In a bid to break stereotypes related to men’s footwear, Pune's Harshvardhan Patwardhan launched ‘Chappers’ where he sells shoes with vibrant colours.

“In India, shoe manufacturers are scared to make anything except black and brown. I want to break this stereotype,” says the 31-year-old.

In the process, he aims to bring worldwide recognition to traditional Kolhapuri chappals by “westernising” these slippers and giving them a cool look.

Chappers also claims to be India’s first virtual footwear customiser using AR (augmented reality).

“We have installed touch screens in our stores, using which a customer can personalise footwear. You can literally feel the shoe on the screen,” he says.

He gets about 1,500 orders a month and has buyers from across Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru, Surat, Assam, and 27 countries including the US and Europe.

Harshvardhan launched Chappers with an investment of Rs 5,000. And today, his company earns a revenue of Rs 3 crore.

“You don’t always have to [dream of] becoming an engineer or a doctor. You can also be an entrepreneur. It is necessary to follow your heart,” says the MBA graduate.

“And turning a passion into business does wonders in your life. While you have fun at work, you earn a good amount. If I could do it, then you too can,” he adds.