Modernisation saves footwear industry

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jan 5, 2018, 6:27 am IST
Updated Jan 5, 2018, 6:27 am IST
With 150 manufacturing units supported by 300 ancillary units employing 25,000 workers, the sector feeds thousands of families.
Work in full swing at PU Rotary machine at a footwear unit at Cheruvannur in Kozhikode. (Photo: Venugopal)
 Work in full swing at PU Rotary machine at a footwear unit at Cheruvannur in Kozhikode. (Photo: Venugopal)

KOZHIKODE: Timely mechanisation and modernisation helped the footwear industry of the state resist to some extent the invasion of global players including China. It ensured consistency in quality, production and a reduced workforce.   
Prominent companies use 'state of the art' automated machines and software in designing, stitching, clicking and shoe sole-making.  They own more than 40 PU rotary machines which cost Rs 2 to Rs 2.5 crore.

Habnash C.V., the production manager of the VKC group of companies, which alone has 30 PU rotary machines, said it helped the industry to keep 'on a par' with global players.

 

"Our major issue is the high attrition rate among migrant labourers which is a floating population," he told DC.

"Many experienced workers would go missing once they get improved skills. It was the mechanisation that helped the industry to tide over this crisis by automation in key areas."

The total production capacity of PU footwear of region-based companies is more than 5 lakh pairs per day whereas VKC group alone produces 4 lakh pairs per day.

V. Noushad, vice-president of the Confederation of Indian Footwear Industry, said exhibitions held in Kozhikode every year helped them update in tune with global trends.

"The diligent efforts of association of footwear companies and major players helped attract national and global players to the state registering 140 percent growth in the manufacturing sector", he told DC.

The annual cumulative turnover of the region-based footwear companies alone crossed Rs 1,500 crore, according to Kerala State Small Scale Industries Association. With 150 manufacturing units supported by 300 ancillary units employing 25,000 workers, the sector feeds thousands of families. The popular brands include Paragon, Lunar, Mark, Odyssia, Cubiz, Fisher, Hawalker and Jogger, apart from VKC.

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