NEWS | REPORTS | Argentina
Argentina | 14/07/2022

Farewell to Eduardo Backchellian

An icon in the history of Argentine footwear

​Eduardo Backchellian

At the age of 92, on July 7th, businessman Eduardo Backchellian passed away, the son of an Armenian and Argentine by adoption, who dedicated a large part of his life to the footwear industry, giving particular impetus to this activity between the 70s, 80s and 90s, through the remembered GATIC S.A., one of the largest companies producer of footwear and clothing, with industrial plants in different provinces.

His industry was a school for many professionals who are still active and employees of his staff who formed their own businesses.

His first steps were in 1953, in a small shed of 80 m2, with 8 employees in the locality of San Martín, where he began manufacturing shoes with rubber soles. Thanks to his visionary and persevering character, his growth was exponential, until in 1969 he managed to become the first licensee in Latin America of the German brand ADIDAS.

From then on, Backchellian's company, in 1995, had 160,000 m2 of industrial plants distributed in 20 provinces of Argentina, with 8,000 people and a production of close to 20,000 pairs per day. In addition to ADIDAS, he manufactured numerous international brands such as LE COQ SPORTIF, REEF, ARENA, NEW BALANCE, LA GEAR, ASICS, UMBRO and VIBRAM soles, as a supplier.

In those years, he created the national chain of stores SHOW SPORT dedicated to sports.

In the mid-90s, the economic policies that favored massive footwear imports began to affect national production, putting GATIC in check like so many other industries in the country. It was the beginning of the end.

Personally, Eduardo Backchellian is remembered for his entrepreneurial, creative and supportive character, based on good human values, having been a permanent promoter of the national industry and the country as a businessman.

Among his contacts and friends, Hugo Porta, the Argentine rugby player who shone in the '70s and '80s, evoked him in his farewell: "I have the best memories of a person I always respected, honest and worker. He was someone who devoted himself completely to the development of a very important industry for Argentina and who gave work to many people. There is no doubt that he was an innovator and a leader, a true example”.

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