Now a days, shoe care is on the retreat. Young people rarely have a shoe cabinet where they regularly clean and polish their footwear. According to a recent survey, 70% of 14-19-year-olds polish their shoes "rarely" or "never". Of the 20 to 29-year-olds, it's 60% and the 60 to 65-year-olds 25%. 47% of the 60 to 65-year-olds clean their shoes at least once a week.
For the 20 to 29-year-olds, it is only 18%. Shoes have become a fashion product and there is a wide range of inexpensive footwear, where long-term maintenance is no longer in proportion. In order to meet the trend, the manufacturers' attention to shoe polish is now focused on efficient and fast shoe cleaning. The ritual has become a necessary evil such as brushing teeth or shaving. The shoe has to be cleaned and made shiny with little effort.
However, there are still are a rare segment of people who are passionate towards their footwear and have a love for premium footwear which they intend to care for. While purchasing an expensive sneaker is dear to people, the real task is to maintain and care for it.
During the first lockdown, after having a casual conversation about the shoe resell market with one of his friends, Krishnav Dhingra came to know about the shoe care industry. Upon further researching about the shoe care market Krishnav sensed its potential. He observed that the shoe care & storage market is huge outside India, with very little coverage within. Clearly, it is an emerging market that is growing at a remarkable pace. Having collected the required information and data, Krishnav cemented the idea, and laid the foundation to Sneakare.
Sneakare deals with all products related to shoe care and focuses on building a community of shoe lovers. The startup sells a series of products that enrich the shoe wearing experience of shoe lovers and enable them to take care of their shoes. Sneakare majorly focuses on two categories: Care and Protect. The product line includes storage utility products, shoe cleaners, and other products related to shoe care and protection. The founder stated that he aims to establish Sneakare as a revolutionary shoe care brand in India, targeting individuals that fall under the age-group of 15-40.
Sneakare had a humble beginning with just 250 units of crates. After 15 days into kick-starting, Krishnav was able to sell his crates
Making News, Turning Heads
Krishnav Dhingra, 22, founder of Sneakare, a third-year graduate student, coming to a platform like Shark Tank with his second venture is extremely impressive. Sharks found the concept of his business a game changer. What surprised and impressed them was his business background as he started his first business at the age of 17, when he was in school. The first business was a clothing venture in which he supplied quality material to college societies and sporting events. The clothing business established a consistent revenue stream, providing him with the initial capital required for his Shark tank venture – Sneakare. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic he had to shut this business down.
It's not about the shoes, it's what you do in them
Krishnav is a highly motivated entrepreneur. Setting aside his comfort to join his family business, Krishnav aspired to do something on his own accord. eCommerce has been a significant catalyst to help Sneakare scale manifold. Krishnav intends to be able to do business 24x7, 365 days a year. eCommerce essentially helps achieve this. His idea of motivation comes from the fact that even while he sleeps, his business is acquiring orders. More so, clients have come back to applaud the products offered by Sneakare some even calling Sneakare cleaning products,'the best' in the segment.
Krishnav has a clear understating of doing a profitable business. He believes one cannot manufacture and do marketing at the same time, with limited capital. Therefore, Sneakare sources its products from overseas. However, in the near future the firm intends to manufacture a few products in India. "The main motive was to ensure that the consumer is getting the best quality products. There should be no compromise when it comes to quality, because the maximum number of customers that are coming on our website are the retained customers.
We don't have a very high customer acquisition cost because of the good quality product and word-of-mouth popularity". Rightly so, Sneakare experiences 55-60 per cent customer retention on its ecommerce platform. Sneakare has been able to attract a large customer base. People have begun to appreciate the products, with some moving from shoe-racks to shoe boxes and some opting for care products to increase the lifespan of their shoes. Sneakare has registered a turnover of 80 lacs in the past 10 months already.
Bringing The Concept Of Shoe-In-A-Box To India
Krishnav began his venture packing his products in his veranda. Today, Sneakare is supported by 8 members with few other helpers to complete the fulfillment process. Nevertheless, Sneakare's core strength lies in its branding. Krishnav is building a brand in India that will be known to have pioneered the concept of keeping sneakers or shoes inside a box.
No one knew that one could not only keep their shoes inside a box and stack them against the wall, but also display it in an organized manner. This is a revolution that Krishnav is working towards. He intends to spread the awareness about how shoes or sneakers can be cared for with the right products.