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Solethreads is targeting a net sales value of Rs 250 crore in FY25 – co-founder Vikram Iyer

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Founded in 2019, the brand has over 22 offline distributors servicing over 800 multi-brand outlets and is present on e-marketplaces such as Ajio, Amazon, Myntra and Flipkart

Bengaluru: Flip-flops have a huge market in the US, the UAE and Southeast Asia. The US even has dedicated flip-flop brands. Bringing in disruption in the Indian market is Solethreads, an India-first, comfort-foremost footwear brand that concentrates on state-of-the-art innovation, design and manufacturing in not just flip-flops but slippers and slides too, to cater to the needs of Indians.

Story of growth

Solethreads was launched in 2019 to innovate, design, manufacture, market and sell casual footwear across multiple channels including multi-brand outlets (MBOs), e-marketplaces and D2C platforms. The core management team of Solethreads comprises four members, who have helped the brand grow through category-defined product launches, and by driving innovation and getting over 30 design and tech patents. Gaurav Chopra, the chief executive officer and co-founder of the brand, is a creative genius and design wiz. He is a second-generation footwear entrepreneur and comes with 14 years of experience in footwear development, design, sourcing and manufacturing for global footwear brands viz. Bata and Hush Puppies.

Chopra’s sharp acumen in production management is the backbone of the brand’s factory operations. Sumant Kakaria, also the CEO and co-founder, is a seasoned business head who was responsible for scaling the retail and e-commerce parts of the business for marquee brands such as Marico, Philips, Asian Paints and Godrej. With more than one-and-a-half decades of experience under his belt, Kakaria is the driver of Solethreads’ growth.

The CBO and co-founder is Vikram Iyer, who comes with eight years of experience in e-commerce and FMCG sales. In the past, he has headed the fashion category at Snapdeal. His expertise in handling major and regional e-commerce brands has made him Solethreads’ growth lever in the online space. Aprajit Kathuria, the CMO and co-founder, is a veteran growth hacker (someone who uses creative, low-cost strategies to help a business acquire and retain customers) with stints in brands such as CavinKare, Hindustan Unilever, Philips and Marico. He fuels the marketing engine at Solethreads and is committed to firmly establishing the brand in the footwear market.

Innovation at the core

Solethreads has made significant investments in R&D and in-house manufacturing to provide a superior offering to customers. The brand already offers more than 20 styles and is working on new product launches backed by a technologically-savvy team of innovators and designers. “Our products are superior yet reasonably priced, helping us secure impressive metrics in customer delight, retention and conversions. Gaurav’s design experience together with the D2C expertise of Aprajit and Vikram has created a winning business model for our brand,” shares Sumant Kakaria, chief executive officer and co-founder, Solethreads.

The technologies that Solethreads has developed make all its products extremely comfortable to wear. “Our SuperFoamTM footbeds are spongy-soft. Our TruBounceTM collection of flip-flops, with active cushioning, takes care of the soles of your feet and makes daily walking far more comfortable,” says Gaurav Chopra, chief executive officer and co-founder, Solethreads.

The brand also offers the Recliner collection of flip-flops with a super-soft footbed made from yoga mats, and the Everlast range of flip-flops for active walking on any type of terrain.

Being customer ready

Solethreads has a strategic partnership with Mochi (a Metro brand), expanding from 50 to 250 stores in just two months. The brand has 22 offline distributors servicing over 800 multi-brand outlets (MBOs). Solethreads is present on e-marketplaces such as AJIO, Amazon, Myntra and Flipkart, and also on D2C platforms. The brand’s estimated growth for FY 23 is 2.2x. “Currently, our headcount is 60, our estimated customer base is 10 lakh, and our projected turnover is Rs. 40 crore. Our GMV [gross merchandise value] in August 2022 was Rs. 4 crore,” says Vikram Iyer, CBO and Co-founder, Solethreads.

The brand is targeting a net sales value of Rs. 100 crore in FY 24 and Rs. 250 crore in FY 25, via three drivers. “The first is an offline distribution with targeted expansion in 1,500 MBOs and building on the success of our Mochi tie-up to expand to more than 1,000 stores in regional or large-format retail outlets. The second is to collaborate and open signature stores with premium trade partners. The third is gaining market share for a high TAM [total addressable market] especially in the online sphere, along with ramping up customer acquisition and launching newer footwear categories.

Brownie Points

  • Solethreads is known for the design aesthetic and superior functionality of its products. The brand’s in-depth understanding of the market has made it a game-changer in the business.
  • Order fulfilment is critical for an awesome consumer experience. Solethreads has therefore ensured that its system integrations and automation of processes aid  efficient warehouse management and order fulfilment.
  • SolethreadsCart.com, which is the brand’s portal, allows trade partners to view the catalogue, place orders and track them in real time.
  • Kalki Koechlin, a French actress and writer working in Bollywood films, was recently roped in as the face of Solethreads. She was featured in the brand’s ‘Comfortably You’ campaign, aimed at establishing Solethreads as a ‘fun & quirky’ brand which does not follow stereotypes and rudimentary conventions.

First appeared in The India D2C Yearbook 2022

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