Mohan Plc., a company under Mohan Group of Companies, diversifies its range of products introducing a new type of casual footwear that would replace imported products.
The company has been engaged in manufacturing of EVA and PVC input materials for footwear makers and other industries since 2008. Being weathered in the production of the essential EVA inputs needed for footwear manufacturing, Mohan now moved on to producing a new type of casual footwear product range.
Mayur Kothari, CEO of Mohan Group of Companies said that the company introduced the new products at the beginning of the current Ethiopian year.
“The diversification scheme was launched few months ago and the new products had got good acceptance in the market,” he added. Market outlook for the new products seem positive, as the producers got good feedback from experts and potential buyers at the All African Leather Fair that was held about a month ago in Addis Ababa.
The EVA compound granules that the company produces are primarily used by local footwear industries. These compounds are suitable for high quality foamed injection molded slippers, sandals, mid-soles, boots, automobile components, toys, and various other applications. The PVC compounds Mohan produces are essential inputs in a diverse range of products including footwear, pipes, cables, garden hoses and profiling.
Mohan Plc. that is owned by Mayur Kothari, CEO of Mohan Group of Companies, is a pioneer company that started producing EVA and PVC inputs locally seven years ago. They have further diversified to manufacture color and filler masterbatches, which are typically imported. Filler masterbatches play a crucial role in manufacturing flexible packaging for food and agricultural applications such as PP woven sacks.
“We are manufacturing Ethylene-Vinyl-Acetate (EVA) and PVC compounds, and color master batches and fillers, that are still being imported,” Mayur told Capital. These products are inputs for all type of shoes that includes leather and sportswear, and the products are also supplied for plastic manufacturers and construction material and cable producers.
Mohan’s new product addressed the need of having a major integrated product manufacturer in the country. According to the CEO, the value Mohan added on input production has contributed significantly to substitute the import. The company has been the main supplier of PVC and EVA inputs for other local companies covering a substantial part of the demand.
“The demand is very high for our integrated products, while the local market, especially the non-leather casual footwear market is currently dominated by imported products. But local products that will come with the right type of material, quality and price shall overtake this huge market,” he added.
The company produces the components at its plant in Kality. The new footwear business has created jobs for over 100 professionals at the unit in Gelan.
Mohan has plans to install additional machineries in the coming one and half years, and that would open up employment for additional 200 workers. The group has over 400 employees at present.
“Our production capacity is very good,” Mayur said. On average the company produces up to 2,500 pair of shoes a day, while the slippers production is 8,000 a day.”
“In the near future, we plan to produce 3,500 pairs of shoes, and in the long term we hope to export to global markets,” he added.
The paid-up capital of Mohan Plc. reaches 75 million birr but the total investment is much higher.
With the aim of further diversification, the company has established a manufacturing plant that produces leather and synthetic footwear. “We produce casual wears from fabric and leather,” he said.
Even though the government demands to boost leather business, lack of components and inputs is a challenge that slows down the sector’s growth. The sector actors and leather manufacturers had long been interested to establish an input manufacturing unit than to depend on import. Importation was another problem that straddled the leather industry as availability of hard currency is usually short and the imported materials are sometimes of low quality. Mayur said that the Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) supports the realization of the company’s plan. Most of the employees are trained by LIDI. The institute was also very helpful assisting with the selection of machineries and the company is using the institute’s testing laboratory to check its products.
He said that the company is currently exploring the international market with the objective of launching products to export. Mohan Group is a culmination of five companies, Mohan International- a plastic material supplier, Mohan Plc. – a producer of EVA, PVC, color masterbatch, and filler masterbatch granules and compounds, Mohan Wire Industries – manufactures nails and barbed wires, Vina Trade and Industry Plc. -produces flip-flops.