“The investment has been in our manufacturing facility, which is the core of the company. In 2013 we added new stitching machines and improved our vulcanization plant,” said company manager Ronjoy Sengupta at the end of his tenure. Sengupta is now company manager of Bata South Africa and head of retail for Africa.
These improvements were followed in 2014 with upgrades to the tannery and machines, leading to boosted production.
“The general trend has been an increase; the company grew its production by nine percent” that year, Sengupta said. Production of canvas shoes grew 22 percent.
Now, Bata Zimbabwe is improving product development by modifying the molds for modern shoe styles.
“We have a vulcanizing plant for leather shoes, so it is our vision to improve the stuck on process and molds for new designs,” explained Sengupta. “The company will make most of its investments into adaptation processes so as to remain relevant.”
Finance director Nicholas Mudaly said this is one of several initiatives the company has underway to grow the business despite the challenging business environment. These include development toward added revenue sources in current business channels as well as plans to launch an online and home delivery service by the end of the year.