Josef Seibel Group plans to open a new shoe factory in Ukunda, Kenya, in autumn 2020. It is a humanitarian project by the German company’s chief executive, and president of the Federal industrial footwear and leather goods’ association HDS/L, Carl-August Seibel. He had already financed and built a primary school there years ago. In a further development of the project, the idea is to add a training center for shoemakers and a shoe factory. Together with the local partner “Mekaela Academies,” the new factory will help strengthen the structurally weak region of Kwale County, south of Mombasa, and the local market. Josef Seibel Africa Ltd. will employ about 120 people in the first phase.
The company will be vertically integrated covering everything from material sourcing to production and sales/marketing within Kenya and Africa. For the time being only leather shoes for children will be produced under the brand Romika, which belongs to Josef Seibel Group. The shoes are to be sold exclusively in Kenya and will match school uniforms. The planned production is 500 pairs of shoes per day until mid 2021.
Josef Seibel Group also owns the brands Josef Seibel, Spirit of Nature, Titian and the license for Gerry Weber.
At present, the first team of instructors is being trained in Germany. They will then train workers in Kenya. The IHK certificate handover to the first five Kenyan trainees and the celebration of the completion of their training will be held at the end of July in Hauenstein, the company’s headquarters.
Josef Seibel Group has annual revenues of €130 million and employees 3,000 people all over the world. It claims to manufacture over 6 million pairs of shoes every year inside its six production plants, located in Germany and abroad.