Success in international market depends not only on building the brand image of the product but also the brand image of the country. Transformation of a company from a contract manufacturer to a brand is a welcome step but there is a need for sustained brand building campaign of the country as well so as to project the image of Indian Leather industry as an industry with sustainable and eco-friendly growth model, so as to further enhance our reputation as a reliable supplier of high-quality products. I am happy that the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) is already doing this by undertaking huge publicity campaigns in CLE events. I am sure that continuation of such a campaign will augur well for our industry.
Though India accounts for about 13% of global production of hides and skins, we need to ensure optimum utilization of the huge raw material base available in the country, through adoption of better skins/hide flaying and preservation techniques. Design & Product Development and Enhancing Worker Productivity are other two crucial areas where we need to move forward, so as to move-up the value chain. As more than 90% of leather and footwear industry is concentrated in MSME segment, we need to develop sustainable and affordable R & D and worker productivity models which can be adopted by the industry in tune with changing requirements of the market. Adopting such innovative production and processing techniques is the need of the hour so as to enhance our price competitiveness and moving-up the value chain.