Walkaroo International Pvt Ltd, a Coimbatore-based footwear manufacturer, closed FY22 with a 20 per cent revenue growth to ₹1,850 crore . This was achieved despite closure of plants due to the Covid pandemic, said the company’s director Manoj Bastian. In FY23 it expects to clock revenue of ₹2,300 crores with ‘aggressive’ growth in North, West and East India markets, and in overseas markets, he told BusinessLine.
About 70 per cent of business comes from the Southern states and the rest equally from among North, East and West markets. “We are planning to increase our market share in by aligning our resources and product lines,” he said.
Walkaroo currently operates with 12 manufacturing facilities in six states and one in Bangladesh. It has a network of over 750 dealers and 1.50 lakh retailers across the country. “We have developed the capacity to produce 5.40 lakh pairs of Polyurethane footwear per day. We have already invested in capacity expansion foreseeing the future demand and growth plans,” he said.
Bastian said that in the next two years the company plans to invest ₹75 crore to manufacture ‘hawai’ footwear in Rajasthan. “We have invested ₹190 crore over the last three years in various manufacturing plants,” he added.
Walkaroo has been quick to leverage technologies to improve operational efficiencies. The latest is the retailer app to digitise the ordering and replenishment process.
The app removes inefficiencies in the stock keeping and ordering process with the help of real time stock data at every point of the supply chain. The company is also in the process of introducing Augmented Reality (AR) to customers through its own channel. “We have invested around ₹5 crore on implementing new technologies and will continue investing on technology to enhance customer experience,” he said.
Through the retailer app, there is a significant reduction in repetitive manual operations in stock keeping and has eased the ordering and replenishment process ensuring availability of the right product at the right time. The overall inventory at dealer space has reduced by around 15 per cent with slow moving inventory reduction up to 30 per cent. At the same time, due to improved availability, the sales have increased by around 15 per cent, he said.
On the use of AR, Bastian said that currently, the company is using five angle imagery to share the product details to the consumers. By using AR, the company will be able to give a complete virtual experience of the product to our customers, he said.