“Indian shoe market is much more competitive at present as compared to the past”: Mayush Kukreja
In an exclusive conversation with Mayush Kukreja, Founder, Whitesoul.in sheds light on growing challenges for start-up she brand.BY Shipra Srivastava | May 05, 2018 | comments ( 0 ) |
How did you come up with the idea of launching a shoe brand considering Indian market is flooded with shoe brands from national as well as international players?
As an entrepreneur, there is always dedication and will to bring to the table something new and refreshing for your customers. Considering the fact that we were going to enter a marketplace with so many existing players, we at Whitesoul constantly look for innovative offerings in order to serve the best to our patrons. With a vision to bring around a fresh and new perspective to the e-commerce industry, Whitesoul began its journey in 2015. The brand has clearly aligned its vision with the national and global standards of the e-commerce industry with the ability to spot business opportunities not apparent to others in the industry. Our main objective is to bridge the gap of offering subtle yet stylish sneakers to the middle-aged and young audience without having to compromise on the quality of the product.
Having tough competition helps you to be fiercer and take bigger leaps to meet the challenges that the market offers every now and then. In addition, the passion and determination of standing out amongst a group of existing brands make our journey much more exciting and challenging.
Our focus has and will remain to understand our customers’ requirements precisely and offer them the best in terms of design and quality. Our imaginative and creative designs, sprightly look and ecstatic feel in our range of sneakers has made us the natural choice for all fashion driven and quality focused target audience.
What is the USP of your brand which makes it stand apart from others?
Undoubtedly, Whitesoul is India's first 100% leather sneaker brand that caters to people aged 18-35 yrs old. Our emphasis has and will always remain on serving our target group with 100% genuine leather. We also understand the nuances of wearing the right footwear to get the best comfort since shoes speak a lot about one's personality. We ensure every pair of sneaker manufactured is flexible which means the front end of the shoe sole is supple enough to cater to the movement of the toes. In addition, our shoes stabilize the user’s feet and provide comfortable cushioning. Our intricate manufacturing expertise and penchant for perfection will always help us to be recognized as one of the most renowned and innovative footwear brands in the country.
According to you, what are the major challenges as far as brand-building exercise is concerned?
For the shoe brands in India, the market is much more competitive at present as compared to the past. With the birth of various international and local brands, the challenges for shoe brands have increased significantly. The only way out is to constantly evolve and experiment for giving the best to our patrons. E-commerce shoe brands have spread their wings faster but challenges have risen too. Challenges like acceptance of the design range, current trends, and market demands, standing out amongst competition in this space, growing demand for branded shoes etc., are a bit worrisome at times. The increase in online sales is gobbling the in-store sales, and every player is running to get that balance right. Hence, despite these challenges, we aim to become a world leader in the footwear industry in the near future.
Kindly explain the distribution strategy and current footprint in the online and the offline space. Going forward the focus would be on online expansion or offline?
We offer our products only on our online portal and through some exclusive and niche exhibitions. We shall continue to focus on our online e-commerce website and have no plans for offline expansion in the near future. The exhibitions we choose to showcase our products too are niche ones with major footfall from our target audience across the country.
Are you also thinking about opening online store and expansion via franchise distribution?
We have no plans of expanding offline for the time being.
At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?
Our brand is well accepted among the young and middle-aged audience and we shall continue to offer them the best in class. We are looking at launching our new collection in the upcoming month which would offer lighter weight shoes to cater to the demands of our audience. We shall consistently launch a variety of new, innovative and artistic designs in order to update our collection on a regular basis.