Belonging to the Mesco group, Mideast (India) (formerly Mideast Shipping Company) was incorporated as a public company in 1977. The company started with the manufacture of leather garments at Noida. At present, the company has five units at Noida and one in Madras producing various types of leather garments, shoes and shoe uppers. It has joint-venture manufacturing facilities in Russia, and a joint-venture tannery in Zambia. It also has joint ventures in Mauritius and Germany. In 1994, it introduced the Mesco range of shoes, catering mainly to the premium segment in men's shoes in the domestic as well as international markets. It proposes to acquire two ships to carry iron ore to China and bring back coal from there for its group concern, Mideast Integrated Steel. It has signed an agreement with Hindustan Shipyard to acquire the ships. The group has a presence in airlines (Mesco Airlines). The company went public with a rights-cum-public issue of FCDs in May '93 to part-finance its equity contribution in Mideast Integrated Steel (MISL) as well as Mesco (Mauritius). The company earned foreign exchange worth Rs 15.00 cr in 1995-96. The project implementation work of Mideast Integrated Steels, the first Indo-Chinese joint venture, is under implementation. Mideast (India) plans to launch the K-Swiss brand of shoes in collaboration with K-Swiss, US, in the local market. It has already launched Heinz Hunnel, a leading German brand of shoes. In collaboration with Fagus, Germany, the company is establishing a separate project for the manufacture of shoe lasts. During 1996-97, the company earned foreign exchange worth Rs 3.41 cr.