India is the second-largest footwear producer in the world, with an annual production of over two billion pairs. The domestic retail market absorbs more than 95 percent of this output. Additionally, leather is among the top ten foreign exchange earners for India, of which footwear constitutes 42 per cent of the total exports (2019-20).
The data mentioned above translates into a great opportunity: the Indian leather industry is fragmented, with 75 percent of production falling under the unorganized sector. This makes it fertile ground for organized capital to reap great dividends on investment. Some players have grasped this fact, as can be seen below:
- Stanley Lifestyles Ltd, a Bengaluru-based maker of high-end leather products has raised its first round of equity funding from the Oman India Joint Investment Fund. OIJIF has spent US$ 24 million for a 26% stake in this company. Stanley supplies leather furniture to brands like IKEA, Toyota, Renault and Nissan.
- Grupo Priority, a US$ 100 million Brazilian footwear firm has launched its flagship men’s shoe brand West Coast in India.
- Hidesign, a Pondicherry-based company that offers a line of GI-tagged East India Leather products has gone global by expanding operations in 24 countries.
The Indian leather industry, with its sheer size, bounteous raw material, affordable labour and vast customer base, is well-poised to capture a significant portion of the global leather market. We invite you to be a part of the journey that leads to this feat.