Monk Story offers a variety of range of products with footwear being its main focus. Currently, the product range it caters comprises of shoes, dress, office, casual and running, and messenger and travel bags.

Journey of Monk Story
Monk Story was launched in June 2016 by two school friends, Nilesh Jain and Abhinandan Jain, with the objective to sell alternative to leather as well as providing the best designer shoes at an affordable prices. “To our brand every customer is considered a monk as he has chosen a step forward towards saving the animals.

Nilesh Jain and Abhinandan Jain

So when a customer buys our products he becomes a monk. So before Monk Story, non-leather shoes or vegan shoes felt just like a compromise. No other vegan brand could deliver designer products and, moreover, the designs were so outdated that an 18-30-year old would never wear them. We wanted to change the market. We wanted vegan to become a cool thing in India, hence there is a sense of quirkiness in every aspect of the brand from brand name to the logo to the product design. We have been growing in a constant pace year after year in this massively growing market,” explains Abhinandan Jain

Being Different
Other brands just target people who do not want to wear leather, and that’s why they could not come up with extraordinary designs. According to Nilesh Jain, “We, on the other hand, target shoe lovers, giving them the designs they always wanted with a chance of making people believe in vegan products. So, basically, other brands just helped vegan customers, and we transformed a major leather wearing audience to try us out.”

Target audience
Its target audience is men who are in the age bracket of 18-35 all over India, and those in Delhi, Mumbai and Punjab make up a major share of 30%.

Product portfolio
Monk Story offers a variety of range of products with footwear being its main focus. Currently, the product range it caters comprises of shoes, dress, office, casual and running, and messenger and travel bags. “We plan to diversify the range; we are venturing into a lot of categories this year like wallets, belts, and various other small accessories,” says Abhinandan.

Retail and promotional strategy
“We have done well for 3 years selling on our own website www.monkstory.com. With more reach in the social media and a lot of happy customers, we have made a name in the online space. But now it’s time to reach out to a lot more people. We are planning to sell internationally through our website and on other marketplaces,” maintains Nilesh. It has been doing offline retail too, tying up with other stores across India and now planning to sell in around 50 stores by this year.

On Lack of well-trained designers
Abhinandan believes, “Yes, that’s true. The major problem is not that we have less trained designers but that we have less exposed and less creative designers. India doesn’t have a brand of our own to look upto in terms of creativeness or extraordinary designs. Now that people are trying to experiment with fancy stuffs brands are slowly getting really designer products out there and giving a chance to the designers to break the shackles and make something great.”

Major challenges
“In the online segment COD or Cash on Delivery payement is the biggest challenge. A lot of money burns if a customer refuses to accept the package. Secondly, India is pretty slow to adapt certain changes; we are 10 years behind Europe in terms of fashion. But the gap is reducing with more exposure and awareness. Today, India is becoming pretty stylish. Another is, building trust in the online space is really tough. With a lot of fraudulent activities and incorrect items received, people are still hesitant to shop online,” elaborates Nilesh.

In five years
The founders maintain that they aim to become the best shoe brand India has ever seen. “We see ourselves going global in the coming years and become one of the few Indian brands to make a name out there. In 5 years, we wish to be known as how ZARA is for clothing, and Monkstory for shoes.”

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