Responses to be attributed to Harshwardhan Patwardhan, Founder, Chappers.
Three stores are already in Pune. The brands plan to branch out of Pune.
Chappers started locally, by initially carrying out feasibility studies by attending fairs and
events in and around Pune and has now expanded to open four physical retail stores in the
city. We also have a functional e-commerce website and deliver to customers all over India
and internationally. The plans now are to expand beyond Pune and reach every shopping
mall in India through the kiosk franchise model.
Kiosk model of selling the brand – This unique concept of ordering shoes via Kiosk is
unheard of. We can talk in detail regarding this technology and how this is going to be
Footwear retail in India is considered to be a capital-intensive business. An aspirant would
need to own or lease a sizeable space in an excellent commercial area or shopping mall and
maintain thousands of pairs in inventory. On the other hand, Chappers has developed a
unique low inventory model where we keep around 25 to 30 bestselling products for the
customers who wish to purchase the products immediately. Otherwise, we use Augmented
Reality (AR) technology, where the customers are shown various designs and given the
option of selecting their footwear design, color, and materials. They can even add
accessories or initials to their shoes. This kind of customization offers an incredible value
addition and eliminates the need for stockpiles of inventories. We deliver customized shoes
in 48 hours from the order placement to any location in India, and the shoes are priced
right, which makes the brand’s appeal stronger.
We plan to extend this kiosk model to various malls across India, which will be available via
the franchise model.
Founder Harshwardhan, his vision for the brand and how this journey took wings.
I am a Business Management graduate from Nottingham, UK. Born and brought up in a
Maharashtrian business family with flourishing transportation business, I was fond of
Kolhapuri chappals right from the time I entered college. It was a pleasant surprise for me
when I received a lot of appreciation and interest in this footwear. That gave me the idea of
finding a way to take the Kolhapuri footwear to the world. However, there was the
challenge of limitations as the traditional Kolhapuri chappals come only in brown and are
quite hard and slippery.
After returning to India, I joined the family business, but I wasn’t drawn to the business,
hence decided to start on my own. I frequently traveled to Kolhapur and understood the
chappal manufacturing process. I also held several meetings with leather manufacturers in
Dharavi, Kanpur, and Chennai and started trials by distributing the first few pairs among
friends and family. After finding the performance consistently good even on strenuous treks
and wet patches, we launched ‘Chappers’ with the brand name signifying a mix of ‘chappal’
and ‘loafers,’ giving the brand a hybrid global appeal. That’s how the journey started.
Beginning with the franchise model, the brand is very soon venturing into it.
We have built an omnichannel retail model, opened four retail outlets in Pune, and now aim
to create a pan-India presence through a kiosk franchise model. There is also an e-
commerce website to cater to orders from all over the country with an assurance of delivery
within 48 hours from the order placement. This financial year we aim for 3.5 crores revenue
with an EBITDA of 70 lakhs. We are also actively looking for funds for rapid expansion and
adding more technological features to our products.
5. Total Footwear industry Market and Market Share and Market Growth
We consider all footwear lovers as our potential audience. The Indian footwear market is
currently worth about $23.73 billion and growing at a CAGR of 6.77%, which is much higher
than the global average of 4.3%. The omnichannel retail model promises tremendous
growth for Chappers in the years ahead.