The Bandra DVD rental library believes in customer care

The Bandra DVD rental library believes in customer care

Article reblogged from

movieThere’s no better place to become a cinephile in Mumbai than in Bandra. The suburb is home to three of the best DVD circulating libraries in the city: Sarvodaya, which fanned the craze for world cinema in the first place, Movie Empire and the youngest, Movie Junction. We know people who are members of all three (some of them are leading Bollywood filmmakers) but most people have their preferences. Our money is on Movie Junction, whose low-key and smart manager, Bhavik Shah, is much more pleasant to deal with than the moody Dholakias of Sarvodaya or the sleepyheads at Movie Empire.

Shah’s uncle and Movie Junction’s owner, Rajesh Bauva, has his own following in Santa Cruz, where he started Rajesh Circulating Library in 1982. “We had a lot of members, about 6,000, but the numbers started falling over the years,” Bauva said. He started Movie Junction in Pali Market four years ago, and has already totted up a membership of about 3,600. The regulars include housewives, media professionals and teenagers. The films are sourced from a variety of sources: Bauva gets lists of new releases from importers of titles on DVD and customers give suggestions. “We get films from abroad that are not locally available,” Bauva said. “These aren’t films that you can buy at malls.”

The uncle-and-nephew team also scour the film website and acquire movies with good ratings. Neither of them has the time to watch the movies that give their members so much enjoyment. “This is a tough job,” Bauva said. “You have to do it day after day. It’s hard duty. My nephew is here all the time.” Bauva is proud of his nephew, Bhavik Shah, who is the face of Movie Junction and who is known to his customers as Munna. Bauva said about Shah, with some exaggeration but immense fondness, “He knows everything. He knows the actors and directors. Nobody else in Mumbai has that kind of knowledge.”

Shah attributed the store’s success to close monitoring of customer tastes and a strong memory. “I try and remember each and every member, what they like and dislike,” he said. “We will only give you the cinema you like. It’s all about word of mouth, about knowing your customer well.”

By Nandini Ramnath on January 18 2012
Photos by Gopal MS