Foreign Trade Data Dashboard                                                                                                                                                SWACHH BHARAT

Industry At a Glance

Leather Industry – Overview, Export Performance and Prospects

  • The Leather Industry holds a prominent place in the Indian economy. This sector is known for its consistency in high export earnings and it is among the top ten foreign exchange earners for the country.
  • With an annual turnover of over US$ 12 billion, the export of leather and leather products increased manifold over the past decades and touched US$ 5.67 billion during 2016-17, recording a Cumulative Annual Growth Rate of about 3.09% (5 years).
  • The Leather industry is bestowed with an affluence of raw materials as India is endowed with 20% of world cattle & buffalo and 11% of world goat & sheep population. Added to this are the strengths of skilled manpower, innovative technology, increasing industry compliance to international environmental standards, and the dedicated support of the allied industries.
  • The leather industry is an employment intensive sector, providing job to about 3.00 million people, mostly from the weaker sections of the society. Women employment is predominant in leather products sector with about 30% share.
  • India is the second largest producer of footwear and leather garments in the world.
  • India is the second largest exporter of leather garments and third largest exporter of Saddlery & Harness in the world.
  • The major production centers for leather and leather products in India are located in the States of  Tamil Nadu – Chennai, Ambur, Ranipet, Vaniyambadi, Vellore, Pernambut, Trichy, Dindigul and Erode ; West Bengal – Kolkata ; Uttar Pradesh – Kanpur, Agra, Noida, Saharanpur; Maharashtra – Mumbai ;  Punjab – Jallandhar ; Karnataka – Bangalore ; Andhra Pradesh – Hyderabad ; Haryana  – Ambala, Gurgaon, Panchkula, Karnal and Faridabad; Delhi; Madhya Pradesh – Dewas ; Kerala – Calicut and Ernakulam / Cochin ; Rajasthan; Jaipur ; Jammu & Kashmir; Srinagar.

Strengths of Indian leather sector

  • Own raw material source – About 3 billion sq ft of leather produced annually
  • Some varieties of goat / calf / sheep skins command premium position
  • Strong and eco-sustainable tanning base
  • Modernized manufacturing units
  • Trained / skilled manpower at competitive wage levels
  • World-class institutional support for Design & Product Development, HRD and R & D.
  • Presence of support industries like leather chemicals and finishing auxiliaries
  • Presence in major markets – Long Europe experience
  • Strategic location in the Asian landmass

Emerging strengths

  • Design development initiatives by institutions and individuals
  • Continuous modernization and technology up-gradation
  • Economic size of manufacturing units
  • Constant human resource development programme to enhance productivity
  • Increasing use of quality components
  • Shorter prototype development time
  • Delivery compliance
  • Growing domestic market for footwear and leather articles

Highlights of Leather Product Segments:

Annual production about 3 billion sq.ft. Accounts for 10% of world leather requirement. Indian colors continuously being selected at the MODEUROPE Congress
Second largest footwear producer after China. Annual Production 2065 million pairs. Huge domestic retail market 1950 million pairs (95%) are sold in domestic market. Footwear export accounts for 49% share in India’s total leather & leather products export. The Footwear product mix Gents 55%, Ladies  35% and Children 10%
Second largest producer with annual production capacity of 16 million pieces. Second largest global exporter. Accounts for 9% share of India’s total leather export
Fifth largest global exporter. Annual production capacity – 63 million pieces of leather articles, 52 million pairs of Industrial gloves & 12.50 million pieces of Harness & Saddlery items. Accounts for 23% share of India’s total export

Product-wise Brands sourced from India:

FootwearLeather GarmentsLeather Goods / Accessories
Acme, Ann Taylor, Bally, Charter Club, Clarks, Coach, Colehann, Daniel Hector, Deichmann, DKNY, Double H, Ecco, Elefanten, Etienneaigner, Florsheim, Gabor, Geoffrey Beene, Guess, Harrods, Hasley, Hush Puppies, Kenneth Cole, Liz Claiborne, Marks & Spencer, Nautica, Next, Nike, Cole Haan, Nunn Bush, Pierre Cardin, Reebok, Rockport, Salamander, Stacy Adams, Tommy Hilfiger, Tony Lama, Versace, Yves St. Laurent, Zara, Johnston & Murphy, Docksteps, Timberland, Armani, Geox, Diesel, Ted Baker, Lacoste, Kickers, Calvin Klein, Siou45x, Brasher, Zegna, Massimu Dutti, Buggatti, Lloyd, Christian Dier, Salamander, Camper, Bata, Espirit, French Connection, Legero, Mercedez, H & M and many more famous brandsArmani, Zegna, Abercrombie & Fitch, Marco Polo, Mango, Colehaan, Andre Maarc, Guess Pierre Cardin, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace, DKNY, Liz Claiborne, Ann Taylor, Nautica, Kenneth Cole, Charter Club, Daniel HectorCoach, Liz Claiborne, Harrods, Yves St, Laurent, Tommy Hilfiger, Etienne Aigner, Geoffrey Beene, Marks & Spencer, Guess, Next, Pierre Cardin, Prada, GAP, Levis, H & M, British Home Stores, Banana Republic, Furla, American Eagle Outfitters, Bracciliani, Walmart etc.
MNC brands sold in India and Indian brands sold in India:
MNC Brands Sold in IndiaIndian Brands sold in India
Aldo, Bally, Clarks, Ecco, Florshiem, Ferragammo, Hush Puppies, Lee cooper, Lloyd, Marks & Spencer, Nike, Nine West, New Balance, Reebok, Rockport, Stacy Adams, Tod’s, Geox , Louis Vuitton Red Tape, Bata, Liberty, Khadims, Lakhani, Metro, Action
India’s Export of Leather and Leather products for Five years
(Value in Million $)     

Finished Leather1093.731284.571329.051046.45888.89
Leather Garments563.54596.15604.25553.11536.57
Leather Goods1180.821353.911453.261370.041321.61
Saddlery & Harness110.41145.54162.70146.38143.08
% Growth2.91%18.39%9.37%-9.84%-3.23%
Source: DGCI&S


% Share of Leather & Leather Products (2016-17)


% share of various countries in India’s Leather & Leather Products Exports (2016-17)


Major Markets

i.The major markets for Indian Leather & Leather Products are USA with a share of 15.36%, Germany 11.65%, UK 10.74%, Italy 6.63%, Spain 5.19%, France 5.10%, Hong Kong 4.70%, UAE 4.01%, China 3.07%, Netherlands 3%, Belgium 1.85% and Poland 1.79%.

ii.These 12 countries together accounts for nearly 73% of India’s total leather& leather products export.

European Union accounts for 52% of India’s total export of leather and leather products. 

India’s Export of leather & leather products to different countries – 5 years
(Value in million USD)

COUNTRY 2012-132013-142014-152015-162016-17% Share 2016-17
Italy 438.53518.04504.26407.91375.416.63%
Spain 267.17308.07351.27327.86294.225.19%
France 320.81354.72371.75308.45288.815.10%
Hong Kong441.45471.61422.11315.26266.164.70%
Poland 39.5069.1881.7465.20101.691.79%
Korea Rep.46.7758.3068.4782.3868.651.21%
South Africa36.0748.1655.0452.8744.290.78%
Saudi Arabia42.3738.6747.4236.7740.930.72%
Russia 28.5451.5849.9649.0151.600.91%
New Zealand7.239.6612.1111.239.820.17%
Slovak rep------30.7131.690.56%
Mexico 6.619.848.5712.4912.140.21%
Norway 9.2315.8615.0012.317.550.13%
Israel 7.1511.9313.9113.3513.240.23%
Sri lanka des9.5411.3610.1313.8514.500.26%
Czech republic10.5119.8422.5310.459.340.16%
Total 5015.415937.976494.845855.065665.91100%

Source: DGCI&S
Region-wise Export of Leather & Leather Products 2015-16 


Source : CLE Membership records

Future Outlook:

The Government of India had identified the Leather Sector as a Focus Sector in the Indian Foreign Trade Policy in view of its immense potential for export growth prospects and employment generation. Accordingly, the Government is also implementing various Special Focus Initiatives under the Foreign Trade Policy for the growth of leather sector. With the implementation of various industrial developmental programmes as well as export promotional activities; and keeping in view the past performance, and industry’s inherent strengths of skilled manpower, innovative technology, increasing industry compliance to international environmental standards, and dedicated support of the allied industries, the Indian leather industry aims to augment the production, thereby enhance export, and resultantly create additional employment opportunities.