Be! Skill: Marketing, advertising & the importance of market research
Shoes take you where you want to go. They help you go to school, to your first job interview, to work and to play. When you don’t have shoes you can’t go so far. Many people across India do not have shoes. As Vinod in a small school in India said, “I want to tell you my second-hand shoe story. I want to start a second-hand shoe business for people cannot afford shoes. I will begin by giving away three pairs of shoes free-of-cost, to three different people in three different communities. When they wear my shoes, they’ll talk about my shoes, they’ll buy my shoes.”
Mishti’s second-hand shoe story is inspired by Vinod’s idea of social enterprise.
Mishti is 22 years old and lives in Calcutta. She’s had to drop out of school to go to work looking after her family’s phone booth because her father is sick. Everyday Mishti looks forward to her visit from her friend, 10 year old Biju. Mishti becomes really troubled when she realizes Biju does not go to school because he does not have shoes to wear.
Ideas begin whirling around Mishti’s head. Why can’t Biju’s family afford to buy him shoes? How much do shoes cost anyway? And why isn’t anyone selling shoes at a price families can afford?
With Biju as an inspiration, Mishti sets out to conduct market research for her business plan. And with the numbers before her, she realizes perhaps the answer is not ‘new’ shoes, but shoes that have been worn before. Second-hand shoes can still take people places they want to go—they can take Biju to school.
Mishti decides she must find out what exactly is the right price for used shoes. Will people want to buy shoes that have been worn before? What stories will she tell to sell her shoes? After her research is complete Mishti must apply what she has learned.
Does Mishti achieve what she set out to do in the beginning? Does Biju finally get to go to school in a pair of his very own, just as-good-as-new shoes?
Find out when the book comes out later this year!