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Red Tape to diversify

October 04, 2005 13:09 IST

Mirza International Ltd is set to promote Red Tape, till now its foot wear brand, as a full-blown fashion brand.

The company has set a target of Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) as turnover, from Rs 256 crore (Rs 2.56 billion) in the last financial year.

Rashid Mirza, managing director of the company, on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the company, said the firm would set up a retail chain of fashion.

"Starting with ten stores, which would be set up in the next few months, we plan to increase it to 200 in the next three years," he said.

The stores will be named Red Tape Men's Fashion Stores and will have all Red Tape products like clothes, glasses, sports shoes, perfumes, etc. Mirza said the manufacturing of all products other than shoes would be outsourced but sold under the Red Tape brand.

Of the 200 stores, the first ten will be opened in India. Three will be in Delhi, one each in Jaipur, Lucknow, Kanpur, Chandigarh and other major cities. After India, the next destination will be West Asia and Europe.

"In the next three years we shall have two or three stores in China as well," declared Mirza. Irshad Mirza, chairman of the company, said the company's workforce would increase to 10,000.

Mirza International also has plans of entering the real estate sector because there is scope in this sector, which will continue for 20 years. "This will not divert our attention," he assured, "as a separate division will look after each of the new diversifications."

Mirza said the company would look at all options to generate $50 million from abroad, including foreign currency convertible bonds, global depository receipts and external commercial borrowings, as it was more expensive to borrow from domestic sources. This might take three to six months, he said.

Mirza said the company was facing problems in setting up a factory for women's shoes as authorities at Greater Noida were delaying in allotting land for the factory. "We are being flooded with orders, and have been compelled to take space in the men's footwear factory," he said.

A significant achievement has been the sale of Red Tape shoes in the US market. "We are the first Indian company to have achieved that. Till date sales may only be $1 million, but once the brand is established, the rest will follow," Mirza emphasised.

While addressing shareholders, Irshad Mirza said the company's turnover increased from Rs 188 crore (Rs 1.88 billion) to Rs 256 crore in 2004-05 and the new financial year had begun well with a turnover of Rs 63 crore (Rs 630 million), much higher than Rs 48.4 crore (Rs 484 million) achieved in the corresponding period last year.
Vijay Chawla in Kanpur
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