Rs. 10,000 Seed, Billion-Dollar Tree: Relaxo Footwear's Success Story

The Inspiring Story of Relaxo: How two brothers turned Rs 10,000 into a billion-dollar footwear empire, making strides in both domestic and international markets.

Rs. 10,000 Seed, Billion-Dollar Tree: Relaxo Footwear's Success Story

Wednesday August 09, 2023,

2 min Read

Relaxo, an iconic name in the Indian footwear scene, stands out for its combination of innovation and affordability. Started in 1976 by Delhi-based brothers, Ramesh Kumar Dua and Mukand Lal Dua, its rise from a modest family initiative to a global brand is nothing short of inspirational.

From Setbacks to New Beginnings

After facing financial hurdles due to a business separation in 1971, the Duas shifted their focus from inherited businesses to footwear in 1976. With a modest Rs 10,000 from a property deposit, they initiated Relaxo, spotlighting the evergreen 'hawai chappal'.

Challenges Met with Strategic Thinking

The initial years presented their share of obstacles, mainly due to government restrictions that limited business operations. The Duas, however, turned challenges into opportunities. They introduced multiple units under different names, eventually consolidating under the brand 'Relaxo' for a distinct identity. This move proved crucial during the Emergency period, ensuring retailers retained their products.

Riding the Wave of Opportunity

1995 marked a turning point for Relaxo. Capitalising on the government’s policy shifts, they invested Rs 7.5 crore in a facility that could produce 50,000 pairs daily, just as the Indian economy was opening up, driving up demand.

Today, Relaxo isn't just a domestic name but boasts a global presence. Alongside its four renowned brands - Bahamas, Sparx, Flite, and Schoolmate, the company has robust ties with e-commerce platforms like Flipkart, Myntra, Amazon India, and DMart. Internationally, it exports to several countries, accounting for about 5% of its revenue, with countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE being significant markets.

Financial Triumphs and Future Vision

Recent financial data paints a rosy picture. Relaxo achieved a commendable 4.9% YoY growth, raking in Rs. 2,783 crore in FY2023. Further solidifying its stature, Ramesh Kumar Dua was listed by Forbes India with a net worth of $1 billion as of 2023.

Looking ahead, Relaxo aims to grow in Africa and the Middle East, prioritising stellar after-sales service alongside product distribution.

In essence, Relaxo's story is a compelling narrative of vision, perseverance, and strategic evolution. Through its ups and downs, the brand has constantly showcased its commitment to offering innovative and affordable footwear to its clientele.