Indo-Italian tannery JV goes on stream

Chennai, Jan 28 | Updated: Jan 29 2005, 06:27am hrs
The first foreign direct investment in Indian leather sector, a 50:50 joint venture between the Chennai-based Forward Group and Conceria Virginia Italy (CVI) began operations on Friday.

The new entity, Conceria Virginia Chennai (CVC), is the first bovine tannery in India with Italian tanning technology and expertise. It targets revenue of Rs 40 crore over the next 12 months. CVC has invested over Rs 12 crore in the 6 million sq. ft per annum facility that will produce a wide range of leathers.

The company has bagged orders from leading shoe brands in India and also the internationally acclaimed Marc Shoe Company.

It is in talks with shoe companies in China and South East Asia.

According to Mr Yavar Dhala, managing director, CVC, "the output from this facility will fill the existing vacuum of a bovine tannery manufacturing Italian quality leather, in India. The state-of-the-art facility will have advanced technology to treat wet blues coming in from Europe. Conceria Virginia, Italy with its established marketing network will facilitate the marketing of the finished leathers. We are in the process of finalising plans on cloning the facility in Phase-II".

Mr Asgar Ali Dhala, chairman, Forward group, said,"the Indian leather industry has received great impetus after the government opened the doors for FDI. We believe that more global companies will partner with Indian manufacturers. In addition to providing the financial muscle and technology expertise, this joint venture will help us make quick inroads into global markets''.

Ms Laura Vierucci, head, global marketing, CVC, said, "the market in India for international quality leather is enormous. The production facility will be able to meet demands both from domestic as well as the Asian market. The product mix in the tannery will enable us to reach out to various markets as well as consumers as it will be cost effective for Indian shoe manufacturers to buy cow leathers of international standards from within the country.''