“Indian Footwear Industry”; a Perspective | by: Adesh Gupta | ET Retail

“For the Indian footwear to explode and deliver, favorable government policies, infrastructure, removal of high doses of taxation, infrastructural support in capacity building, skill education and technology up gradation, brand building exercise should be initiated expeditiously no later than now”… 

India is the largest global producer of footwear after China, accounting to approx 13% of world footwear production, which is close to 16 billion pairs. This means that the average consumption globally is about 2-3 pairs/person. India produces approximate 2,000 Million pairs annually in different categories of Footwear. India exports about 115 million pairs, thus nearly 95% of its produce meets its own domestic demand.

With an estimated global population of 7-8 billion, India constitutes a share of approx 15%, which means 1.2 to 1.3 billion feet needs to be covered from heat, cold, injuries, protection etc. Footwear sector is a very significant segment of Leather and Non Leather products in India.

Size of Indian Domestic Footwear Industry is estimated to be worth 20-25,000 crores where leather and non-leather Footwear per capita consumption is estimated to be approx 1.1 pairs. In addition to this, Slippers (Hawai Chappals)segment is close to 10000 crores with per capita consumption are estimated to be 1 pair.

Our immediate Asian Neighbors reflect good per capita consumption between 3-4 pairs, whereas the developed nations such as US, EU, UK etc. enviably enjoy a far better per capita of 7 to 8 pairs.

The challenge for Indian Footwear Industry is lit large but anticipating India to become amongst top 5 Superpowers in 2030, our consumption rates can reach as high as 7-8 Pairs. In such a scenario, India would need to produce anywhere between 8-10 billion pairs consider yearly population growth.

Consolidating mid-term status by 2020, the potential target for Indian Footwear Industry will equalize consumption pattern of 3-4 pairs. With six/seven years to go, we need to scale our production from current level of 2 billion pairs to nearly 5 billion pairs at a CAGR rate of 30-40%.

Favorably for us, India ranks No.1 in milk production & we have the largest resource of cattle population in the world. Additionally, on the strength of raw material available domestically, the large pool of skilled and unskilled manpower, we have all the capability to take this challenge head on.

Given this backdrop of homogeneous potential it would not be an exaggeration to say that Footwear Sector is today, on engine of incremental growth. With global integration of Indian Industry, rapid change in lifestyle, income growth at bottom of the wealth pyramid, Footwear industry is expected to grow leaps and bounds.

Sadly, overall industrial growth remains moderate and is struggling to take off due to lingering on infrastructural constraints. For the Indian footwear to explode and deliver, favorable government policies, infrastructure, removal of high doses of taxation, infrastructural support in capacity building, skill education and technology up gradation, brand building exercise should be initiated expeditiously no later than now.

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