How Daughter's Torn Shoe Inspired Moirangthem Muktamani Devi's Entrepreneurial Journey

3 decades ago, Muktamani Devi embarked on shoemaking due to financial constraints, innovating a solution for her daughter's worn-out school shoes. Little did she know that this would mark the genesis of an extraordinary entrepreneurial adventure.

Ishika Thanvi
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Moirangthem Muktamani Devi | Facebook: Mukta Shoes Industry

Moirangthem Muktamani Devi | Facebook: Mukta Shoes Industry

Moirangthem Muktamani Devi's journey into the world of shoemaking commenced nearly three decades ago when financial constraints led her to innovate a solution for her daughter's worn-out school shoes. Little did she know that this would mark the genesis of an extraordinary entrepreneurial adventure.


A Humble Beginning

In 1991, Muktamani's improvised shoe design, using woollen yarn to knit the upper portion, caught the attention of teachers at her daughter's school. Requests from them led to the birth of Mukta Shoes. What started as a small endeavour to mend a pair of shoes evolved into a journey of entrepreneurship that transcends borders.

Handcrafted and Vegan Footwear

Muktamani's shoes are not just footwear; they are handcrafted pieces of art. Differentiating themselves from conventional shoes, Mukta Shoes are vegan, crafted from woollen and nylon yarn, gum, and rubber. It takes two to three days to meticulously create each pair, showcasing the dedication and craftsmanship behind the brand.

The positive feedback Muktamani received spurred her to turn her newfound skill into a full-fledged business. From copying existing designs to creating her own, she quickly became a force to be reckoned with in the world of shoemaking. Her products gained widespread acclaim, attracting attention at state and national fairs.

Participation in various state and national-level fairs paved the way for international exposure. Today, demand for Mukta Shoes extends beyond the borders of Manipur, reaching countries like Australia, the UK, Japan, the US, and South Korea. Her entrepreneurial journey, fueled by dedication and hard work, has become an inspiring story of success.


Muktamani's journey isn't just about personal success; it's about empowering others. With over 2,000 individuals trained in shoemaking, she has become a beacon of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs. Currently providing job opportunities for around 30 individuals, she exemplifies the impact of women's entrepreneurship on local economies.

The Padma Shri Honour

The pinnacle of Muktamani's journey came with the prestigious Padma Shri award, bestowed upon her for outstanding contributions to trade and industry. The recognition serves as a testament to her hard work and dedication, showcasing that success knows no gender.

Despite her success, Muktamani faces challenges, particularly in expanding her product line to include leather and wool shoes. Financial constraints, especially the cost of acquiring necessary machinery, remain a hurdle. However, she remains committed to her vision, expressing a desire to conduct workshops and nurture more entrepreneurs in Manipur.

Women Leaders in the MSME Landscape

Muktamani's entrepreneurial spirit aligns with Manipur's robust presence in the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector. The state boasts the highest number of MSME businesses in the northeastern region, with women entrepreneurs contributing significantly. Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh acknowledges the growth in the MSME sector as a substantial boost to the state's GDP. Beyond the artistry of her creations, Muktamani's journey highlights the impact of women in entrepreneurship. Her decision to step into the traditionally male-dominated field was not only an act of personal empowerment but also a catalyst for economic growth in her community.

Moirangthem Muktamani Devi's journey from mending her daughter's shoes to earning the Padma Shri stands as a testament to the power of innovation, hard work, and the impact of women in entrepreneurship. Her story not only inspires but also highlights the potential within local economies when individuals, especially women, are given the opportunity to thrive.

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