The leather industry holds a significant place in the Indian economy. The latest report by Leather India has pegged an annual turnover of 6.5 billion US $ for the year 2014-15 for leather footwear, while recording a cumulative growth of 13.10% over a period of 5 years.
The industry terms the massive growth to being endowed with 21% of world cattle & buffalo and 11% of world goat & sheep population, along with skilled manpower, usage of innovative technology,, increasing industry compliance to international environmental standards, and the dedicated support of the allied industries. Today, the country is the second largest producer of footwear and garments in the world.
When it comes to commercial production of footwear items, the report pegs the number at 2065 million pairs. Out of this, the domestic retail market consumes 1950 million pairs or 95% of the total production. This makes the country one of the largest consumers of footwear items in the world. In exports, Footwear accounts for 45% share in India’s total leather & leather products export. Here, the Footwear product mix is divided as 55% for men, ladies 35% and children at 10%.
The report also brings out an interesting point. All leading leather brands, both domestic and international including Acme, Ann Taylor, Bally, Charter Club, Clarks, Coach, Colehann, Daniel Hector, Deichmann, DKNY, Double H, Versace, Yves St. Laurent, Zara, Johnston & Murphy, Docksteps, Timberland, Armani, Geox, Diesel, Ted Baker, Lacoste, Kickers, Calvin Klein, Sioux, Brasher, Zegna, Massimu Dutti, Buggatti, Lloyd, Christian Dier, Salamander, Camper, Bata, Espirit, French Connection, Legero, Mercedez and many others source their raw leather from India. Hence, every pair a buyer chooses at stores worldwide has a huge probability of being an India product.
The Government of India had identified the Footwear Sector as its Focus Sector in the Indian Foreign Trade Policy in lieu of its immense potential for growth and employment generation. Accordingly, the Government is also implementing various Special Focus Initiatives under the Foreign Trade Policy for the growth of the sector.
With the implementation of various developmental programmes as well as promotional activities, keeping in view the past performance, and industry’s strengths, the Indian footwear industry looks well focused for the future.