Ever seen a startup initiated by two IITians failing so successfully that they step into an altogether new venture? In spite of failing once, in spite of seeing their efforts go in vain once, they started putting efforts into a new venture. I am talking about none other than this IITian duo, Ashish Prakash and Aayush Jindal.
The duo failed in their first med-tech startup Aermed which they started with two IIM graduates. They lost almost 10 Lakhs each in this venture. Still, after a few years, they started to go in the same entrepreneurial lane to start their new venture Toesmith.
The time their first venture failed, both of them followed their own paths. Aashish joined a US-based company while Aayush went into his family business of manufacturing shoes.
Talking about Aermed , Aashish says “For us, it was like an MBA. We have zero regrets. Through Aermed, we got that ground experience.”
The duo has no regrets about the failure. In fact, according to them, they have got a lot of learning experience. It was in September, 1990, both of them came together to initiate a new venture called Toesmith.
“There was a strong need for affordable customisable shoes. So, we thought let us give the consumer the option to customize and order their own shoes and that’s how we started ToeSmith,” says Aayush.
Toesmith is India’s first tech-driven footwear brand that aims to provide its customers with customized shoe options. They use an interactive 3-D design tool which took them some 3 months to build. According to Prakash:
“We started studying the entire process of customisation on other websites. Unimpressed, we thought of coming up with an easier way of customisation, thus, we started working on the 3D interactive design tool that took us almost three months.”
With the help of this tool, one can change 5 aspects of the shoe – Vamp (the front part), Quarters (sides), Heel Counter (backside), Binding (inner part), and the Collar Lining. The price that they are charging is around 1999 INR for one pair, which is obviously much cheaper than the other famous customized options in the market.
“We had in our mind that we have to deliver in four to six days… Within a week. We also started exploring companies which were doing customisation, not in India, maybe abroad. We got to know that several big brands were also doing customisation but the cost was like about Rs 10,000. So the second thing was to make it affordable for people,” says Aayush.
The reason they gave for their previous failure was lower gross margin and late entry of the product into the market. This time, they are considering all their weak points and are converting them into their strengths in order to survive in the market. They are getting 40-50 orders every day and they hope for more improvement.
Whatever the extent of their failure was, whatever hardships they have faced in the recent past, one thing is for sure that they are not leaving even a single stone unturned to see the success of Toesmith.
Be it your grandmother searching for a soft sole, be it your sister looking for a fashionable pair of shoes, be it your brother looking for some funky sandals, Toesmith has got everything and that too at a much much cheaper rate. So, why look somewhere else when these IITians are here to provide you with your customized shoes. Log onto www.toesmith.com to get your own pair of customized shoes!
– Composed by Niharika Karoli