Indian Leather industry today has capacity to produce l776 million pairs; 112 million pairs of Shoe Uppers; Non-leather footwear - 960 million pairs of non-leather footwear's which includes shoes made of rubber, moulded PVC and other material.Among all the industries the footwear industry in particular holds greater potential for investments in India. Today India produces approx 700 million pairs of leather footwear every year and accounts for an 18% share of the total Indian leather export.
In 2009-10 with an annual turnover of over US$ 7 billion, the export of leather and leather products increased manifold over the past decades and touched US$ 3.40, with recording a cumulative annual growth rate of about 5.43% (5 years).
Though India is the second largest producer of footwear and leather garments in the world, India accounts for a share of close to 3% in the global leather import trade of US$ 137 billion (2008).
Leather Production centers for leather products are located in Tamil Nadu - Chennai, Ambur, Ranipet, Vaniyambadi, Trichy, Dindigul ; West Bengal - Kolkata ; Uttar Pradesh - Kanpur, Agra & Noida ; Maharashtra - Mumbai ; Punjab - Jallandhar ; Karnataka - Bangalore ; Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad ; Haryana - Ambala, Gurgaon, Panchkula and Karnal; Delhi
Main leather exports comprise of skins and hides such as cow, sheep nappa, goat skin and wet blue. Footwear, garments, handbags, leather gloves, purses, wallets, and briefcases are some of the products exported. Ranipet, Ambur, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Mumbai in Maharashtra, Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Agra, Delhi, Ludhiana, Sonepat, Pune, Kolkata, Calicut and Ernakulum are the major production centre in India.
To develop the footwear industry the Indian Government has come up with numerous initiatives. Footwear Industry is now de-licensed and de-reserved, providing expansion of capacities on modern lines with state-of-the-art machinery. Government has also permitted 100% Foreign Direct Investment through the automatic route for the footwear sector. Nearly 75% of the leather products exported from India goes to EU and US.
The leather and leather products exports touched $4.5 billion in the fiscal year 2011-12, posting growth of more than 27% as compared to last year, according to the Council for Leather Exports in India. Although, it missed the targeted $4.7 billion, the export growth has been attained in the face of slowdown during the global economy and the sliding value of the Rupee which has made the imports of raw material expensive.
Last year, the exports stood at $3.5 billion. The centre has set a target of $14 billion during 2016-17 for the leather industry. Leather footwear accounts for almost 40% of the exports followed up with the garments that account for almost 10%. The industry has moved to the products exports from being an exporter of finished leather, which now makes up only for a small portion.