart of the city was the only man to do the honour. Tarun Kumar Shaw, a passionate bibliophile has been running a one of a kind personal book home delivery service in Kolkata for over three decades. Shaw’s family has always been related to books and lived amidst them. His father, Gopal Lal Shaw was an important man at Dey and Brothers which used to be the book range of the New Market. Ever since his father wound up his tenure, Shaw decided to personally deliver books to his clients. Over all these years, he is now a familiar face in leading media houses, libraries of academic institutions, corporate offices and the Bengali cluttered headspace.
“It was to reach out to the diehard readers and old clients when my father decided to toy with the idea of door-to-door bookselling service,” Shaw recounts. The Shaw family were expert businessmen and by the time Amazon or Flipkart reached Kolkata, Tarun Da already had an upper hand. With his honesty and passion, the delivery service continued to flourish and Shaw came in contact with legendary editors like MJ Akbar and Vir Sanghvi. They were generous and highly appreciative of Tarun’s work ideals and introduced him to much respectable clients and families, which in turn helped to expand the business. Shaw has now established a concrete relationship with the ABP group, TOI and other leading media houses who even call him in the dead of night to request for a rare title or a special Thesaurus. Thanks to his connections with editors and publishers across the world, Shaw can even get overseas journals and books that are not available in India easily enough when requested. “I will never say no to any person desiring a book, even if I am asked in odd hours or under stressful circumstances,” Shaw said.