The leather industry in India holds a very prominent place in the Indian economy. The leather and leather products industry is one of the oldest manufacturing industries in India. The Indian leather industry provides employment to about 2.5 million people in the country and has an annual turnover of approximately US$ 5,000,000.
The industry has a massive potential for providing more employment, growth, and exports. Recently, the exports of leather and leather products have gained massive momentum. The exports of Indian leather goods have registered phenomenal growth. This is mainly because great emphasis has been placed on the planned development of the leather industry and at the optimal utilization of available raw materials.
Over the years the leather industry in India has undergone drastic change from being a mere exporter of raw materials in the early 60’s and 70’s to now becoming an exporter of finished, value-added leather products. The main reason behind the transformation is the several policy initiatives taken by the government of India. The proactive government initiatives have yielded quick and improved results. Thanks to the government efforts today, the Indian leather industry has attained a prominent place in the Indian export and has made the industry one of the top 7 industries that earns foreign exchange for the country.
Since India adopted the globalization and liberalized economic policies in 1991, the leather industry has flourished consistently in several ways and has contributed heavily to the Indian exchequer. Though the industry has developed, it still has great potential for more growth and investments. Investing in Indian leather industry is particularly advantageous because the industry is poised to grow further and achieve a major share in the global trading market.
The government of India in its Foreign Trade Policy for 20002009 has identified the leather sector as a focus sector in view of its immense potential for export growth and generation of employment generation prospects.
Investment opportunities in the leather industry lie in different segments related to the industry, which include tanning and finishing of leather products, manufacturing of leather garments, manufacturing of leather footwear and footwear parts, and manufacturing of leather goods, such as harness and saddlery amongst a host of other opportunities.
Amongst all the industries mentioned above the footwear industry in particular holds greater potential for investments in India. India produces approximately 700 million pairs of leather footwear every year and accounts for an 18% share of the total Indian leather export.
After footwear manufacturing of leather goods promise great investment opportunity. Manufacturing of leather products, such as wallets, travel wares, belts, and handbags offer great returns on investment.
India is one of the best destinations in the world for investing in the leather industry because India is endowed with abundant raw materials required for the industry to grow. India has a huge population of cattle. India accounts for 21% of the worlds cattle and buffalo and 11% of the worlds goat and sheep population. Apart from the easy availability of raw materials, investors are able to enjoy an easy and abundant supply of skilled manpower, world-class technology, competent and favorable environmental standards, and the devoted support of allied industries.
Several leading international leather goods manufacturing brand names, such as Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace, Guess, and DKNY, have invested in India and are engaged in sourcing leather goods from India.