India needs to build own leather brands: Industry official

Kolkata, March 14:

Notwithstanding Indian finished leather exports surging by over ten percent during April-November 2014, an industry official says the domestic makers need to build their own brands rather than selling finished leather abroad or going for contractual manufacturing.

Pic Courtesy:
Pic Courtesy:

“Personally, I wish contractual manufacturing decreases and Indian companies come up with their own brands rather than produce the goods for a third party”, Adhar Sahani, chairman of trade show committee of Indian Leather Products Association told IANS here.

The leather exports industry overall grew by 18.5 per cent at Rs. 26,940 crore during April-November 2014 against the previous year’s performance of Rs. 22,729 crore.

According to the veteran leather industry official, the Europe-bound export scenario is not conducive as the Euro is falling against the Rupee leading to decreased margins. The trade embargo on Russia is also hitting the supply.

“Russia is a brand-conscious market and prefers European brands. Now, with the embargo on Russia in place, the demand for finished leather (from India) is falling”, he said.

Asked if Indians can directly export to brand-conscious Russia, he said: “India first needs to build its world-class export brands to take on the established global players”.

Indians are becoming brand-conscious nowadays. Companies are focusing on offering the best quality to meet global standards which is “encouraging” for the leather industry, he added.

Sahani said Indian leather goods makers need to build their “own brands” now as Indian leather holds a coveted place in the international market.

However, he said finance would be the biggest challenge for the industry.

“What the industry needs are angel investors willing to put money in ventures aiming to become global brands”, he said.

When asked about the possibility of the recent beef ban in Maharashtra hitting leather supplies, he said, “It will have no impact”. IANS

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