Neeman's Success Story - How is it Changing the Norm of the Footwear Industry?

Chayanika Goswami Chayanika Goswami Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Jun 3, 2022 10 min read
Neeman's Success Story - How is it Changing the Norm of the Footwear Industry?

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Neeman's.

Industrialization has changed human life drastically. It has brought with it an increase in production, job opportunities, and urbanization. But, industrialization has a set of drawbacks too. It has contaminated the air, water, and soil. Dust, smoke, fumes, toxic gas emissions, use of plastic, etc has caused irreversible degradation to our environment. However, the good news is that now people are becoming more aware of the importance to conserve the environment. In India, many startups are coming up with amazing Eco-friendly product ideas. Neeman’s, is one such Hyderabad-based startup that is revolutionizing the footwear industry with shoes that are made of natural, renewable, and sustainable materials.  

Neeman's Highlights

Startup Name Neeman's
Headquarter Hyderabad
Founders Taranjeet Singh Chhabra and Amar Preet Singh
Sector Footwear
Founded 2017
Total Funding $9.8 Mn (June 2022)
Revenue $899K (FY21)
Parent Organization Neeman's Pvt. Ltd.

About Neeman's
Neeman's - Industry
Neeman's - Founders and Team
Neeman's - Startup Story | How was Neeman's Started?
Neeman's - Name, Logo and Tagline
Neeman's - Business Model and How it works
Neeman's - Funding and Investors
Neeman's - Advisors and Mentors
Neeman's - Growth
Neeman's - Startup Challenges
Neeman's - Awards

About Neeman's

Neeman’s is India’s first shoe brand to use natural, renewable and sustainable fibres, including merino wool. Founded in 2017, in Hyderabad, Neeman's envisages manufacturing shoes that are stylish, comfortable, and eco-friendly. Neeman's is the first company in India to use Australian merino wool for its shoes.

"Neeman's is focused on making truly comfortable footwear that looks good, feels good and is good for the planet--all day, every day" - quotes Neeman's founder duo Taranjeet Singh Chhabra and Amar Preet Singh.

Conceptualized in America, Neeman’s shoes are leading a culture of sustainability and comfort in the footwear space in India. Working in collaboration with the world’s leading manufacturing units and suppliers, Neeman’s brings perfectly-crafted, natural fibre shoes to India.

Working on the lines of US-famed Allbirds, which is famous for the sustainable shoes and clothing it produces and sells, Neeman's manufactures comfortable shoes that are crafted with merino wool, organic cotton, recycled PET bottles, and wood, fruit pulp, tyres, bamboo, and more.

Neeman's Products

Currently, Neeman’s has 3 types of shoes -

  • Wool Classic  Sneakers
  • Wool Joggers
  • Wool Loafers  

Neeman's Brand USP

Listing the USPs of Neeman’s would include -

  • Neeman’s shoes are designed for Style and Comfort.
  • Neeman’s shoes are manufactured using Natural and Renewable Merino Wool, Castor bean oil, Recycled rubber, and other earth-friendly materials.
  • The Merino Wool shoes made by Neeman’s can be worn in all months in India. They can be carried well in both extreme summers & extreme winters.  
  • Neeman’s shoes are flexible and lightweight, conforming to the foot for comfort that truly lasts all day.
  • Neeman’s timeless designs go from work to play, day to night, casual to dressy.
  • Neeman’s shoes are sock-free and odor resistant, but also machine-washable if the need arises.
  • The company works with the best design companies, manufacturing units and spinning mills to create its ultra-soft Merino Wool fabric used in its exclusive shoes.  

Neeman's - Industry

India is the second-largest footwear producer in the world, 9% of the global annual production is done in India. In terms of consumption, India is the third-largest (around 2.1 Billion). India’s per capita consumption in terms of footwear is only 1.7 pairs per annum and is increasing rapidly and moving towards the Global Per capita of 3 pairs.

According to Assocham study, the premium footwear market in India is close to 8 to 10% of the overall footwear market of $7-8 Billion

With increasing affluent population and interest for more comfortable and designer shoes, Neeman’s plans to carve a unique position by building a Culture of Comfort and Sustainability in India.  The target Market size for Neeman’s is around $600 - $650M.

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Neeman's - Founders and Team

Neeman’s was founded by Taranjeet Singh Chhabra and Amar Preet Singh in the year 2017.

Taran Chhabra & Amarpreet Singh
Neeman's Founders

Taranjeet Singh Chhabra

Taran Chhabra is the CEO of Neeman’s. He handles the complete operations of the company along with the finance department, sales department and the marketing strategy. He also manages Neeman’s collaboration with the world’s leading design companies, manufacturing units, and spinning mills to bring true nature-friendly shoes to the Indian men.  

Taranjeet is a Business Analytics Leader with great experience and leadership qualities based out of New Jersey, the USA. He has helped countable pharma and life sciences giants in America pivot their current operational strategy and move towards the path of growth. He also has quality experience in Technology, Operations, and Media that enables him to establish new ventures at the epitome of industry and acquire a greater market share. Chhabra has completed his Post-Graduation in computer science in the USA. He is an expert IT leader and an avid traveller.  

Amar Preet Singh

Amar Preet Singh is the Director of Operations at Neeman’s. He is a veteran in operations and leading companies with over 15 years of experience in running various start-ups. He is currently leading and overseeing a consulting firm in Hyderabad along with it.  

Currently, Neeman’s has a 17-member team with great expertise in Customer Service, Digital Marketing, Logistics and Branding.

Neeman's - Startup Story | How was Neeman's Started?

It all started with a struggle and frustration. Taranjeet Singh was travelling to Spain and missed a train due to over-packing. He was travelling with five pairs of shoes a running shoe, a casual shoe, a lounging shoe and an extra pair just in case. And it was quite cumbersome to travel with so much luggage.  

This inconvenience made Taran think about a shoe that can be used for all purposes and for all day. However, he did not find anything suitable, which led to the birth of Neeman’s.  

With very little background in footwear and design, Taran travelled to different shoe manufacturing hubs around the world to learn how shoes were made. He saw that most of the shoes were made with synthetic and chemical-heavy fibres that are bad for the environment.  

“The question in my mind was, We look for better, nutritional and organic food, why don’t we look for similar qualities in our shoes?” says Neeman's owner Taran Chhabra.  

Taran thought of using natural sources to make shoes. Merino wool from Australia was at the top of the list because of its amazing qualities. Merino wool is very soft compared to traditional wool and can be worn all year round. Besides, this fibre was natural and renewable as sheep produce a new fleece every year.  

After two years of hard work, in October 2016, Neeman’s is born, which brings classic yet stylish shoes made with natural Merino wool, and other eco-friendly materials.  

We believe you should feel good about what you wear. And at Neeman’s, we’re passionate about making sure your shoes make you feel good, look good and do good for our planet.  

The name Neeman’s is a combination of Taran’s mother’s name, Neelam and his father’s name, Manjeet. The tagline of Neeman's is #ChangeTheNorm.

Neeman's Logo

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Neeman's - Business Model and How it works

Neeman’s launched directly to the consumer via its website to improve the buying process and make it super easy for consumers across India to shop its shoes. Neeman’s shoes are now also available on Amazon and Flipkart, thereby making them more discoverable. It also began to focus on offline markets and has already begun introducing its products in Shoppers Stop and Lifestyle.

The pricing for all its styles ranges within the range of INR 5,500 - 5,850. They have a 7 Day Risk-Free trial wherein the customers can experience the comfort at their doorstep and if they run into any issues Neeman’s delivers a new shoe within a few days.

Neeman's - Funding and Investors

Neeman's raised funding worth $9.8 Million to date. The footwear brand last raised nearly $5.15 mn on June 3, 2022, in a Series B round led by Sixth Sense Ventures. The previous round was valued at around $901K, which came in on December 2, 2021, and was led by Stride Ventures.

Neeman's investors include Anicut Angel Fund, AngelList, and a group of serial entrepreneurs.

Date Stage Amount Lead Investors
June 2, 2022 Series B $5.15 mn Sixth Sense Ventures
December 2, 2021 Debt Financing $901K Stride Ventures
August 3, 2021 Series A $2.57 mn Sixth Sense Ventures
March 2, 2020 Pre-series A $1 mn Anicut Angel Fund & AngelList

Neeman's Shareholders

The largest shares of Neeman's are currently held by Sixth Sense Ventures, which holds around 42.94% of Neeman's stakes. On the other hand, the Neeman's founders, Taranjeet Singh Chhabra and Amar Preet Singh diluted their shareholding, which currently stands at 19.84% and 9.84% respectively.

Neeman's - Advisors and Mentors

Sramana Mitra from Silicon Valley and Tushar Singh are among his mentors/advisors of Neeman's. Sramana Mitra is the Founder and CEO of One Million by One Million (1Mby1M), which is hailed as the world’s first and only global virtual incubator/accelerator. On the other hand, Tushar Singh is among the investors of Neeman's, who is also a member of the Neeman's board.

Neeman's - Growth

Neeman’s is hailed as the first sustainable footwear brand in India. Over the last two years, Neeman's has also launched products like sustainable flips flops, slides and recycled cotton sneakers that are being sold now by the startup.

Neeman’s was beta launched in Oct 2018. At launch, it had few sizes and colours with a focus to promote the difference that the company brings to the footwear space and educate the consumers on why its products are better and revolutionary. Neeman’s used mediums like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Email Marketing during this phase.

The beta launch was successful and Neeman’s got a great response from the early backers and customers. Leveraging upon the initial traction, Neeman’s started using other mediums to reach out to customers and drive awareness of the benefits of its shoes, merino wool and how Neeman’s shoes blend in with their daily life and so on. The company used targeted campaigns to different age groups to ensure the creatives and copy blend in with their location and age group.  

Some of the growth highlights of Neeman's are:

  • It has achieved a 661.42% growth rate
  • It currently serves 275K users

Neeman’s has grown by 15X in 2021 when it comes to revenue and customer base. It dived into the new retail selling initiative by opening a store in Hyderabad.

Neeman’s has great reviews from thousands of early backers across the country. Neeman’s has a reorder rate of over 25% and a growth of over 30% month over month.

The company is working on starting a few flagship offline locations for the customers to walk in and experience the comfort crafted at Neeman’s. Besides, Neeman’s is also working towards adding more colour and variants to its shoes.

Neeman's Financials

Neeman's registered Rs 6.98 crore ($899.21K) in revenue in FY21, and has also posted a loss of Rs 3.32 crore ($427.63K) in the same fiscal.

Neeman's - Startup Challenges

According to Taranjeet, the major challenge for Neeman’s was to design and develop the core set of merino wool fabrics which would create a shoe that is lightweight, durable, abrasion-resistant and holds up well with the Indian weather conditions.  

During our research, our focus was to ensure our shoes hold up well with Indian Weather Conditions. As our country is so diverse and the weather is different in Bangalore and Mumbai, we have worked to choose the right composition to ensure it holds up well in all situations and conditions.

Neeman’s collaborated with Woolmark Company, a non-profit funded by Australian wool farmers for developing merino wool fabric.  

Neeman's - Awards

Neeman’s was awarded as a Gamechanger and Emerging Brand of 2018-19 in Consumer Space by Nexbrand in association with Times Now.  

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FAQs

What does Neeman's do?

Neeman’s is India’s first shoe brand to use a natural, renewable and sustainable fiber in its shoes--merino wool. This Hyderabad-based startup founded in 2017 envisages manufacturing shoes that are stylish, comfortable, and eco-friendly.

Who is the founder of Neeman's Shoes?

Mr. Taranjeet Singh Chhabra and Mr. Amar Preet Singh founded Neeman's in 2017.

How much is Neeman's Funding till date?

Neeman's total funding is reported to be $9.8 Million in June 2022. Neeman's investors include Anicut Angel Fund, AngelList and a group of serial entrepreneurs.

Who is Sramana Mitra?

Sramana Mitra from Silicon Valley, and Tushar Singh, who is one of the investors of the brand, are the mentors/advisors of Neeman's.

Does Neeman's bring organic shoes in India?

Yes, if you are looking for organic shoes in India, then Neeman's is one of the best choices you can find.

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