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Inspiring Story of Indian Start-Up - DMO DOT

By : Profectus Magazine   /   17 Oct 2021  /   Entrepreneur Story /   Startup Story

From Selling Shoes In A Car’s Boot To A Emerging Rs 1 Crore worth Start-Up, Here’s An Inspiring Story of An Indian Start-Up

Dmodot isn’t just about affordable designer shoes, its about comfort and the personal touch these three provide through their shoes. From the product to services, everything they give is handmade with love. There are no auto-bots to take customer calls, or machines to make shoes, Indian craftsman with their excellent skills make these shoes cast a personal and lasting impression. And as a cherry on top, everything in the company is Made In India and locally sourced.

The right pair of shoes can take you places never imagined, they boost your inner self-confidence and creates the perfect first impression. But what if you don’t find the right pair? In today’s Indian shoe market finding something defining yet affordable can be a challenge, but here’s an Indian startup bridging the gap between style and price.

Dmodot, read as d-m-o-dot was founded by Abhishek Sharma back in 2014, and had a turnover of Rs 1 crore in the year 2019. Dmodot is a Delhi-based startup that makes handcrafted leather shoes for men and women at affordable prices.

Being born and brought up in Agra which is India’s largest footwear manufacturing hub, Abhishek knew the shoe industry from the core. But the story doesn’t start in Agra, Abhishek was an engineering student in Pune when the idea of affordable designer shoes struck his mind. He was out shopping for a pair but couldn’t find one, as the ones he liked were out of his price range, and the affordable ones were just not appetizing enough. After this, he went to Agra and got a pair he had been looking for at a good price.

Back in Pune, his college friends were intrigued to get those high-quality shoes for an affordable price and asked him to get some made for them. Abhishek started getting orders and sold them out of his car’s boot. After engineering, he did post-graduation in Event Management from Mumbai and worked for a branding and communications company for few years but it wasn’t his true calling.

Abhishek always had a keen eye towards fashion and being from Agra had access to high-end footwear warehouses owned by his friends. For almost 2 3 months he designed shoes by himself, had them made, and sold around 120 shoes across India to his known people. But he had to step up in the game if he had to make a difference in the shoe industry. He was 23 years old when moved to Delhi and founded a Made in India shoe brand named ‘Damerrino’ in 2014.

Running an operation this big isn’t an easy task, he met his first partner Pranav Shawney at a Social co- working space when dmodot was still Damerrino. Pranav was a culture manager at social back then but instantly fell in love with the idea and joined Abhishek for the venture. While his other partner, Suhail Dhaul is his childhood friend from Agra. Suhail had always been helping Abhishek with his venture way before they became partners. He had seen Abhishek grow through the process of making affordable designer shoes and always had faith in him. He helped Abhishek set up his first pop-up shop at DLF Gurgaon and then officially joined dmodot in 2018. Since then, these three have been rocking the shoe world.

Dmodot isn’t just about affordable designer shoes, its about comfort and the personal touch these three provide through their shoes. From the product to services, everything they give is handmade with love. There are no auto-bots to take customer calls, or machines to make shoes, Indian craftsman with their excellent skills make these shoes cast a personal and lasting impression. And as a cherry on top, everything in the company is Made In India and locally sourced.

While the world is recovering from the pandemic, and everything was disastrous enough for companies to shut down it did something good for e-commerce businesses like dmodot. The covid-19 period led people to put their trust in online shops and e-commerce, as going out shopping was too risky. Suhail says that people are trusting online businesses more than before, and they thrive to keep their trust. It wasn’t an easy period, but they held their fort strong at dmo and didn’t lose any of their employees.

When asked about the Indian government’s vision towards startups and the Make in India approach, they said that the government is looking after small and medium industries in the country. We need visions like Atma Nirbhar Bharat to showcase the ability and skills of Indian craftsmen. People these days often ask us that is our product  Made in India, and we are proud to say that yes it is. This awareness amongst people is necessary for India to grow as when we consume Indian products, the import will be less and export will increase which will eventually help the nation. They further added that footwear as a commodity lies in the 18% GST slab which is a bit more for similar startups like this, government should exempt small startups with a turnover of Rs 1or 2 crores to a certain percent of GST.

The trio at dmodot feels that the real award for their company is a satisfied customer, every happy review is their reward. Dmodot was recently featured at the Lakme fashion week and had a collab with celebrities like Jim Sarab, Pankaj Tripathi, and Ali Faizal. Fashion repeats itself every 20 years, what was popular in the 2000s returned in 2020, but maintaining the classic appeal with modern touch is what they do at dmo.

Dmodot envisions double its revenue in the FY21 and hit the international market too. As around 93% of the footwear industry is settled in brick and mortar shops and multi-brand stores, dmodot goals to set up a distributing chain in the coming future.

One statement I admired by Abhishek is, people often say that ‘The first impression is the last impression’ and ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ but aren’t both sayings contradictory? People often do judge a book by its cover, but the idea here at dmo is to make that first impression lasting enough everything else follows.

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