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The Kenda Farben story

Posted by Jonathan Greig on

At the beginning of the sixties, when industrial development impacted the footwear market, mostly in the area of Vigevano, Pavia, many new companies started and grew rapidly creating a specific demand for both machines and chemical products. 

Giuseppe Tipa and Danilo Barbic, both having a job experience in a big chemical group, immediately saw the potential of an activity aimed to provide chemical products for shoes and so in November 1963 they started Kenda Farben in  Garlasco, near Vigevano, making polishes, waxes and dyes for leather. 

Being inside the main footwear area of Italy in the sixties and seventies and having a close relationship to some of the most important shoe brands made it possible to achieve rapid growth of the production both in volume and in range of products.

Of great importance in those formative years was the ability to create an efficient and effective sales organisation, based on the formula of agents and dealers with stock of products, mostly in the areas where the concentration of footwear brands and factories was highest.

In Italy, this way of approaching the market had two main advantages: targeted and timely supply for the customers, economies in delivery time and costs for Kenda Farben.

International growth started long before most other European companies considered the movement of the market.

Since the early seventies, Kenda Farben became active in enlarging its market share in markets outside Italy. Consistently participating in international fairs, shows and events, the company name became more well known and so after some time foreign distributors and customers joined.

Outside of Italy, Greece, Spain, Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Venezuela were the first markets where Kenda Farben sold its products, then quickly spreading its presence all over the world.

Throughout these years, the export orientation turned into a decisive development strategy, producing a wider geographic reach, and today export business accounts for up to 70% of the total sales. 

These agreements with local agents and distributors helped Kenda Farben to be near the final customers and consequently improved the market knowledge, the response time, the logistic organisation with a decrease in delivery time and cost. 

In this growth strategy abroad were included direct investments made in high potential development areas. Among them, of particular importance is China started in 1994. Brasil followed in 1996.

Today, the sales organisation is made up by a number of agents and dealers that ensure the products of Kenda Farben are available in over 60 countries around the world.

Production units operate in Italy, China, Brasil, India and Serbia.

Kenda Farben has served the needs of makers of shoes, bags and leather goods for over 55 years and today is proud to work with top brands and factories, being present wherever and whenever its customers need.