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Image by Patrick Tomasso

A business that started because of Mr. Hasham's love, passion, and interest in books, and it has become one of Kenya's largest wholesale suppliers of unique books. 


Hidden Treasures Book Whole Sale Ltd was founded in 1996 By Mr. Riaz Hasham. A connoisseur of books, he loved looking at bookstores worldwide in his travels. He realized no excellent and innovative reading materials were available in the local Kenyan market beyond some textbooks, literature, publishers, and authors. So he took it upon himself to bring what the world had to Kenya. 


He began to source books worldwide and started his first bookshop. Eventually, he realized this was not a viable method of getting the books to the people around Kenya, and he began to supply them to supermarkets in Kenya. 


Books could eventually be found in Nakumatt, Naivas, Tuskeys, smaller chains, and a few bookstores around the country. The visibility and quality of the products were incredibly welcomed. The supermarkets turned out to be a success.


The books catered to a need for higher literacy and gave the people of Kenya the chance to read better and higher-quality books from renowned authors and publishers.  


Around the year of 2010, Hidden Treasure was at its peak. Not only did the company have books in every supermarket nationwide, but Mr. Hasham had also set up multiple bookstores, restaurants-Sherlocks Den- and cyber cafes, eventually selling off the restaurants and cyber cafes, the books taking precedence. The company had made its mark and was only looking to spread the power of literacy even further while providing jobs to hundreds of people annually. Booksfirst could be found in every major city and every central highly populated area. 


In 2015, Mr. Hashams son Joined the business. Mr. Kareem Hasham, a Management Consultant, brought new ideas and concepts to the company.


Alas, in 2016, Booksfirst would land into a major setback. Kenya's biggest retailer, Nakumatt, went into receivership, and all their branches were slowly closed down. Eventually, all Nakumatt stores were taken over by different retailers. Carrefour, Quickmart, Chandarana and Naivas were the new largest reatilers in Kenya. At this point, Mr.Kareem decided to move to have Booksfirst supply all these retailers so that books would still be accessible nationwide.


The decision was a success. As a result, Booksfirst has a presence in Kenya, having over 150 branches, and can also be found all over East Africa, bringing the total to over 200 branches.

Our Journey

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