Fujiwara Equipamentos de Proteção Individual Ltda, a company from the city of Apucarana, in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná, found a formula to reach the leadership in the Brazilian safety shoe market and won foreign clients.
Different from other shoes produced for use at work, generally ugly and heavy, Fujiwara develops shoes with soles, inner soles, covers and special leather, taking into consideration safety, performance and design.
The strategy not only brought the company leadership in the domestic market, but also space on foreign markets. Exports began six and a half years ago and the products reached 25 countries. The shoes are worn in environments where special care is necessary, many times due to electricity and high temperatures.
With production of 2.4 million pairs a year and generating 1,000 direct jobs, the company is one of the main job generators in the Apucarana region.
Fujiwara also produces gloves for heavy or dangerous work and military shoes. The company supplies to the Armed Forces and the police of some states, as well as to Correios, the Brazilian postal company.
The company’s annual revenues total US$ 30 million. Exports grew 200% in the last two years and represent 25% of company revenues. Every year, a total of 600,000 pairs are sent abroad. The products exported are industrial safety and military shoes.
To the Arab countries the value generated with exports is US$ 900,000, representing 12% of total exports.
“The main product sold to the region is military shoes, but there is also demand, especially in Bahrain, for industrial safety shoes,” stated André Patzer, the export manager.
He believes that the interest in industrial safety products comes from petrochemical and oil companies in the region.
“In the case of military shoes, we develop them according to the client’s technical specifications. In the case of industrial safety shoes, the European norms are followed, or those of the customer,” stated Patzer.
Sales to the Arab countries should triple in the next three years. Patzer stated that this growth should come with participation in tenders in the region.
He explained that the company exported 5,000 pairs to Bahrain last year due to a tender they participated in and that they are awaiting the result of another tender for 40,000 pairs in Saudi Arabia.
The Fujiwara presence at international fairs should contribute to greater trade with the Arabs. Nowadays company sales to the region are through commercial representatives, but Fujiwara wants to create a direct relationship with the buyers.
The company intends to participate in Milipol, a fair for military and defense material, to take place in Qatar, in May next year.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency
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