Born and brought up amongst entrepreneurs and businessmen in Chennai, Vedant and Vatsal come from a family that has been in the footwear and leather goods industry for more than 2 decades and are currently extending this family-led business towards newer horizons. Having studied at SP Jain School of Global Management, they gained the skills and the confidence to finally venture into their own business. The university’s tri-city model allowed the brothers to immerse themselves in a melting pot of cultures and business environments in multiple economies, namely Singapore, Dubai and Sydney. Vedant has been very fervid about his education, sports and extracurriculars, from a young age. He is a zealous public speaker and a fiery debater, He is also a sports enthusiast and enjoys playing all kinds of sports. Vatsal believes in Steve Jobs’s famous quote, “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”, and that’s his motto in life. Since childhood, he has always wanted to be an entrepreneur and learning about various businesses has always excited him. His hobbies are playing basketball and coding app scripts.
When you take a trip around the beautiful mountains of the Himalayas, the journey is so lovely and serene that by the time you reach your destination, you are in love. My brother, Vedant, and I travelled to Kasol, a beautiful hill station near the Himalayas. Our experiences were no different when it came to the journey.
However, upon reaching, instead of noticing the beautiful landscapes and admiring the beauty that is Kasol, we couldn’t help but see how this place was filled with plastic waste. Soon enough, we got to thinking and realized how this must be the reality of not just one but several hill stations. Due to the pollution caused by plastics, many other places also lose their natural beauty.
We couldn’t stop thinking about it, and then we came up with the idea of ‘Kasole’. With a family background in footwear manufacturing for more than 20 years, it was no surprise that our thoughts took us in this direction. We found out how to use these plastic bottles and convert them into shoes.
I think this was our destiny from the start, and we soon started our journey of creating a brand that makes super comfortable and fashionable shoes from recycled materials such as plastic bottles. We always imagined doing something that also benefits the environment, not just us and the people around us.
Our shoes not only prioritize comfort, but our designs are also versatile. They can be paired every day with various outfits. The best part is we are trying to create a fully sustainable shoe without compromising quality. It has been quite a journey, from sourcing raw materials and meeting expert shoemakers across the globe to having people love the shoe and appreciate it. We are confident that ‘Kasole’ will be a shoe that reaches every household.
We aim to introduce newer raw materials, more unique ways to protect our home (earth), the idea of zero waste, and create a closed-loop production. Though our product is still in the prototyping stage, our website and social media links are very inactive. We have already started photoshoots of our products. Through our website and social media channels, we wish to acquire pre-orders over the next 2 months and then prepare for launch.
At kasole, we want to combat the stigma that sustainable and environmentally friendly products come with a premium or a heavy price tag. So we aim to bring a product that makes people question, “Why should sustainable be expensive.”
- Recognitions achieved by Kasole as a startup:
– Hosted at SP Jain School of global management, Dubai in December 2021 was the ‘Techstars Startup Weekend’ in Dubai where we pitched the idea of ‘Kasole’ to potential investors and in the process gained a lot of interest from different mentors and investors. In this competition, we bagged 2nd place among 85 other teams.
– TIE Mena University startup competition was hosted at in5, Dubai by the TIE Dubai chapter of the Tie University and was sponsored by RAKBANK. For this competition, among 24 countries, 3660 student entrepreneurs, 1451 teams, and 90 were shortlisted, and we came in the Top 10. For the final top 10 pitch competition, we came 1st and won 15,000 AED.
We are now selected to represent the entire MENA region from the tie Dubai chapter at the Tie global pitch competition which was to be held in silicon valley, USA, but was conducted online.
– TIE University Global Pitch Competition – Here among 30 teams selected from over 8 countries and 6 continents, we represented the MENA region and advanced to the semifinals, and got awarded a cash prize.