Tuesday, 5 May 2015

For these entrepreneurs, the fancy footwear business is a shoo-in

With aspirations to set up the Zappos of India, 28-year-old techie-turned-entrepreneur Debadyuti Roychowdhury is ready with what most women yearn for – fancy footwear for every occasion.

But it was quite a formidable task for Roychowdhury, given that he is a computer science engineer who learnt to design and manufacture women’s footwear just a year ago.

“After extensive research, I found that women own 8.6 pairs of shoes for every pair they actually need. And for every 15-25 pairs of footwear a woman owns, she spends on average ₹1,500 and ends up wearing just four pairs regularly,” he said.

Roychowdhury teamed up with his MBA classmate Prashant Poladia to design a neutral base shoe which can be worn as three different pairs of footwear with three different attachments of straps. Picture this: You wear a shoe to work and later in the day change the front and back straps to transform it into fancy party wear for an evening out.

“Women complain that they need to carry multiple pairs of footwear when they travel on business or pleasure. My sister owns over 40 pairs of branded shoes and the average price per pair is ₹5,000-6,000 because, in her search for the perfect heel she buys international brands. The cost of footwear and space to store them are major issues too. Our footwear, priced upwards of ₹2,000 per pair with three additional attachments, will save women time, money and space,” he said.

Inspired by the phenomenal success of the world’s largest online shoe store Zappos.com, which was acquired by Amazon.com for $1.2 billion, Roychowdhury and Poladia incorporated Tappozz Lifestyle Pvt Ltd and have roped in Rupali Naidu as their Design Head.

The company is now ready with 200 pairs of footwear which will initially be available in shops in Bengaluru.

“Once we see some traction in sales, we will be available in shoe stores pan-India and are also planning to sell online,” said Roychowdhury.

Filling a gap

With Tappozz, the duo is looking to fill the gap between Mochi and Jimmy Choo footwear, offering prices ranging from ₹2,000 to ₹10,000 and have partnered with manufacturers in Mumbai and Delhi to cater to large volumes.

They say the 15-month Executive MBA at the Institute of Product Leadership, from which they will graduate this June, helped take their idea from concept to wearable prototype to business plan with a complete go-to-market strategy in less than 15 months. Otherwise, it would have taken them five years to do it on their own.

Roychowdhury and Poladia are eyeing the lucrative, “Design your own Shoes” opportunity wherein women can choose their straps, soles, base, insole, heel-size, design, colour and materials to design exactly what they want on their smartphones and other mobile devices.

“3D customisation of designs of any product is a $150-billion market globally. We want to encash on that and are developing a mobile app for iOS and Android,” said Roychowdhury.
With aspirations to set up the Zappos of India, 28-year-old techie-turned-entrepreneur Debadyuti Roychowdhury is ready with what most women yearn for – fancy footwear for every occasion. But it was quite a formidable task for Roychowdhury, given that he is a computer science engineer who learnt to design and manufacture women’s footwear just a year ago. “After extensive research, I found that women own 8.6 pairs of shoes for every pair they actually need. And for every 15-25 pairs of footwear a woman owns, she spends on average ₹1,500 and ends up wearing just four pairs regularly,” he said. Roychowdhury teamed up with his MBA classmate Prashant Poladia to design a neutral base shoe which can be worn as three different pairs of footwear with three different attachments of straps. Picture this: You wear a shoe to work and later in the day change the front and back straps to transform it into fancy party wear for an evening out. “Women complain that they need to carry multiple pairs of footwear when they travel on business or pleasure. My sister owns over 40 pairs of branded shoes and the average price per pair is ₹5,000-6,000 because, in her search for the perfect heel she buys international brands. The cost of footwear and space to store them are major issues too. Our footwear, priced upwards of ₹2,000 per pair with three additional attachments, will save women time, money and space,” he said. Inspired by the phenomenal success of the world’s largest online shoe store Zappos.com, which was acquired by Amazon.com for $1.2 billion, Roychowdhury and Poladia incorporated Tappozz Lifestyle Pvt Ltd and have roped in Rupali Naidu as their Design Head. The company is now ready with 200 pairs of footwear which will initially be available in shops in Bengaluru. “Once we see some traction in sales, we will be available in shoe stores pan-India and are also planning to sell online,” said Roychowdhury. Filling a gap With Tappozz, the duo is looking to fill the gap between Mochi and Jimmy Choo footwear, offering prices ranging from ₹2,000 to ₹10,000 and have partnered with manufacturers in Mumbai and Delhi to cater to large volumes. They say the 15-month Executive MBA at the Institute of Product Leadership, from which they will graduate this June, helped take their idea from concept to wearable prototype to business plan with a complete go-to-market strategy in less than 15 months. Otherwise, it would have taken them five years to do it on their own. Roychowdhury and Poladia are eyeing the lucrative, “Design your own Shoes” opportunity wherein women can choose their straps, soles, base, insole, heel-size, design, colour and materials to design exactly what they want on their smartphones and other mobile devices. “3D customisation of designs of any product is a $150-billion market globally. We want to encash on that and are developing a mobile app for iOS and Android,” said Roychowdhury.
With aspirations to set up the Zappos of India, 28-year-old techie-turned-entrepreneur Debadyuti Roychowdhury is ready with what most women yearn for – fancy footwear for every occasion. But it was quite a formidable task for Roychowdhury, given that he is a computer science engineer who learnt to design and manufacture women’s footwear just a year ago. “After extensive research, I found that women own 8.6 pairs of shoes for every pair they actually need. And for every 15-25 pairs of footwear a woman owns, she spends on average ₹1,500 and ends up wearing just four pairs regularly,” he said. Roychowdhury teamed up with his MBA classmate Prashant Poladia to design a neutral base shoe which can be worn as three different pairs of footwear with three different attachments of straps. Picture this: You wear a shoe to work and later in the day change the front and back straps to transform it into fancy party wear for an evening out. “Women complain that they need to carry multiple pairs of footwear when they travel on business or pleasure. My sister owns over 40 pairs of branded shoes and the average price per pair is ₹5,000-6,000 because, in her search for the perfect heel she buys international brands. The cost of footwear and space to store them are major issues too. Our footwear, priced upwards of ₹2,000 per pair with three additional attachments, will save women time, money and space,” he said. Inspired by the phenomenal success of the world’s largest online shoe store Zappos.com, which was acquired by Amazon.com for $1.2 billion, Roychowdhury and Poladia incorporated Tappozz Lifestyle Pvt Ltd and have roped in Rupali Naidu as their Design Head. The company is now ready with 200 pairs of footwear which will initially be available in shops in Bengaluru. “Once we see some traction in sales, we will be available in shoe stores pan-India and are also planning to sell online,” said Roychowdhury. Filling a gap With Tappozz, the duo is looking to fill the gap between Mochi and Jimmy Choo footwear, offering prices ranging from ₹2,000 to ₹10,000 and have partnered with manufacturers in Mumbai and Delhi to cater to large volumes. They say the 15-month Executive MBA at the Institute of Product Leadership, from which they will graduate this June, helped take their idea from concept to wearable prototype to business plan with a complete go-to-market strategy in less than 15 months. Otherwise, it would have taken them five years to do it on their own. Roychowdhury and Poladia are eyeing the lucrative, “Design your own Shoes” opportunity wherein women can choose their straps, soles, base, insole, heel-size, design, colour and materials to design exactly what they want on their smartphones and other mobile devices. “3D customisation of designs of any product is a $150-billion market globally. We want to encash on that and are developing a mobile app for iOS and Android,” said Roychowdhury.

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