Stuart Pavers, a forward-looking English entrepreneur, is setting up his third factory in India, where he plans to manufacture more than 2 million pairs of shoes in the next 18 months, while continuing to source other types of footwear from China and other countries.
The newest investment in India is going to be a plant that will manufacture wide-width shoes under the Equity and Elmdale brands. Pavers recently bought these two British brands in a liquidation from their previous owner, Equity Shoes. It also acquired the machinery used to manufacture them in England, which will be transferred to the new Indian site.
Pavers has been active on the Indian subcontinent for some time through a research and development facility at Ambur, near Chennai, to which he added a small shoe manufacturing plant three months ago. Having solved some problems related to the manufacture of components, he is going to follow up with another €5 million plant at Ranipet, Tamil Nadu.
Most of the shoes made in India will be sold in Pavers’ 85 shoe shops in the U.K., to which eight should be added this year, and on his own e-commerce site, ShoeShop.com, which is doing well, but also as private-label items for customers in various parts of the world. Pavers has clients in the U.K. as well as in Italy, Greece, Australia and New Zealand, to mention a few countries.
About 20 percent of the Indian production has been earmarked for a new chain of concessions named Pavers England. They are currently 60 and they could be as many as 500 by 2012.