Baaz.pk is Bringing Peshawari Chappals to the Mainstream!
1 year ago
Peshawari Chappals are not just a known name in Pakistan’s footwear but also a deep part of our heritage and ethnic culture. These handcrafted original leather, exquisitely designed chappals by our artisans are worn widely on weddings, Eids, and as casual wear.
The art of making these beautiful yet durable Peshawari Chappals has been passed on to generations and goes back to decades or even centuries. These are also known as ‘Charsadda Chappal’ or ‘Kheri’.
The State of Peshawari Chappals in Pakistan
Almost all original styled peshawari Chappals are made in Peshawar and some parts of Rawalpindi. Many small businessmen and artisans have their shops established to sell these chappals.
But for last few years the popularity of these cultural footwear has declined. Craftsmen and small business owners who make and sell Peshawari Chappal have lost the passion and heart in this business. One of the prominent reasons is changing preferences of Pakistani men towards wide range of footwear options.
Chinese made chappals also rule the market. Most of these are low quality and low price but serves the purpose.
The other important reason is the aggressive marketing of brands and easier market access.
The Beginning of Baaz.PK
One young Pakistani has taken a step to save this Pashtoon’ tradition by increasing access to small artisans through his startup. Salman Baig, who lives in Peshawar and runs his own Internet Marketing business, wants to revive the popularity behind this cultural footwear by increasing awareness and countering the declining interest of Peshawari Chappals.
The lack of demand and declined interest have already made local skillful artisans and business owners suffer. Salman, in order to uphold this proud legacy of Pashtoons, connected these small Peshawari Chappal makers (skillful artisans) with customers through an exclusive Peshawari Chappal online Ecommerce store known as Baaz.pk.
Peshawari Chappals are Favorite among Celebrities
Many prominent public figures like Imran Khan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Afridi and General Musharraf are also fond of Peshawari Chappals. They regularly order from popular footwear makers in Peshawar on every Eid or other occasions every year.
You must have seen the political race on Eid to get the most unique and stylish peshawari chappal. One guy even made a tiger skin peshawari chappal for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Just of today it has been reported on news that Shahrukh Khan also ordered 3 sets of Peshawari Chappal for his upcoming film Raees. One of the chappals was made of Deer Skin.
Kaptaan Chappal Trend
Among many famous and popular celebrities, Imran Khan has been dominant in promoting Peshawari Chappal Footwear fashion. Since beginning he has been seen wearing Peshawari Chappals casually and under jeans. He started the trend of wearing Peshawari Chappals under the jeans.
This lead to a special double sized sole stich peshawari chappal to be known as Kaptaan Chappal. It’s the most famous and popular among all peshawari chappals now.
Even a European Brand Plagiarized Peshawari Chappal
When a famous European footwear fashion brand copied the peshawari chappal and priced it at £500, that angered a lot of people from our part of the world. The cultural backlash forced the brand to change the name and recognize its original cultural association.
Even many shoe brands who have these on retail, priced them at least 5 times more than the price of original peshawari chappal. Brands and many online stores have these chappals as their side items to get extra sales.
This was the moment when Salman realized that the equation is wrong. Despite association with their cultural footwear chappal not many Pakistanis are aware of the issues that Peshawari Chappal makers are facing in the market.
Also, availability of these chappals is an issue in most areas of Pakistan.
How Baaz Peshawari Chappal Store Started
Salman & his Team at Production house
Almost 3 years back, Salman started working with these small businessmen to form a wholesale business for Peshawari Chappal to increase their sales and customer reach.
Salman and his team immediately realized the limitations involved in it. Despite the fact that almost every Pakistani has at least a pair of Peshawari Chappal in their house, still it’s an occasional and rarely worn footwear, except in some parts of the country.
Pakistani footwear market is getting saturated with many other alternatives and shoe brands, which are spending huge to market their other products. Consequently, the cultural peshawari chappal’s preference in new generations is declining.
Baaz Collection – Not just Old brown and black Chappals
During the retail and wholesale phase of Peshawari Chappal, Salman and his team realized that other brands are still missing something with Peshawari chappals. However, promoting this cultural product and closing gaps between the customers and makers will still be difficult.
Baaz Team researched its online demand and ways to increase reach to people interested in Peshawari Chappals. Unfortunately, the lack of technological knowledge and awareness among the Peshawari Chappal makers made it difficult to bridge this gap. Salman and team started by taking benefits of Social Media to increase reach and have seen tremendous results.
Below is the screen shot that shows its year on year increasing interest.
Source: Google Trends “Peshawari Chappal”
Facebook has proved to be an amazing new channel for Baaz team to bring more orders for these artisans. Eid 2015 have shown some promising results. The team decided that they will not just make a casual hit and trial store but will establish proper Ecommerce operations.
This year Baaz launched their online Ecommerce store to facilitate customers for easy order processing and customer support. By implementing and improving their social channels and website, the team has been successful in fulfilling orders of more than 5000 units during Eid-ul-Fitar this year.
The Baaz website includes Fast Customer Support, Live Chat, Whatsapp and Order on call Facility. It also features an easy checkout process and user-friendly interface. It can now easily showcase Peshawari Chappals made by deserving artisans all around the world.
Visitors and Orders Keep Growing
Another learning for the team after launching the store is that, not only in Pakistan but across the globe Pakistani likes Peshawari Chappals. Despite our limited scale of marketing (mostly online) we have been successful in reaching out to more than 5 Million interested people online.
Mostly orders are from Pakistan and not just big cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad but many very small towns and cities like Layyah. Outside Pakistan, orders have been received from Middle-East countries. Expats from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Spain and many other European countries have also ordered their pair.
Baaz has fulfilled orders to more than 165 cities with-in Pakistan and around 15 cities outside Pakistan. Top 11 Cities have around 51% of orders delivered. Rest of the 154 cities in Pakistan comprise 49% of the orders.
Despite a very niche Ecommerce Pakistani product store, there is a huge demand for these chappals in small cities of Pakistan. It’s a positive sign to see that ecommerce is growing in Pakistan and reaching out to almost every corner of Pakistan.
Now people have more ease and access to order their favourite Peshawari Chappal online, Baaz.pk has ensured that its geared up to meet demand for this Eid-ul-Azha. Check their eclectic variety of Peshawari chappals and gift them to your loved ones or yourself this holiday season.