Published: 10th September 2017
Ladies, here are sandals with changeable straps brought to you by Murtle
Already on his third start-up of footwear, Shashank Pawar embodies the true spirit of a new entrant
Once you start thinking like an entrepreneur, you can’t stop as you are tuned to see an opportunity in every problem. Same is the case with 25-year-old Shashank Pawar, who is working on his third big idea. While his first one, Cloudsgreen did not take off, his second one, Whoz High went on to become the official merchandise partner of Baahubali and during the first general elections in New Delhi, the brand's hoodies and t-shirts were worn by Arvind Kejriwal himself along with brothers, Raghu Ram and Rajiv Laxman of MTV Roadies fame.
Hoping that he’s lucky the third time around, the NIT Warangal alumnus is here again with Murtle, a brand of affordable, unisex sandals which come with changeable straps. "Though Whoz High became big, it wasn't scalable. We would have to wait for another Baahubali-esque event to happen. So I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make it a company people will remember," Shashank says thoughtfully.
As early entrants into the market, we wanted to make this product exclusively for women first
Shashank and his team of five have been working on Murtle since 2015 and indeed, there was a lot of research involved. The team settled on fixing the adjustable straps with bottle screw caps instead of good old velcro, "which would lose its stress," or magnets, "which would pick up at least 200 grams of metallic dust while you are out and about," he explains. The soles can be paired with use-and-throw straps made of material like jute cotton, mangalgiri cotton, synthetic leather and resin.
While the soles and straps are presently being made by different vendors in Kompally, Shashank plans to make it more indigenous by employing the people of his hometown, Adilabad. "Adilabad is one of the most backward districts in the whole country. I want to give back by creating employment opportunities there," says Shashank, whose parents are doctors. Additionally, Shashank is also working on the idea of electric bikes. He believes that his team defines him, which consists of designers Lizy Ashirwad and Shubhank Pawar, and Harshin Lalpet who takes care of engineering and manufacturing
Soul pair: A pair of Murtle sandals
Phew! An entrepreneur through and through. To maintain both balance and momentum, Shashank advocates discipline in everyday life. He wakes up by 6:30 am, goes for a run and does yoga, which energises him to spend the rest of the day (which sometimes goes on till 9 pm) in the office. "You might lose points in a game, but you can always come back to win it, just like M S Dhoni in the recent India vs Sri Lanka series," he says, adding, "Persistence is the key. The idea of Murtle came to me back in 2013 and had I left it there, it wouldn't have seen the light of the day."
Murtle is up for a crowdfunding campaign which offers you its own merchandise in return for your contributions and the campaign ends on September 30.
Check their campaign out at fueladream.com