Shonee Mirchandani, co-owner of Bookazine, Discovery Bay in DB North Plaza, talks shop
Tell us something about your business.
Bookazine is a family-run business started by my parents, Mohan and Nisha, 30 years ago. Initially it was something for my mum to do as a hobby; now there are eight stores across Hong Kong. I started working at Bookazine in 2002 and took over running the business with my sister, Arti, when my father passed away in 2003. We opened Bookazine, Discovery Bay in DB North Plaza in September, 2014.
What’s the secret of your success?
We try to go out of our way for our customers, and we help authors get established and suppliers grow their businesses. We also try to be flexible with the wonderful team of people who work with us.
Do you have a funny, on-the-job moment to share?
We often have customers who ask us things like: “Do you have that book? I can’t remember the name, but it has a green cover.” The funny thing is, nine times out of 10, we are able to find the book for them!
Which well-known businessperson inspires you?
As much as I learn from reading about famous entrepreneurs, I would say my father, who was a natural leader. He was incredibly well-loved by the Bookazine managers and all the authors and customers who met him. Whenever I face a business challenge, I think about how he would handle it and that gets me through.
Tell us three things you enjoy outside work.
I love throwing myself into a good book. Usually that is whenever I’m travelling, which is my second favourite thing to do, alongside indulging in my third passion – good food!
How do you see your business looking in five years?
We’re constantly evolving as a brand to reflect our customers’ needs and tastes. In December 2014, we opened a brand-new concept store in Central, called Partytime, for anyone needing party accessories. Ultimately, our customers will continue to be the main focus of whatever we do.