Bata business growing

July 7, 2009
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – Shoe manufacturer and retailer Bata has been growing its business by 20 percent year on year for the last 5 years.

Managing Director Bata Shoe Company Nasir Rafiq attributed this growth to the introduction of a new business strategy within that period.

“We revisited the strategy, we re-assessed it and we have come up with a two-level strategy that has worked pretty well for us,” Mr Rafiq explained.

While refusing to divulge details on this new plan, Mr Rafiq expressed confidence that it has been the company’s key to success despite the hard economic times.

“At this juncture when everybody is running away and closing down, if you look at our financial results until June, we are having a growth of 20 percent against last year,” he said. 

Speaking to Capital Business during the opening of a new Bata store, Rafiq said the company will be increasing its investment in its Limuru plant in a bid to diversify its product.

“We are going to invest more in manufacturing leather shoes and diversify from making just safari and school shoes,” he said.

And he continued: “We’ve also been making new investments in the Patapata (slippers) area that is a fast growing segment.”

On the regional front, Mr Rafiq said Bata was positioning itself to take advantage of the huge markets that have been created through the formation of trading blocs like COMESA and the East Africa Community.

“Although we have been having a problem with the Tanzania market, that should be easily resolved through the full establishment of the East African Community,” he said.

Mr Rafiq said plans are further underway to make Kenya the hub for the business in the region.

Meanwhile, Trade Permanent Secretary Cyrus Njiru is calling on more livestock framers to pursue the leather trade.

“It would be good for more farmers to take advantage of this trade that presents good opportunity and is experiencing good growth,” Mr Njiru said.

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