Well, if you can buy shoes online – why not have have them repaired/serviced online as well? The shoemen is a NCR based startup that is targeting the shoe laundry and repair services.
The startup offers shoe laundry solutions for all middle & high end branded shoes starting from the range of Rs.3,000 – 50,000 or so and the biggest competition to them probably lies in the fact that not too many people are even aware of such services (and will end up comparing them with a regular cobbler). Aside, the site has a ‘get your quote’ page which you can use to get an idea of the service charges.
Here is a quick interview with Saral Budhiraja, founder of The Shoemen.
Pi: What’s the process like? Once a customer order, how many days does it take to service?
Saral Budhiraja: – We provide a Pick and Drop facility which is either free or chargeable depending upon the value of the order and/or feasibility of the area to be served. The TAT is 3-4 days which set the customers expectation but generally its shortened to 1-2 days which makes the customer more happy 🙂
Pi: What has been the traction so far?
Saral Budhiraja: We have been in this business since last 2 years with active participation from last 6 months only and running successfully in Delhi – NCR. We have an overall customer base of 2,000 customers with 400 of them as being the premium customers providing major chunk of the business. The same rule applies here too – 20% of the world population owns 80% of the income and according to us that 20% is our potential market. So to understand, we can say that we have a successful prototype ready and are looking for funding to expand it in NCR and other economically vibrant cities.
Pi: What’s the average margin in a business like this?
Saral Budhiraja: 40-45%
Pi: Future plans?
Saral Budhiraja: In the process of expanding it through Franchise Model of Hub and Spook (with Hub being the centralized laundry and repairing workshop with various collection points in the city acting as spooks); and looking for Incubation and Venture Funding.
If you are in NCR region, do give the shoemen a spin and share your feedback/experience.