IIT graduates are well known innovators and one duo is all set to the take the sporting enthusiasts by storm.
Heelium is the brainchild of Prateek Sharma and Siddharth Jain, two sports enthusiasts and IIT Rourkee graduates. Launched in July 2017, the company focuses on sports safety, high performance, innovation, sustainability and design.
Heelium derives the name from the core idea behind their shoe, which seeks to protect the runner, and is light enough, like the gas it is named after.
Their wonder product is socks made from bamboo which are much better than even cotton socks, as it does not absorb sweat thus preventing odour or blisters. They are especially very good for marathon runners.
Launched in late January 2018, 2,100 pairs were sold in India and internationally in Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Presently, the socks are sold through online retailers Flipkart and Amazon.
Why did they think of bamboo? Sharma rightly says that cotton is just 3% of the world crop, but uses 30% of the pesticides, thus affecting the environment negatively. Bamboo, on the other hand, is eco-friendly, and we humans are yet to discover all its uses, adding that he agrees with Arun Jaitley’s stand that bamboo is ‘green gold’.
But its big product will be shoes, which is currently awaiting patenting and would be ready for launch by end of the year. They use a polyurethane-based material in the midsole, that absorbs most of the impact while running, walking or standing. The insole is based on the runner’s feet shape, and their running style. Their shoe promises to cut down feet injury by 50% and will cost one –third of what Adidas or Nike charge; they plan to price it around Rs.2000-3000.
More power to such entrepreneurs and hope we do everything possible to embrace their ideas in India or else they will move to USA and we will end up buying the very same at imported prices, hailing them as “Indian Americans!”