Red Wing finds market for innovative safety clothing in tough times

Red wing shoesThe Red Wing Shoes factory in the US. (Image Source: Nina Hale/Flickr)Paul Olson, managing director of Red Wing Shoes for the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Russia and CIS, was upbeat about the company's prospects when he was interviewed at the ADIPEC conference in Abu Dhabi

The company debuted in the UAE 42 years ago, with a Dubai head office established in 1996, and bespoke manufacturing facility. There is also a presence in 12 other countries across the region, including Saudi Arabia and Oman. Red Wing is also well represented in 12 African countries, including the major oil and gas markets of Nigeria, Angola, Egypt and Ghana, and emergent East African countries such as Kenya and Tanzania.

"Our Dubai team is a really talented group, it is like the United Nations, they are from all over the world - and this reflects the oil and gas industry, which is one of he most multicultural industries in the world," he said.

Mr Olson talked about the importance of good customer service. "We provide solutions for each customer," he said of the personalised safety products the company makes, depending on specific client needs. "We customise everything to exact specifications."

"Flexibility with supply" is another strategy that Mr Olson says helps the company thrive in the current economic climate. Compared to the Middle East, Mr Olson said times had been tougher in Africa but the company is "working hard to sustain the business" on the continent.

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