KATHMANDU: Launched by Base Footwear (BF) Pvt Ltd in 2000, specifically for Nepali consumers who wanted durable and practical yet graceful footwear bf dear hill shoes is treading new ground. By 2004, Base Footwear began to be recognised as a brand among the approximately 500 Nepali shoe producers. The company’s efforts paid off in 2009, when BF was certified with the international standard ISO 9001:2008 recognition making it the first footwear company of Nepal to be designated this honour.
Hom Nath Upadhyay, the managing director and proprietor of BF, reveals, “We felt the need to cater to the ever growing domestic demand for shoes. So, we introduced bf dear hill in the Nepali market.”
The shoes are now recognised by the logo. Its factory is located in Gaushala, from where it produces a wide variety of shoes consisting of formals, casuals and sports shoes. Besides, the company has also introduced sandals and belts. The BF sports and party shoes have 80 different models while sandals are available in 30 different styles. Upadhyay explains, “Our products are specially targeted at males. However, school shoes are available for both genders. Our price range varies from Rs 800 to Rs 3,200. We also provide a six month warranty on leather shoes.”
When queried about the materials, Upadhyay informs that leather materials such as polyurifine, polyvinyl chloride, and thermopoly rubbers are used for their shoes. Around 80 per cent of Nepal’s leather requirement is fulfilled by imports from Thailand, China and India, while 20 per cent is produced here. Upadhyay claims, “Our materials are a perfect combination of quality, durability and comfort, leading to customer satisfaction.”
Although the brand is successful and renowned at present, it was not always so. Upadhyay reveals, “It was difficult to establish bf dear hill as our brand had to compete with leather shoes imported from foreign countries which looked attractive and were quite cheap. However, compared to them, our shoes were of far better quality and durability.
Customers soon realised this and began flocking to us.”
He considers all the 500 odd shoe companies in Nepal to be their competitors. But he welcomes healthy competition, as it keeps them on their toes and makes them work harder. “Our shoes do not compromise on quality and this is what sets the brand apart from others,” adds Upadhyay. The company believes in the statement, ‘Work tells more than a thousand words’.
BF shoes are easily available in the market, and the company wishes to urge prospective customers to try them once and decide for themselves. Their shoes are available in over 1,000 outlets all over the country. The shoes have a showroom in People’s Plaza shop no 412
and in Guccha Tole, Newroad. The brand currently holds 25 per cent of the market share in the country. Upadhyay claims that they sell 100,000 pairs of bf dear hill shoes annually.
Elaborating on their market strategy, Upadhyay explains, “The shoes offer various schemes as a means of encouraging customers to buy them and this has contributed significantly in the sales volume.” He understands the value of commercials and promotions too. According to Upadhyay, the vision of the brand is to diversify their product genre and sell beyond the periphery of Nepal with the aim of emphasising that quality goods are produced here. The company does not export at present but is planning to export in the SAARC region in the near future by diversifying their products.
The brand’s advertisement on television was nominated in the Fifth Oranjeboom Crity Awards for Television Commercial (TVC) in the category of best lyricist, best TVC director and best TVC editor.