“Hometown Shoes” is a well known start up incubated at Plan9 along with other startups and has witnessed success period and credibility in the technology sectors.
The startup helped hundreds of individuals find jobs and stabilize their income by exposing local artisans and craftsmen to a way of earning money and rehabilitating the positive image of Pakistan and its diverse culture.
Previously, Hometown Shoes were known to sell premium but a small selection of hand crafted, high quality Pakistani leather shoes online, the company is now slightly changing the way to sell local crafts.
New entity is known as Markhor and it can be called as a JV of Hometown Shoes but now Markhor is the place where the customers will be contacting for products. It aims to be a more mature version of the brand.
Pakistan’s cottage industry and SME’s are working wonders from decades by providing people and other businesses with their intricately handmade crafts and products. Various organizations are attempting to encourage these industries to raise revenue for the skilled labourers.
Markhor is going to sell and include more hand crafted goods and develop its image as an ethical fashion brand. These new products including stylized cases, leather wallets and variety of chappals will be made from high quality leather.
Markhor Shoes Pakistan – The idea
Allow us to give you a sneak peak of the controversy referred here. A leather sandal clearly inspired by the Peshawari chappal worn by many Pakistanis was sold under the name of the brand Paul Smith in the range of $500. The same chappals are sold in local stores from 2 to 50 dollars. Thanks to their generosity of mentioning the much deserved courtesy or source, Peshawari Chappal that is, later with their product when the issue went viral on social media.
Markhor on the other hand aims to target international customers but it will not charge such hefty amount of money for quality products.
Markhor is online store that not only upholds and revives the pride and heritage of artisan craftsmen’s skills but also speaks about our old traditions.
Markhor targets that bunch of international community which has great love for art and tradition and want to wear custom designs accessories. The team of talented craftsmanship Markhor has, is their backbone of success in the international market.
Our new and upcoming product line is aimed at international consumers who demand a very high quality of product and we wanted a name and brand that was coherent with this quality.
Our products continue to be handmade, from premium leather by our artisan craftsmen, in Pakistan.
Our new accessories include cardholders and technology cases, all of which match our footwear to provide a suite of lifestyle products for the modern gentleman. – Asim, Markhor Team Member
The reason behind its popularity is the price range of their products that matches the usual mid-ranged leather shoes. They are competing the international standards with their unique designs, brand identity and customer friendly policies which include:
- A 100-day return policy
- $10 international shipment fee
- A printable measuring guide
- And readily available conversion chart of all international size systems
All the above features show that how well this project has been brain stormed and executed.
Markhor is run by a mix of young entrepreneurs, Pakistan’s craftsmen spirits and experienced mentors. It was supported by Pasha Social Innovation Fund, Punjab Government, Google and Plan9 at different stages of their development.
Markhor is in its growing stages as currently, they offer only countable products and designs. However, the company has a long way to go. The website layout is beautiful and has brown hues. The designs, photographs and descriptions along with every product are high on art. The professionalism of the business is clearly shown by their written policies and brand description.
Mr. Asim Janjua (quoted above) is one of the known founders. He is an extremely talented photographer and currently an Acumen Global Fellow serving in Bahawalpur in Pakistan.
I used to have my own startup that did this from South Africa, a long while back. More recently I have been a Technical Designer at Google.
I’m currently doing my Acumen Global Fellowship. I essentially took time away from Google to do this one year program. Whilst being placed in Pakistan by Acumen we founded Markhor. – Asim Janjua
The website sure does give the brand a premium feel.
In future, Markhor aims to launch a signature men shoes collection this month with the help of Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter has been a great way for start-up ideas to raise decent amounts of funds for their projects and with right publicity and branding it is expected that Markhor will achieve its funding goal with a margin.
With the competing e-commerce sector in Pakistan which is growing in leaps and bound, there are many obstacles that Markhor might have to encounter but with their dynamic marketing approach we expect them to do well in coming days.