Sports Shoe Manufacturing: Window of Golden Opportunities for “Atmanirbhar Bharat”
India is the second-largest footwear manufacturer in the world and accounts for 10% of the global footwear manufacturing, next to China, which leads with 53 % in the global footwear market. At this time, when the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission is pressing the priority button, we should take notice of the chance to cater to all the opportunities in the global sports shoe manufacturing with the flourishing industries, propelling the economy and established workforce.
India is the second-largest footwear manufacturer in the world and accounts for 10 % of the global footwear manufacturing, next to China, which leads with 53 % in the global footwear market. At this point in time, when the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission is pressing the priority button, we should take notice of the chance to cater to all the opportunities in the global sports shoes manufacturing with the flourishing industries, propelling the economy and established workforce.
The footwear industry in India, being a labour-intensive sector that employs more than 4 million people in India, is a motor of the growth in the Indian manufacturing sector. Out of 16 billion pairs of footwear, which are produced in the world on an annual basis, India produces 2065 million pairs of different categories. But, India exports only 115 million which is quite low as per the criteria of the Self-reliant vision. Thus, around 90 % of the footwear are drained in the domestic consumption itself.
Despite the second position in sport's shoe manufacturing, 80 % of the footwear are low-cost products, which are manufactured by the unorganized sector and only 20 % are leather products out of which, very little is exported.
Footwear categories exported from India include Dress shoes, casuals, Moccasins, Sports shoes, boots, sandals, slippers etc., out of which the category of sports shoes is the sound opportunity as it is seen in the reports that India’s non-leather export has been increased from around 202 million dollars in 2012-2013 to around 296 million dollars in 2016-17.
The easy availability of raw materials and skilled labour makes it favourable that India’s sports shoes manufacturing can be drawn into a comparative advantage in terms of contribution to the global sports shoe manufacturing market as well as India’s native economy as well.
The Make in India mission, which now is broadened to Atmanirbhar Bharat is paying better dividends to the export funnel of India. But sports shoe manufacturing can further make India’s dream of becoming Atmanirbhar to be market-driven. Many ways can make India ready to tap the opportunities in sport's shoe manufacturing which are knocking the doors of the global economy.
The large scale industries, with capabilities of generating large employment opportunities, funds for imbibing the latest technology and lowering the cost of goods due to large scale production are capable to manifest the optimum spectrum for the Indian economy. In India, the term ‘large scale manufacturing industry’ is understood in a broad sense as it includes a wide variety of manufacturing units. But, the Indian Manufacturing sector embraces a wide variety of industries but, most of them are small scale industries with a partly mechanized system and less than a hundred workers.
When we are thinking of making India a global manufacturing hub in sports shoe manufacturing, we need to think global. Instead of setting up an industry, we should plan to set up an industry of a sound scale. We have to shift our vision from the unorganized sector to the organized sector. To integrate India as a pivotal part of the global economy, there is a strong need for stepping up the manufacturing units which are rigorous, dynamic and of larger capacity.
For poising India to become the focal centre of sport shoe industries, technology transfer from developed countries to India is crucial. Among the Household units, Workshop Units and Semi-mechanized units, only 10-20 % of units belongs the semi-mechanized units, which uses modern machines like flat, post and cylinder based stitching machines, stamping and embossing machine, skiving machine, counter moulding machine etc.
The Indian manufacturing sector is primarily a conformation of small scale industries that believe in ‘makeshifts’ and always focus on building the rough and ready supply chain for local consumption. Instead of this, technological advancement will execute the production in a polished way.
To build an economy that meets the criteria of the global competitive edge, the manufacturing sector should be made available to pertinent technology and machinery through technology transfer. This will assist the production level in sports shoe manufacturing to expand up to the international level.
India ranks fourth in the WEF ranking for Human resources. Thus, in terms of skilled workforce, India ranks very high but, the human resources need to be upgraded in terms of techno-managerial dimensions. Missions like Skill India Mission are effective enough in leveraging the talent in India which resides in the form of skills inside the Indian youth. But, for the proper utilization of the technical advancement, there is a need of achieving a greater pace in making the workforce more skilled and trained.
To encourage the sports shoe manufacturing industries, skilling programmes are inevitable resources because when sports shoe manufacturing is taken into consideration, the only skilled and confident workforce can make the manufacturing compatible with global standards of quality performance.
A potential sea will be opened for India in sport's shoes manufacturing if India can eradicate the non-availability of Raw materials banks. Most of the raw materials are sourced from local merchants and in only a few cases, they are imported. Due to limited space for stocks of new raw materials, there is not much availability of varieties of sports shoes.
India is a country of artisans and for optimizing their talent at a global scale, there is an upsurge of investing in a wide variety of raw materials. Also, the local merchants should strategise to widen the spectrum of the raw materials they supply.
Thinking global with the vision of Atmanirbhar is effective only if all India is affluent with the bounty of accessories and a productive environment of the supply chain. PU, Flyknit materials, soles, chemicals and other accessories are distributed unevenly, which must be checked to avoid the informality of the supply chains due to multiple touchpoints.
Generally, a complete supply chain is not available in one particular area and also, depending upon the type of raw materials, sourcing takes place via different means. Due to highly fragmented and unorganized supply chains, there is a delay due to transportation. And, this leads to high-cost structures of the units and the inability to obtain a production on a large scale.
India can target the world market by cementing the standard steps regarding footwear manufacturing. Possibilities are huge to exploit the sports shoe manufacturing to the overseas buyers.
India, due to huge market growth, skilled workforce and the globalizing economy is furnished with the possibilities of becoming a global sports shoe manufacturing hub through thriving efforts for the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission.
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