Leather – An Epitome of Crafted Luxury

The Leather Industry holds a prominent place in the Indian economy. This sector is known for its consistency in high export earnings and it is among the top ten foreign exchange earners for the country.

India’s leather exports is likely to touch $14-billion mark by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan according to the Council for Leather Exports. In 2013-14, India’s leather exports recorded a growth rate of 17.81%, reaching US$ 5908.82 million as against the performance of US$ 5015.41 million in 2012-13.Finished leather registered export revenues of US$ 77716.43 million in 2013-14, witnessing an increase of 30.59% over exports in 2012-13. (Source: The Economic Times)

The major markets for Indian leather products are Germany, U.S.A, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Hong Kong, Spain, Netherlands and UAE.

The leather business can be taken to a global brand level by some of the strategies like :

  • Shop-in-shops followed by franchisee route as well.
  • Flagship stores.
  • Distributor-owned standalone outlets.

Export of different categories of leather footwear hold a major share of about 43 % in India’s total leather and leather products exports with an export value of US$ 2531.04 million, followed by leather goods and accessories with a share of 23% and finished Leather with 22 %.

Strengths of Indian leather sector (Source – Council for Leather Exports)

  • Own raw material source – 2 billion sq ft of leather produced annually.
  • Some varieties of goat / calf / sheep skins command premium position.
  • Strong and eco-sustainable tanning base.
  • Modernized manufacturing units.
  • Trained / skilled manpower at competitive wage levels.
  • World-class institutional support for Design & Product Development, HRD and R & D.
  • Presence of support industries like leather chemicals and finishing auxiliaries.
  • Presence in major markets.
  • Strategic location in Asia

Emerging strengths

  • Design development initiatives by institutions and individuals.
  • Continuous modernization and technology upgradation.
  • Economic size of manufacturing units.
  • Constant human resource development programme to enhance productivity.
  • Increasing use of quality components.
  • Shorter prototype development time.
  • Delivery compliance.
  • Growing domestic market for footwear and leather articles.

Highlights of Indian Leather Product Segments:

  • Tanning Sector – Annual production 2 billion Sq.ft. Accounts for 10% of world leather requirement. Indian colors continuously being selected at the MODEUROPE Congress
  • Footwear Sector – Second largest footwear producer after China. Annual Production 2065 million pairs. Huge domestic retail market 1950 million pairs (95%) are sold in domestic market. Footwear export accounts for 45.05% share in India’s total leather & leather products export. The Footwear product mix Gents 52%, Ladies 39% and Children 9%
  • Leather Garments Sector – Second largest producer with annual production capacity of 16 million pieces. Third largest global exporter. Accounts for 10.43% share of India’s total leather export
  • Leather Goods & Accessories Sector including Saddlery & Harness – Fifth largest global exporter. Annual production capacity – 63 million pieces of leather articles, 52 million pairs of Industrial gloves & 12.50 million pieces of Harness & Saddlery items. Accounts for 23.44% share of India’s total export

Source :
The Economic Times
Council for Leather Exports


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