Tata Intl plans tannery, leather goods unit in Ethiopia

| Updated on: Apr 24, 2011
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Tata International Ltd, the global trading arm of Tata Group with business interests in leather, chemicals and engineering goods, is planning to set up tannery and leather goods manufacturing facilities in Ethiopia, “as the country has a good number of livestock”.

The company, which currently has leather processing and manufacturing facilities in Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, intends to make Ethiopia its first processing and manufacturing hub outside India, said Mr O.K. Kaul, Executive Director, Tata International.

Capacity expansion

Besides, Tata International is also on the verge of completing capacity expansion projects, involving Rs 56 crore, at its units in Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in the next few months. This will take its total finished leather production, including upholstery products, to six million sq.ft a month from the current four million sq.ft.

Talking to Business Line on the sidelines of Central Leather Research Institute's (CLRI) Foundation Day ceremony held here on Sunday, Mr Kaul said, “The company will continue to invest in similar capacity expansion projects this year too, and has earmarked $3 million for the purpose.”

Footwear growth

Following the acquisition of 76 per cent stake each in Tamil Nadu-based Bachi Group and Euro Shoe Components Pvt Ltd, late last year, the company forayed into children's footwear and also augmented its overall footwear manufacturing capacity to over five million pairs a year. The company's core business is export of finished leather, footwear and other accessories to various international brands in the US and Europe.

As the company views footwear as a significant business opportunity in the domestic market too, it launched its first retail outlet in Delhi under the brand Tashi in October last year. “Currently we have six stores in Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh. We are planning to take the total to at least 250-300 stores across the country in the next few years,” said Mr Kaul. Footwear retail is a Rs 16,000-crore market and is growing at 15 per cent year-on-year.

The company has a supply chain network in countries such as Bangladesh, China Ethiopia, Zambia, Indonesia, Australia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and in the EU. Its global turnover stands at Rs 3,000 crore with equal contribution from leather and engineering goods trading, Mr Kaul said.

Published on April 24, 2011

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