Turkish company puts boots to rivals
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Gunners from the British Army’s 32 Regiment Royal Artillery react while watching a competition at the London Olympic Games. Turkey’s YDS has won a tender to provide 300,000 pairs of boots for the British army over the next four years. REUTERS photoTurkish firm Yakupoğlu Tekstil ve Deri Sanayi (YDS) has won a large military boot tender held by the British Defense Ministry. YDS beat 46 other companies for the $80 million contract to supply the British military, and will now produce 300,000 pairs of boots for British soldiers in four years, according to the terms of the tender.
In the first phase of the tender, 33 firms were eliminated, taking into account factors such as capacity, production ability, Research and Development (R&D) ability, financial power, and supply chain power. Of the 14 remaining bidders, companies were forced to provide samples of boots that could withstand cold weather conditions, desert and other rugged outdoor terrain. These boots were tested over a two-year period in countries like Colombia, Norway, and Afghanistan for wear and tear. YDS’s boots proved the most successful and thus beat the competitors.
YDS is a leading supplier of boots, assault vests and bags to armies across the world. Israeli soldiers are among those who use Yakupoğlu garments, with a company executive saying last year that the tensions between Israel and Turkey did not affect the business..
YDS Chairman Vedat Yakupoğlu told Anatolia news agency that he was proud that British soldiers stationed in many parts of the world would be wearing Turkish-made boots.
Yakupoğlu said the YDS had prepared for two years for the tender.
Firm passes tests
“After taxing and rigorous preparation, we won the world’s largest military boot tender in terms of turnover and achieved the right to supply the British military,” he said.
“The British preferred our boots not because they were cheaper, but because they were a higher quality and were produced with the latest technology. During the tender process they took hundreds of boot samples from companies around the world and tested them under different climatic conditions.,” Yakupoğlu said.
Yakupoğlu said YDS had worked with the Middle East Technical Institute (ODTU) to design quality boots. “The technology we use is only available to a limited number of firms around the world. Our technology, quality, prices and are speed were the factors that led to us winning the tender. Soon we will begin delivery. We already service other militaries in Europe, but this is different since it is the largest tender,” he said.
According to Yakupoğlu, YDS currently controls 10 percent of the European boot market, and plans to increase this to one-third of the market within five years. The company produces 4 million boots per year and exports to over 25 global militaries, including those of Oman, Afghanistan, Chile, and Kazakhstan. YDS also manufactures police boots, motorcycle boots and worker boots.