With a love for shoes, especially non-leather shoes, Devika Srimal Bapna, Founder & CEO Kanabis, created her own brand and started on a journey which is both animal-friendly and fashionable. In a market of expensive leather shoes and short lived local ones, here's an insight of her voyage:
1. What was your source of inspiration for Kanabis?
As an animal lover and PETA volunteer, I gave up leather few years ago and had a tough time finding good non-leather shoes that were stylish, good quality and affordable. I noticed the unstructured footwear industry in India- we either have the non-Indian players that are expensive and mostly do leather shoes or the unorganized/unbranded segment where quality, price, make etc. is questionable. It was almost a light-bulb moment when I thought ‘what the heck, I should start my own brand!’ And KANABIS was born.
2. Changing your career path, after being honored in your field, what were some of the challenges you've faced?
Challenges, you ask? Phew…plenty and counting! I don’t come from a fashion/footwear background. From London to Delhi, finance to fashion, big corporate to a start up- life had taken a 180! Building a team, running a company, learning to sell, promoting and marketing a consumer brand has been exciting, challenging and rife with learnings.
3. What is your mantra for success? and picking shoes.
For me, success is not a one-time achievement, it is a journey. In order to be successful, one should have a go-getter attitude. Give it your all, until you achieve what you set out to do.
4. Which shoe would you choose for a power dressing attire? and why.
We play with funky prints and fabrics on our shoes that add colour to your look. For instance, our geometrical printed ankle slingback wedges that we call Love Triangles look cool with red pants and a white top. For a more formal do, our black wedges with golden studs aka Night Out add that tinge of power to an LBD!
5. What next is Kanabis going to explore/pursue in the coming future?
Lots of exciting things in the pipeline- new styles, new channels, new customers, new geographies. Have our fingers and toes (rather!) crossed.
6. An office footwear trend that you're excited about?
We are just launching our new collection this week –mix of brogues and block heels to rock the office look. Stay tuned for the Girl Boss!
Devika Srimal Bapna
Devika started her career at Ernst & Young, London in Financial Services and
simultaneously qualified as a Chartered Accountant. She always had an
entrepreneurial itch since she was little and found her calling when she moved back
to Delhi and identified a gap in the footwear industry. After a brief stint at Deloitte,
she started KANABIS- a first of its kind brand for fashionable, high quality and Peta
approved Vegan footwear for women.