Pune-based startup ‘Nemital’ is making beautiful shoes from tire scraps

Million tons of scrap tires are generated in the world annually. Tires cannot be decomposed easily so they are nothing but dangerous addition to our landfills.

Pune-based startup, Nemital, is the brainchild of Pooja Badamikar who quit her IT job to make beautiful shoes from tire scraps. She designed two prototypes and introduced them to ‘Startup India’ which was highly appreciated. In October 2018, she presented two prototypes of Nemital footwear at ‘Startup Yatra’ organized by Startup India in association with the Maharashtra State Innovation Society and won the Upcoming Woman Entrepreneur award.

In light of the alarming level of pollution, proper waste management has become the need of the hour. Pooja Badamikar understood this and started working on making footwear out of tire scraps. Her primary objective is to create environmental awareness through her startup. Pooja Badamikar holds a post-graduation degree in renewable energy and has embarked on this unique journey of converting tire scraps into footwear for the last two years through her brand ‘Nemital’.

After quitting her job at an IT company, Pooja began researching the scrap tire business and ways to reduce the accumulated waste. But this required a lot of capital and it would also take her a long time to start generating returns. Another issue that she faced was that tires were banned for reuse in India because they are non-biodegradable and possess health and safety issues.

During her research, Badamikar came across African communities that were reusing tire scraps to make footwear. This greatly inspired her and she set on her journey to design beautiful shoes.
Shortly afterward, she started making footwear from scraps of truck tires. She designed two prototypes with the help of a Lakei cobbler and presented them in ‘Startup India’.