Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Shoe Guy

As part of my regular visits to the Ganga Nagar magazine stall, my eyes caught the cover of the latest issue of Outlook Money. The cover flashed a young boy's picture with shoes strewn all around him. "Is he the shoe guy", I heard myself mutter. A closer look at the note confirmed my guess. I instinctively bought myself a copy of it.

The picture was of Sandeep Gajakas. And I was amazed to see him in the cover page of a leading magazine. I had read about Sandeep a year and half back in a small article in a Times Of India supplement. And i remember sharing that story to many of my friends. But I had lost track of him all this years and was pleasantly surprised to find him where he has reached.

Reminiscing what I read couple of years back...

A bucket, a brush and a simmering idea came together. Sandeep Gajakas knew it was an inflammable mixture. He was on to something. He would start a laundry service for shoes. The boy who has been a fashion choreographer, event manager and club-level football player, wanted a way out of the rat race his friends were ailing from. Sandeep was working in a call centre when the idea struck him. He quit his job and started distributing handbills asking people who wanted to clean their sports shoes to contact him. His father thought he has lost his mind. But Sandeep at 26 then, was beyond being dissuaded. The response was tremendous. The Andheri resident would get calls from all corners of Mumbai. He would then run to their houses, get the shoes, scrub them clean in his bathroom and deliver them for Rs 100 a pair.
That was in 2004. Today, Sandeep is 28 and owns a business called The Shoe Laundry.

Today the magazine proclaims, his turnover as, hold your breath, a whooping Rs 18 lakh a year.
A dozen boys trained by him do that now and they follow his ten-step cleaning procedure which involves everything from tagging to drying and even repairs. He has even tied up with the dealers of Reebok and Adidas for after-sales services. Sandeep has raised the price per pair by Rs 20, but there is so much demand that he is saying no to corporates who want tie-ups. Today his clientele boasts of film stars. models and politicians

Read his story as he narrates himself: (click for a clear picture)



Moral: Look for that idea, people are willing to spend.

Other stories: http://www.rediff.com/money/2004/sep/15betterlife1.htm

4 comments:

Anonymous,  Tuesday, October 16, 2007 10:48:00 PM  

really thought provoking .. if u have an idea, just implement it .. India's public can make anything work ..

Pali Madra Friday, February 08, 2008 4:06:00 AM  

A great idea.

Does anyone know of any other success stories?

Pali Madra Friday, February 08, 2008 4:10:00 AM  

A great idea.

Does anyone know of any other success stories?

Arun Monday, April 27, 2009 8:56:00 PM  

aha.. thats really interesting!

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