Shoe major Bata eyes defence forces

May 27th, 2009 - 1:01 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, May 26 (IANS) Footwear major Bata India has made an application to the defence forces to supply shoes, chairman P.M. Sinha said Tuesday.
“But we know the process of getting the approval is time-consuming, and the company might not be successful eventually,” Sinha said.

“Entering the defence sector is not easy if you have a value-based system in your company,” the Bata India chairman told the shareholders during the company’s annual general meeting.

Later, he told shareholders that the company has set up a dedicated team headed by a retired defence personnel, besides importing specialised machines that make safety shoes primarily for industrial use.

The total market for footwear used by defence personnel is about 12 million pairs a year, Sinha said.

Defence authorities outsource most of the footwear requirement from unorganised players, he said.

He said the shoe major is now entering aggressively into the safety footwear sector to give a thrust to its growth.

The company is targeting the country’s 45 million workforce in various manufacturing and mining units and has established separate machines at Batanagar to make safety footwear.

Bata India currently operates more than 1,000 retail outlets.

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