Footwear brand Neeman’s eyes foray into international markets

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on October 12, 2021

Enters into tie-ups with organised retailers in India for an omni-channel play

Sustainable footwear brand Neeman’s is eyeing to foray into international markets – the US, some regions of Europe and West Asia – while it enters into tie-ups with organised retailers in India for an omni-channel (both online and offline) play.

The recently secured Series A funding of ₹20 crore will be used for expansion plans (mostly towards international foray) apart from product development.

Neeman’s, an approximately three-year-old Hyderabad-based start-up shot to fame as it brought in sustainable footwear that include materials like knitted sneakers, slip-ons and flip-flops made of items like merino wool, bio degradrable and recyclable plastics, among others.

According to Taran Chhabra, Co-founder, Neeman’s, the international foray is expected by December-end and talks have begun regarding the same. Primarily, the company will start its international operations as a D2C or online only brand, before exploring offline options – a strategy that it is following in India.

"We see the scope of these products in the international market. Plus we do not have any direct competition across brands yet. We remain adequately funded for new product development too, " he told BusinessLine.

“We are getting inbound interest for capital infusion. So apparently funds won’t be a problem,” Chhabra added.

He does not share turnover details or the company’s topline run-rate but says the overall plan is to get into “all lifestyle segments with focus on sustainable offerings”.

Sneakers, as a trend, is catching up in India as semi-casual footwear become more popular post the pandemic.

Major brands like Bata have also acknowledged that casualisation of footwear is a dominant trend even in India and that “it is here to stay”.

Omni-channel presence

Meanwhile, Neeman’s has already firmed up its omni-channel strategy here in India. It is already in talks with some organised retailers.

“We have started our offline presence through some retailers in South India. Over the next 6-8 month period we would be looking at a presence in 100 such large format stores,” Chhabra said.

Despite the offline presence, the company believes at least 95 per cent of its turnover will be from the online channels “in the immediate short-run”.

Plans to have own manufacturing units will be explored “in the long run” depending on-scale.

Celebrities like Bhumi Pednekar, Samantha Prabhu and Mandira Bedi have been roped-in as digital collaborators with the brand looking to up its marketing presence in support of its omni-channel presence.

Published on October 12, 2021

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