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Competence Exports Private Limited (CEPL), a company based in Hajipur, Bihar, is carving a niche for itself in the international market. They’re achieving this by catering to two distinct segments: safety shoes for the demanding needs of the Russian army and fashionable footwear for European markets.

Shiv Kumar Roy, General Manager of CEPL, explains their vision: “We established our Hajipur facility in 2018, focusing on generating local employment. Here, we manufacture safety shoes specifically designed for export to Russia. These shoes prioritize lightweight construction, slip resistance, and the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, including temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius.”

CEPL takes pride in being India’s largest exporter of safety shoes to Russia, and they have ambitious plans for growth. “We’re constantly working to expand our production numbers,” says Roy.

The company’s Managing Director, Danesh Prasad, aspires to create a world-class factory in Bihar, contributing significantly to local job creation. He emphasizes their commitment to women’s empowerment, with 70% of their 300-strong workforce being women.

Their success story doesn’t stop there. In the previous year alone, CEPL exported a staggering 1.5 million pairs of shoes, generating a revenue of Rs 100 crore. They anticipate a 50% increase in exports next year.

Leading the fashion development and marketing charge is Mazhar Pallumiah, Head of the department at CEPL. He reveals their European focus: “Our core market strengths lie in France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. We aim to develop high-end shoes for international brands.”

Pallumiah highlights a recent breakthrough: “We’ve begun negotiations with a Belgian company. Initially, there were some reservations from foreign companies, but once they received our samples, their concerns were alleviated. We even expect visits from potential clients next month.”

CEPL acknowledges the challenges of establishing a fashion industry in Bihar, particularly in Hajipur. However, the combined vision of the company’s leadership and supportive government policies give them the confidence to push forward. This unique venture from Bihar is a testament to the state’s potential to be a major player in the global footwear market.