When there's a long road, the challenge is always to take the first step

Monday 2 June 2014, by Tamara

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Why this company?

There are many reasons why we have decided to study Pikolinos. First of all, their value proposal which allow them to offer a product with added value, is really well perceived for the costumer and this kind of little companies are the ones which should be run this country instead of trying a competition in low manufacturing costs which, unfortunately, the current government is focusing on. Secondly, this kind of “PYMES” are getting a sustainable growth and specially Pikolinos is an example of that case where through innovation and R&D investments provides a successful model of business which contributes to raise the standard of living of the population.
And last but not least, for their CSR practices and strong commitment with the society, developing projects in poor areas and considering its economic, social and environmental impact.

A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

Pikolinos is a Spanish shoe brand that forms part of the Pikolinos Group, a family owned company whose activities range from tanning leather to production to having their own shops.
Pikolinos was created in 1984 by Juan Perán Ramos, the founder and current CEO of the Pikolinos Group. The main idea behind its creation was product development based on the design, quality and originality of a unique shoe. In 2007, Juan Perán Ramos funded his Foundation behind the slogan “To help is life”. His goal was to fight against the inequalities in the society.
Furthermore, this footwear and accessories company is nowadays operating in more than 60 countries and exporting of over 80% of its production. The destination countries mainly include France, Italy, German, Russia, United States, among others. In addition, it has over 20 official stores and over 8000 points of sale around the world.

B. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

From the beginning, Pikolinos is constantly facing new challenges in reference to ethics, taking a proactive approach to this, rather than waiting for something to go wrong. In fact, Pikolinos has a strong philosophy which can be summarized as Juan Perán said “To give back to society some of what society has given me”.
The main ethical challenges that Pikolinos is addressing refer, on the one hand, to inequality. Pikolinos is working for a better world, providing opportunities for socially marginalized people in reference to their geographical location, their sex or their mental and physical capabilities. To achieve this challenge, Pikolinos is working on several projects, especially based on integration, education and development. The firm has used his image and his years of experience in the shoe market as a tool to build a better society, or at least, to create more opportunities for people with fewer opportunities.
On the other hand, another significant challenge is the one related to technologies and their environmental impact. Pikolinos is continually performing the way it operates, using only environmental friendly materials and processes to elaborate the shoes they sell.
Therefore, considering this, Pikolinos is an example of economic success and social innovation. It is an example that is possible to bridge the gap between profits and ethics and achieve sustainable social economic competitiveness in a consistent way with society.

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

Pikolinos is currently considered one of the model companies in the footwear sector, not only for its commitment to society but also for its commitment to the environment. And in fact, the Pikolinos social responsibility has been recognized with the award "Corporate Social Responsibility".
Basically we believe it is an ethical company for being a brand concerned about the world. They have developed over the years a commitment with various stakeholders related to their business. Furthermore, social responsibility is present in the values of the company; as its president thinks “It is essential that any business, whatever the size it has, try to keep a CSR policy with respect to its stakeholders. Transparency, integrity and sustainability of an enterprise are key points for business development”.
Let see some examples of their ethical commitment below:

 Social commitment:
Firstly, they consider their employees as a fundamental part. Due this, Pikolinos works strongly to improve the social, personal and professional development of human capital. For this achievement, the firm invests in their health assistance, conciliation of family and labor life, subsidy of further studies and so on.
Secondly, the company is committed to the integration of people with fewer opportunities. For this, Juan Perán Pikolinos Foundation was set up in 2007. This Foundation works on social, cultural and sport areas and on international cooperation. Its work includes the integration of people with difficulty functioning in social and working environment, educational projects for mainly children and women, promotion of sports, etc.
Another remarkable success of the firm is the creation of the Maasai Project, a line of ethically-inspired footwear crafted by women from the Massai community in Kenya, behind the slogan “Another world is possible”. This gives to more than 1,000 women an opportunity to work obtaining access to a stable salary and improve their lives without leaving their environment or affecting their culture or lifestyle, also giving them access to clean water, medicine or financial means to finance the education of their children.
In addition to everything mentioned above, it is important to point out that the benefit of the sales of this project goes directly to development projects in the region of Kenya.

 Environmental commitment:
Referring to the production process, it is important to say that Pikolinos uses chrome-free leather, water-based glues without toxic components and natural dyes. Furthermore, administrative tasks are also environmental friendly. The company follows a “zero paper” policy which means that most operations are managed through computes programs, reducing consequently the need to print paper. Indeed, the little paper used is recycled once this has been used.

 Quality commitment:
Pikolinos has also a strong commitment to its customers, being the quality its differential factor. The company has different certifications which guarantee the effectiveness of their processes; from production to sale.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

Every company may face challenges. Pikolinos is not an exception.
Pikolinos must face a crisis in Spain, where headquarters are established, and face hard situations in the local market in which people may not afford to buy everything they would like due to currently framework and the drop of the salaries in the country. That is why Pikolinos must keep exporting the most part of the production and keep that innovation that adds value to the final product in order to survive and maintain such level of competitiveness. Is in this case, in which the company should continue to maintain and even improve a careful policy with the environment in regard to transport, logistics or innovation in general.
Also, despite the fact that Pikolinos has a numerous CSR practices not only in poor areas but also within the organization, such a human resources policy, employee empowerment and social and environmental commitment, the objective must be aimed to maintain this kind of practices which, in fact, are core of the organization and the key of their success.


Official Pikolinos online store: shoes and boots for men and women [Internet]. [cited 2014 May 30]. Available from: http://www.pikolinos.com/uk-en/universo/

Entrevista a Antonio Perán. Director de la Fundación Juán Perán de Pikolinos [Internet]. [cited 2014 May 30]. Available from: http://wethinkwithyou.blogspot.com.es/2011/05/entrevista-antonio-peran-director-de-la.html

Pikolinos [Internet]. [cited 2014 May 30]. Available from: http://www.shoesrx.com/pikolinos.aspx

Los premios PYME reconocen a dos empresas de calzado [Internet]. [cited 2014 May 30]. Available from: http://www.noticierotextil.net/noticia.asp?idnoticia=125392

“Pikolinizando” la moda [Internet]. [cited 2014 May 30]. Available from: http://www.fashionfromspain.com/icex/cda/controller/pageGen/0,3346,1559872_5539500_5532808_4245883_2,00.html

Location: Elche (Alicante) (Spain)

Sector: Manufacturing

Official website: http://www.pikolinos.com/uk-en/

Key figures:

2009 data:

Number of employees: 400
Production: 300 models by brand and season, and 3 million pairs per year
Export rate: 80%
Outlets: 8,000 points of sale and 20 own stores
Countries: in over 60 countries
Main markets: Spain, France, Germany, United States and Russia
Annual turnover of PIKOLINO’S INTERCONTINENTAL SA (one of the Group companies): € 59 million

Nbr. visits: 2675