This has been a very gratifying year for the operations of Mirza International Ltd. and I am proud to tell you that the Company has surged ahead in one of the most important emerging markets of the world: our very own India.
We are delighted to celebrate 20 years of our iconic brand REDTAPE – it has been going strong overseas, and is poised to capture new territory in the most influential markets of the United States and Europe, while already being a market leader in the United Kingdom. The best news is that Mirza International’s overall sales of REDTAPE brand (Footwear, Garments and accessories) in India rose 26.6 percent in the year under review, mainly spurred by a rising demand from the new generation of consumers for the quality and value that come with the REDTAPE name.
We have worked hard to reach this place. Thirty-five years of learning, striving, and aggressively going where no one has gone before has put us at the top - as the top exporter of leather footwear from India; the top Indian supplier to global footwear brands; the top Company in integrated manufacturing operations; and the most environmentally responsible Company in the leather industry.
The Mirza philosophy is in sync with the idea behind ‘Make in India’ – we are an Indian Company and we can conquer the world. Also, we are winning at home as much as we are winning abroad. While 75 percent of our total sales come from overseas markets, we have maintained an impressive compound annual growth rate of 19.82 percent in the domestic market over the past five years.
There is no reason why we should not capitalize on our national advantages. India is the world’s second largest producer of leather and leather footwear, behind China. As the Chinese economy cools and the Indian economy clocks the fastest growth globally this year and possibly the next year too – a GDP growth rate of 7.5 percent in FY16 and FY17, as per IMF estimates – the market for consumer goods, especially stylish and great-value footwear, should see a corresponding growth.
Our inherent strengths have stood us in good stead despite some market turbulence. While our exports dipped slightly – by around 2.21 percent – in the year under review, it was a far stronger performance than the leather industry’s overall significantly high double-digit export drop. Moreover, the way the Indian consumer has taken to REDTAPE helped push our net profit up by 52.64 percent – from 51.16 crore in FY15 to 78.09 crore in FY16.
In order to retain the leadership position we have in overseas markets, and to grow further in India, MIL made some significant moves in the past year. The three markets in focus for us in the near and mid-term future are the US, UK and India. REDTAPE will be made available in more retail stores through our tie-up with five US retail giants. And in India, we plan to have 170 REDTAPE stores in the next two years.
REDTAPE is now a full-fledged lifestyle brand, with garments and accessories under its umbrella. MIL’s in-house design and integrated manufacturing facilities give us full control over intellectual property and supply chain efficiencies. With these market-leading advantages, we have very ambitious plans to take our name to still greater heights.
On behalf of the entire MIL family, I take this opportunity to thank all our associates – Board of Directors, shareholders, bankers, all the Company staff at every level, and, of course, the consumers who have shown their appreciation for our ceaseless efforts to deliver world-class quality. With your support, this Company will go from strength to strength.