In June 2018, India was astounded by the unveiling of a truly incredible shoe, a creation that transcended conventional footwear norms and captured the imagination of all who beheld it. This remarkable shoe, aptly referred as the "8th Wonder of the World," defied expectations with its colossal proportions, boasting a towering height of 8 feet and an astonishing width of 5.5 feet. The shoe consumed 200 sq. feet of pure leather with a manufacturing cost of Rs 9 Lakh (Indian currency).
Under the guidance of the company's director, Shravan Singh, around 25+ professionals took 6 months to build this testament of artistry. Big Boon is a renowned footwear brand on the bank of Agra, city already registered it’s name for 7th wonder of world - Taj Mahal.
The Rise of Big Boon
Sharvan Singh, a first-generation Dalit entrepreneur based in Agra, founded Jiya Enterprises. The company gained recognition for its 'Big Boon' brand, which offers a diverse range of shoes, including formal, casual, boots, sports, and fashion shoes for men, women, and children. Despite facing the challenges of managing a large workforce, Sharvan's dedication to his brand remained unwavering.
“Big Boon was one of the first Dalit footwear brands to tap the potential of advertisement at newspaper & media channels.”
The Vegetarian Shoe Revolution
When China introduced synthetic leather to the world, the advent threatened traditional leather shoe manufacturers, Sharvan Singh saw an opportunity. He became the first to introduce "vegetarian shoes" made from artificial leather. By marketing his synthetic shoes as an ethical and cruelty-free alternative, he tapped into a growing market of animal lovers and customers from religious groups who embraced this innovative product.
Amidst the backdrop of his parents' struggle to make ends meet, Shravan Singh emerged as a beacon of hope for his family. Driven by a promise to prioritise his education while supporting his household, he sought ways to contribute financially. It was during this time that he recognized the immense opportunity and untapped potential in the footwear market. With unwavering determination, Shravan dedicated himself wholeheartedly to his humble venture. From selling a mere 12 pairs of shoes a day to local vendors to ultimately convincing the owner of Agra's largest showroom, Shravan's journey was marked by discouragement and hardships, he faced countless hurdles and discouragement along his path. However, his unyielding self-belief and unwavering resolve pushed him to prove himself, eventually transforming his small shoe workshop into India's leading footwear brand.
Despite facing ambivalence from shoe wholesalers who discouraged declaring the kind of raw material used, Sharvan remained committed to the integrity of the Big Boon brand. He invested in advertising his synthetic shoes as vegetarian shoes, leading to a market trend where more manufacturers followed suit. Sharvan's brand gained traction and secured partnerships with top international companies.
A Growing Enterprise
Jiya Enterprises, which is named after his third daughter Jiya, operates two manufacturing units—one focused on women's shoes and located in the Sikandra industrial area, and the other dedicated to men's shoes in Rawli. Employing a combination of mechanised and handmade processes, the company successfully caters to a wide range of customers. Sharvan's business acumen and commitment to quality have earned him the respect of top shoe brands, allowing him to decline orders and focus on building the Big Boon brand.
Personal and Professional Success
Sharvan's success extends beyond his entrepreneurial achievements. From humble beginnings in a Dalit neighbourhood, he now resides in a prestigious area of Agra with his wife and five children. Despite his daughters' aspirations to study abroad, Sharvan remains grounded and committed to giving his company a corporate structure, comparing himself to top billionaires who oversee their businesses personally.
In the pursuit of leaving an indelible mark on the world, Big Boon aims to introduce footwear that will revolutionise the industry and captivate the imaginations of all who encounter it.