By Aswasan "AJ" Joshi
Leather Wings is one of the beneficiaries of the COVID-19 MSME Fund Nepal managed by One to Watch (OTW). With the support of the SDC and FMO, the Fund was able to facilitate an interest-free and collateral-free loan from Nabil Bank to the enterprise to cover its short-term working capital needs.
Established more than 36 years ago by Surendra Dahal, Leather Wings is a pioneer in manufacturing high-quality genuine leather footwear, for both men and women, which are sturdy yet equally comfortable. Mr. Dahal has an undeniable pedigree in shoemaking. Leather Wings’ success for the better part of three decades can be ascribed to his staunch devotion to the field. Before starting Leather Wings, Nepal’s first private shoe company, in 1985, he was a Senior Manager at Bansbari Shoe Factory for 20 years. During this time, Mr. Dahal took trainings in China, the UK and Czech Republic on footwear and leather technology. In 1991, Mr. Dahal was even the Founding President of the Footwear Manufacturing Association of Nepal. His unmatched experience and expertise were the foundation to Leather Wings.
The manufacturing process at Leather Wings is an amalgam of automation and hand- crafted artisanship. Throughout the years, Mr. Dahal has not been reluctant to bring in technology that streamlines the shoe-manufacturing process, keeping pace with the changing times. Be that as it may, the shoes manufactured at Leather Wings still holds the crux of the product being handmade with its attention to detail and intricacy. Leather Wings, with its 59 employees, manufactures casual and formal wear shoes as well as safety shoes. Most of the raw materials are mainly imported from India, China and Bangladesh through meticulous care to ensure that the leather is top-quality. It has also adopted lean-manufacturing processes—majority of the footwears are made-to-order in their workshop in Bansbari. This is what the enterprise thinks is its competitive advantage. It realized that there was a need for manufacturing custom orders for institutions and organizations with variance in utility, design and material. To that end, its clientele ranges from security agencies, hospitality industries, construction and manufacturing firms to the Army, and the Police. Their distinctive logo with wings on either side has become synonymous with quality and durability.