India set to become global hub for leather products

Written by Kavitha Venkatraman | Chennai | Updated: Aug 5 2010, 14:33pm hrs
India could well become a global sourcing hub for leather goods and accessories. The availability of right quality raw materials as per the requirements of various international markets along with skilled craftsmen could pave way for enhancing the country's share in global leather goods and accessories segment.

India is the fifth largest exporter of leather goods and accessories in the world. Its share in the global leather goods and accessories segment is between 5% to 6%.

According to Council for Leather Exports (CLE) officials, leather goods form an important segment of India's leather industry . The production capacity is estimated to be 63 million pieces annually. Predominantly, most of the manufacturing units for leather goods are located in cities like Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Kanpur, Bangalore and Puducherry.

Some of the products that are manufactured in the country include trunks, suitcases, vanity-cases, executive-cases, briefcases, school satchels, traveling bags and luggage, hand bags, shopping bags, wallets, purses, pouches, passport and credit card holders, diary covers, leather belts, caps. The country also produces leather upholstery items such as sofa and car seat covers.

Already industry players produce leather goods and accessories under brand names like Coach, Pierre Cardin, Marks & Spencer, Liz Caliborne, Guess, Next, Tommy Hilfiger, Kieffer, Waldhausen, Biemen, Nederinum, Zaldi, Kallquists, Shires and Millers, they said.

In 2009-10, India's export of leather goods and accessories including gloves touched $756.02 million, which was almost 22.23% of the total leather exports from the country. The major markets for Indian leather goods are the US, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, France, Russia, Netherlands, the UAE and Australia. These countries account for nearly 79.36% of India's export.

We have the right quality raw material to produce goods and accessories for the international markets. The skilled workforce if coupled with state-of-the-art production units and in-house design houses would only strengthen the industry to produce best products with exquisite design and quality, CLE officials said.