West Bengal has the potential to grow as a world class leather industry. To achieve this, the first requirement is a proper mind-set, said B D Bhaiya, Chairman, C&E Limited. He also said that Bengal had been a low grade production centre of leather. Ordinary industrial gloves and ordinary leather goods are overtly produced in the state. In this sector, the value addition is less as compared to the leather industry in Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu, a huge quantity of high value leather products is produced. Modern production facilities like state-of-the-art technologies and quality designing are readily available in Tamil Nadu. Additionally, many big investors are also involved in this sector.
The lack of footwear manufacturing units in West Bengal is one of the important drawbacks of the state’s leather industry. The state government and the industry should jointly work to develop large footwear units in the state. This will further strengthen the future of the leather industry in West Bengal. Educational institutes teaching leather technology also should come forward with viable schemes for footwear manufacturing.
C&E Limited is one of the foremost chemical manufacturers. Its products are used extensively for leather treatment in the shoe industry. The products are specific chemicals used for finishing, colouring and shining of shoe leather. Bhaiya said that his company exports around 30% of the produced chemicals. China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh are some of the prominent importers.
New trends in shoe industry
Earlier, the sole of the shoes were made according to the need of the shoes. But the new trend is to set shoes according to the sole. This has been a big change in the shoe industry.