How this footwear start-up is banking on customization?

The company aim to build a strong connection with its core target audience by breaking the stereotype associated with women's footwear brand in India.
How this footwear start-up is banking on customization?
Dikipa Aggarwal

OPANCHO is a New Delhi-based dynamic footwear brand that has been operational since September 2015. 25-year-old Dikipa Aggarwal is the Director and Creative Head at Opancho. She hails from a small town Siliguri in West Bengal. While pursuing the 9-to-5 office goers’ career, Dipika would have to struggle constantly to find the right footwear with her formal outfits. 

This is when she realized that the majority of high-end footwear options available in the market for women would either be wedding wear or party wear heels, but these are not enough for the office going ladies and hence that is where the right kind of footwear is needed the most and this is exactly where Opancho steps in. In an exclusive conversation she shares more details about the brand.

What is your assessment about the footwear market in India especially in the female segment. According to you, what are the factors propelling growth in this segment?  

If we talk about the footwear industry especially in the female segment I feel that there are a lot more opportunities yet to be explored. With the increase in the percentage of female working population footwear availability for this segment is yet to come up in a full-fledged form. This is the most important factor propelling growth in this segment. 

Tell us about the brand OPANCHO including the inception and journey so far? Also, tell us about your business model?  

We are New Delhi-based footwear a brand that has been operational since 2015 but began active distribution in January 2020 via Facebook & Instagram. Our target audience is corporate females within the age bracket of 20 to 40 years. The company has curated 13 products so far.

The journey till now has had it’s own highs and lows but the response we are receiving it commendable and that’s what is keeping us going. Our business model mainly works on the pre-order strategy. We do keep stock with us in case someone wants an urgent delivery but we prefer asking customers for their exact sizes and customising it accordingly. Also, we aren’t raising any external funds right now as it is all managed through our internal cash flow and, now keeping extra stock with us and creating it according to demand helps us in managing the finances 

Tell us about your current distribution in the online as well as offline space. Going forward, what are the plans to scale-up the distribution?  
As stated, Opancho began active distribution in January 2020 itself through Instagram and Facebook. The website is under process. I think that online is a thing now so we are currently not focusing on offline sales much but we definitely have something in mind for the offline customers as well. Talking about scaling the distribution, Opancho always believes in quality over quantity. So we are planning how can we scale up the distribution without compromising on the quality. We are also planning to sell Opancho through major online marketplaces like Nykaa Fashion, Amazon, Myntra and obviously, our flagship website. As indicated as part of our marketing strategy, in the expansion phase we would look at having a physical store in Delhi.

 Being a start-up brand, what would be your strategy to compete with market leaders such as Puma, Bata amongst others?

Indeed Opancho is a startup but it has uniqueness that it’s one of its kind in the country. Our only strategy right now is to provide comfort and quality and I'm sure the brand will receive more love than any band ever has.

At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?

As per the roadmap, we aim to build a strong connection with its core target audience by breaking the stereotype associated with women's footwear brand in India.

Going forward, we've also planned to release a shoe cleaning kit which we intend to make a part of our portfolio. The growth plan and strategy right now is to expand our catalogue so that people have more options to choose from and to make our products easily available apart from our Instagram and Facebook page.



Dikipa Aggarwal