India is the second largest footwear manufacturer in the world after China. According to the statistics portal Statista, revenue in the footwear market in India is expected to be around $ 7,525 million by 2019. The same portal claims that it will grow in a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.6% during 2019-2023. The ‘Footwear Market in India 2018-2023’ report by ResearchAndMarkets.com informs that around 90% manufactured products are consumed within the country while the remaining 10% are exported mainly to the European nations. The report also states, “In India, the unorganised footwear market accounts for 85% of the total footwear market and gives stiff competition to the organised sector players.”
A greater proportion of the overall Indian population, which includes tier I and II cities as well as smaller towns now have considerably higher spending power, as a result of which, expansion of the footwear market is gaining momentum. Retail and online retailers are playing a major role in the development of the Indian footwear market.
Segments of Indian footwear
India’s footwear industry can be divided into four sub segments based on retail selling prices. They are the mass segment (less than Rs. 500/pair), economy segment (Rs. 500-1000/pair), mid segment (Rs. 1000-3000/pair) and premium segment (more than Rs. 3000/pair). Mass footwear segment is mainly dominated by retail brands such as Relaxo, Paragon, Action Shoes, Lakhani Shoes, Ajanta Footwear, and Lancer and occupy 54% of the market. Retailers such as Bata, Khadim, Aldo, Woodland, Metro, Lotto have succeeded in carving a niche with a value segment proposition, coupled with relevant fashion offerings at smart pricings serving in every segment.
The ‘Sector Update of Footwear Sector’ released by HDFC Bank Investment Advisory Group informs, “Indian footwear segment is majorly dominated by mass or economy segment with 85% share but there has been a trend towards increasing share of premium and luxury segments and in terms of sales, it amounts to Rs. 4.5 billion as per ASSOCHAM data.”
Boom in the sports shoe market
The Indian sports footwear segment is witnessing a steady development. People’s awareness and consciousness regarding their health can be attributed for this. According Statista, revenue in the athletic footwear segment amounted to $3,232 million in 2018. Smaller towns and cities are also emerging as top consumers for sports footwear.
Noushad Veluthedath, Managing Director, Walkaroo in a conference organised in Kolkata recently said, “People are now not only buying sports footwear for athletic purposes. They are opting for these shoes for regular use because of their comfort level. The range of lifestyle shoes from Walkaroo have also found higher acceptance in the market because of its flexible rubber outsoles and improved abrasion resistance. The encapsulated foot-bed technology in its select range is yet another cutting edge design aspect that gives products from Walkaroo an extra appeal and higher comfort.”
Government is encouraging
At the ‘4th India International Footwear Fair 2018’ Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation emphasised that the Indian footwear industry has to look beyond the domestic market as India has the potential to become a global footwear manufacturing hub. To realise this, a special package of Rs. 2600 crore was approved by the India government for employment generation in leather and footwear sectors. The package comprises of implementation of a central scheme titled ‘Indian Footwear, Leather and Accessories Development Programme’.