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Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004

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M&B Footwear in talks with global brands for licensing

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Mr Inder Dev Singh Musafir, Director, M&B Footwear (P) Ltd, at a press conference in Chennai on Monday. — Bijoy Ghosh

Chennai , July 12

M&B Footwear, the Indian licensees of Lee Cooper footwear, is engaged in talks with premium overseas brands to distribute them in India.

Mr Inder Dev S. Musafir, M&B Footwear's Director, said the company would announce the outcome of the talks within two months.

In the immediate future, M&B Footwear is scheduled to launch the complete product range of its in-house brand, iD, in Chennai.

The brand had earlier been launched in New Delhi and Punjab.

The South Indian market accounted for 35 per cent of M&B's Rs 50-crore turnover in the last financial year. Mr Musafir said the company's sales from the South grew by 40 per cent.

As against that, the company had forecast an overall sales growth of 25-30 per cent in the current year.

As part of its expansion programme in the South, the company plans to open a walk-in store in Chennai soon.

The store would have all of the company's footwear brands under one roof as well as other leather accessories such as wallets and belts, said Mr Musafir.

He said the iD range was aimed at the youth. The company's target age for the range is a person between the ages of 15 and 32.

Mr Musafir said iD's target age was below that of the target age for the Lee Cooper range.

Therefore, he did not foresee the possibility of iD affecting the sales of Lee Cooper.

Contract manufacturer from Chennai welcome

M&B Footwear, the Indian licensees of Lee Cooper footwear, is looking for a contract manufacturer in Chennai, according to Mr Inder Dev S Musafir, the company's Director.

He said the positive attitude of the industry here is one of the reasons that has sparked M&B's search.

The company is also looking to source products from Sri Lanka. He added that Sri Lanka had an advantage over India in some rubber-based products.

M&B's hunt for a contract manufacturer follows the establishment of a shoe manufacturing unit in Himachal Pradesh. The unit that has an installed capacity of 3,500 pairs a day required an investment of Rs 12 crore, said Mr Musafir.

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