Industrialization is compulsory to increase productivity, development, and job opportunities. But, it has side effects too. Air pollution, water contamination, toxic gas, plastic use, and others are the major drawbacks of big industries and manufacturing units.
But, there is good news now. People are aware of these hazardous effects on the environment by industrialization. And, they are choosing environmentally friendly methods to do productions. Neeman’s is one such footwear brand that has become the first Indian shoe brand to use a natural, renewable and sustainable merino wool fiber in its shoes. Founded in 2017, Hyderabad-based footwear firm has created a buzz by involving environmentally friendly fiber in its shoe manufacturing process.
Let’s have a quick look at Neeman’s journey.
How Neeman’s Started?
Taran Chhabra, the CEO, and founder of Neeman’s was a regular traveler to foreign countries. He got frustrated when he was forced to cancel his travel schedule due to over-packing. And, it was due to the five pairs of shoes of different purposes.
When he did not find such shoes in the market, Taran came up with an idea to design a shoe that can be used for all purposes and in all sessions. And, that is how Neeman’s was founded.
Taran had little knowledge of footwear manufacturing and design. He traveled the known manufacturing units of shoes to get enough knowledge of footwear production. Finally, he found out that most of the shoe manufacturing firms are using heavy synthetic fibers full of chemicals, that are not environmentally friendly.
Taran planned to use natural products for making eco-friendly footwear. He selected merino wool to manufacture shoes in his firm. Merino wool from Australia was natural, lightweight, and people can wear merino wool-made footwear all year round.
After two years of extensive research, Neeman’s launched a shoe product made of merino wool in 2016. The word “Neeman” is a combination of Taran’s mother’s name, Neelam, and father’s name, Manjeet. The brand is conceptualized in the USA and has collaborated with many international footwear firms to bring a comfortable natural shoe product for Indians.
Neeman’s was beta launched in 2018. With more colors and sizes, the brand started making its identity in the Indian footwear ecosystem. Neeman’s utilized social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram to educate customers about the product.
Amarpreet Singh is another co-founder of Neeman’s. He is working as a Director of Operations at Neeman’s. He has around 15+ years of experience in running different startups. Currently, Neeman’s has a team of 17 enthusiastic members that are taking care of different operations including Customer Service, Digital Marketing, Logistics, and Branding.
Indian Footwear Industry and Neeman’s Growth
As per the footwear industry report, India ranks second in terms of footwear production globally, while it occupies the third position if we talk about footwear consumption. India produces 9% of the global shoe production, while it consumes around 2.1 billion units of footwear annually.
In the footwear premium category, India has an 8 to 10% share of the total $8 billion markets, as per the Assocham study. Neeman’s claims that the Indian footwear market size is worth $600-$650 million. The rising brand plans to become a leader of the Indian footwear market with comfortable natural shoes.
In its pre-Series A funding round, Neeman’s raised $1 million from Anicut Angel Fund, AngelList, and a group of serial entrepreneurs.
On Wednesday, Neeman’s announced that it has closed a Series A funding round of Rs 20 crore(around $2.7 million) led by Sixth Sense Ventures. The startup plans to utilize the current funding in product development, launching its brand in international markets, expansion of categories, and research and development.
sustainable flips flops, slides, and recycled cotton sneakers are some of the new-age products launched by Neeman’s in the last two years.