Mauritius: Minister Bholah Visits Major Leather Company

press release

The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, effected a site visit, today, at Filao Group in Leather Land, a major Group in the manufacture of high-quality leather products for exports, at Riche Terre.

Leather Land exists since 1975 in the industrial zone of Riche Terre. It is the first industrial compound in the region, before electrification of the region and the construction of M1 Motorway from Port Louis to the North. Riche Terre has developed since into a commercial zone, and is also now a Freeport Zone with the development in Jin Fei.

Leather Land comprises three companies which all deal with leather products. The three companies are: Filao Limitée, Cover Tech International Ltd, and Longchamp Mauritius Ltd. The Group, which occupies a factory space of 10,000 M2, has a total workforce of 700 employees and an export value of some Rs 300 million.

In a statement, Minister Bholah said that he was very impressed by the quality and volume of work, produced by the staff who was very dedicated, hardworking and enthusiastic. He stated that Mauritius was very proud that such quality products were being produced locally and then exported abroad in countries such as Hong Kong, United States of America (USA), France, and Switzerland. He expressed satisfaction that employees, some of whom have 45 years of experience, were benefitting from good working conditions such as cleanliness and air conditioning facilities.

Speaking about the leather sector, Minister Bholah highlighted that it could become one of the pillars of the economy. In that context, he incited other operators to join this industry which was flourishing. He appealed to them to make joint ventures with other foreign operators in other countries so that they could acquire relevant expertise and established collaboration.

He further affirmed that the sector was very resilient, adding that the country was still receiving orders for leather products. He also expressed the need for training and upskilling of staff, and gave the assurance that his Ministry would give the necessary support as regards training.

The Managing Director of Filao Ltd, Mr Marday Venkatasamy, said that the company resisted numerous challenges and grew over the years. The reason, he said, is due to the staff who is dedicated, passionate and satisfied with the job performed. He moreover stated his satisfaction that their manufactured luxury products, namely bracelets and leather articles, were being exported to the luxury market. He rejoiced that orders were continuously increasing and observed that in this crisis situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mauritius was able to deliver all the small orders on time.

Furthermore, he pointed out that the enterprise needed more space and additional staff as it was expanding. He highlighted that the three companies wished to set up a Leather Training Academy through the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development to train 30 leather artisans every year, and that selected candidates would attend full time training in production of leather products. He added that Government support was being sought to pay these future artisans a monthly fee during their training.

The three companies under Leather Land:

Filao Limitée

Filao Ltée is the main driver of the leather and watch sector. It has started its activities in 1975 and is engaged in high quality leather watch straps for the Top watch industry. It will celebrate 50 years of existence in 2025. It is a joint venture with a French company, Camille Fournet France.

Filao has diversified into high quality leather articles and goods over the last 10 years. The company employs 350 people and exports products worth Rs 150 million annually. The total investment in land and buildings is around Rs 150 million, and in machinery and plant Rs 60 million. It occupies 3,000 M2 of factory space. Filao will further invest Rs 100 million in 2022/23 in factory space in Riche Terre.

Cover Tech International Ltd

A joint venture between a French company, Gainerie 91, and Filao, Cover Tech International Ltd occupies 2,000 M2 and employs 200 leather artisans, exports Rs 200 million and invested Rs 20 million in machinery. Cover Tech manufactures articles of displays, used by renowned luxury world jewellers in shops around the world namely in the Middle East, Asia, USA, and Europe.

Longchamp Mauritius Ltd

Set up by world renowned leather hand bags Manufacturer Longchamp, its sole owner, Longchamp Mauritius, has employed 100 people in the last 30 years. It exports products worth Rs 50 million and has invested some Rs 10 million in machinery. Longchamp will also expand in 2022.

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