Apache Footwear to invest Rs 500 crore in AP

Hyderabad: The authorised manufacturer of Adidas sports shoes, Apache Footwear is setting up a manufacturing facility at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs500 crore. The state ministry of industries yesterday signed an MoU with Apache Footwear chairman Johnson Tsai during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas curtain raiser.

The investment will be spread over two years and would be spent in setting up and developing the facility, employing 30,000 workers, which would turn out one million pairs of shoes per month of varying sizes in the first year of operation. The company hopes to double this figure as well as the number of workers in the coming years. This is Apache's first plant in India. The company has two manufacturing units in China.

J Geeta Reddy, minister for major industries said, "Almost 20,000 of the workers employed at Apache's facility would be women," she said. The state government has agreed to provide 314- acres of land to the company for the facility. The production is expected to begin in September 2006.

As per the MoU signed with the company, the state government would set up a training facility for the workers and provide subsidised training at Rs1,000 per worker for a one-year period. Most of the workers would belong to the weaker sections of society like SCs, STs and BTs. Apache has agreed to send supervisors and management level employees to China for training.

The facility will be developed as a sector specific SEZ for footwear with all the necessary infrastructure facilities and the state government has extended all SEZ benefits to Apache.
The company, in turn would provide housing facilities, super markets, a dispensary, schools, training institutes and transport to the nearby city for all the workers.

Based in Southern China, Apache currently produces 12 million pairs of sports shoes annually. It employs 19,000 people at two of its manufacturing facilities in China. Apart from sports shoes, the company also offers a wide range of clothing and sports apparel, golf accessories and others.

Apache says it selected Andhra Pradesh as its preferred location after satisfying itself with the incentives, concessions and support to be extended by the state government, according to a joint press release.

Adidas is a German sporting goods brand that also offers sports apparel, golf accessories, clubs and balls under different brand names. The company recently acquired another sporting goods brand, Reebok for $3.8m and is now placed second in the global sporting goods market.