Servis Shoes History
Servis Company Background
During World War II, Servis Industries Ltd was founded in Lahore to manufacture and sell canvas travel packs to the British and Indian armies in India. After a few years, they expanded their business to include the production of leather sandals for the Indian army force. Servis lost a large portion of its market due to India’s partition, but they were able to recover financially thanks to a contract to supply military shoes to the Pakistani Army. With this contract, they were able to transition from a partnership to a company called Servis Pakistan (Regd).
Servis expanded rapidly in the 1950s, acquiring retail outlets in Lahore. A standard design of children’s black school shoe was created to be sold in all of their retail locations. Initially, the outlets sold a variety of brands, but as the Servis line expanded, they only sold “Servis” brand name products. The retail outlet network was gradually expanded throughout the country.
National Distribution Network
In addition to establishing a national distribution network, Servis took a step toward vertical integration by establishing “Hilal Tanneries Ltd.” to ensure a consistent supply of raw materials, which were quality finished cow and buffalo leather.
Servis Shoes invested heavily in new equipment and machinery between the 1950s and 1970s to expand its product line to include canvas and leather shoes with leather, PVC, and rubber soles. Servis began exporting canvas shoes to the United Kingdom as the product’s quality improved.
The main success was in the German market, where they established a good reputation. The export products were produced under the buyer’s brand name and distributed by discount stores. Servis became a public limited company under the name Servis Industries Public Ltd in 1969 to finance its rapid growth in international markets.
Servis introduced a line of sports shoes
Company introduced a line of sports shoes for the export market in the 1970s. Some of the models were also introduced in the domestic market. Servis was managing shoe factories in Tanzania by 1980, producing shoes with Polyurethane (PU) soles. In the international market, PU soles were far more popular than rubber or plastic soles.
During the 1980s, the shoe business in Pakistan had two major players: Servis and Bata, with the rest of the industry being disorganised and fragmented. In the instance of Bata, they had the advantage of being an international footwear manufacturing corporation, but they were not export orientated. As a result, leather shoe export was a lucrative prospect for Servis. The rest of the shoe industry remained essentially a cottage sector.