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Vladimir Ilić, General manager, Tigar A.D.

From Boots to Fashionable Opanak Shoes

Vladimir IlićThe Tigar a.d. production portfolio is present on all continents. Production and exports for strategic buyers, under other brand names, are carried out for Berner from Finland, Madir from Romania and Ilse Jacobsen from Denmark, and they account for more than 65% of total realised exports, says Tigar A.D. General Manager Vladimir Ilić.

Which customers are your products intended for and what sets you apart from the competition?

– For Berner, we produce special footwear intended for the Finnish and Swedish armies, while under the Nokian brand we produce work, leisure, hunting and children’s boots. Our factory is currently producing 15,000 pairs of special boots for the Finnish Army, while next year we will produce boots for the Army of Sweden. Continuous engagements with this partner range in value from 2.5 to 3.5 million euros a year, or from 110,000 to 140,000 pairs of footwear, depending on the assortment and complexity of the production programme.

For Madir – a branch of French company Decathlon – we work for the brands Solognac and Tribord on bespoke hunting and leisure boots, and under the Ilse Jacobsen brand our facilities produce a women’s fashion programme. Compared to 2017, Tigar a.d. has doubled its production and realisation for this group. A strategically significant production programme is that of protective steel-capped footwear, fire department and forest protection service boots, which we produce for Sweden (L&N) and Poland (Intechplast).

For Regency from Canada, we produce a special protective line of mining boots, while we export fire department protection boots to Hong Kong and the Belle Goutte fashionable opanak shoe to Japan.

In the Balkans, we sell products under the Tigar brand, which includes work, hunting, fishing, protective, fashion and children’s boots. Unlike exports, customers on the domestic market are orientated towards the Tigar brand: opanak, low and high work footwear.

Our basic principles of production and implementation growth are quantity, quality and continuity. Our comparative advantages as a manufacturer are reflected in our capacities, development capabilities and the technological conditions in which value is created.

We own the technology for bonding rubber conveyor belts in mines in South Africa and Bulgaria

Which other products from your portfolio would you single out?

– When it comes to other programmes, exports of adhesives for the mining industry are important. We own the technology for bonding rubber conveyor belts in mines in South Africa and Bulgaria. Among the strategic products of the Tigar Technical Rubber Factory are military industry products: fuel tanks for combat aircraft, support wheels for armoured combat vehicles with caterpillar tracks and invulnerable wheels for military equipment. Recycled rubber products stand out: sports fields, children’s playgrounds, athletic tracks, road signage and construction products, ballistic blocks and flood prevention blocks.

Which certificates of standards do you possess?

– Important buyers and world brands produce their rubber footwear at our factory, which has an advantage in terms of capacities, standard business conditions and certificates. Guarantees that production takes place in safe working conditions for workers and the environment are confirmed by renowned certification company SGS, which this year performed an HRP check at the request of our customer and world-renowned brand Dechatlon. An array of activities and major investments have created production conditions for our workers that are at the level of European standards. All footwear has complete certification required for realising sales on foreign markets – certified according to EU, U.S. and Canadian standards. Tigar, as a company that has a tradition dating back more than eight decades and which has existed on the market since 1935, was among the first companies in Serbia to introduce the 9001, 14001, 18001 standards.

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