Wednesday, 24 May 2017

With India office, adidas shows how to be cooler and simpler

When a brand is predicated on teamwork and movement, workplace infrastructure must necessarily keep pace with on-the-go employees. At the new corporate headquarters of adidas India, infrastructure has been configured to support collaboration and mobility.

Vishal Kapil, director of information technology (IT) for adidas India, says the senior management posed just one question: “How can we be more collaborative, much cooler and simpler?

“Every department looked at deconstructing this into their areas. So, for us the question was how can a corporate entity make it so simple for people to share their content and collaborate, while still complying with global security policies?”

The answer: Facilitate collaboration through two specific IT solutions—a cable-free connector and a videoconferencing app. Each meeting room and cabin is equipped with an LED screen and a cable-free connector that plugs into any laptop, enabling “wire-free, secure, full high-definition content-streaming of videos, presentations or documents. We didn’t want boxes, with cables jutting out of them. This is easy to use and does not require any software installation. The wireless presentation system, called BenQ InstaShow, starts off in seconds, reducing downtime and uncomfortable silences, to kick off a productive meeting,” says Kapil.

Meeting-room technology is complemented by tools that support interaction outside enclosed spaces. “People use FaceTime, people use Skype through their phones. So, we asked how we can enable videoconferencing in the corporate environment in a similar way,” he says. Adidas implemented Vidyo, a software-based HD “video-conferring” system that allows employees to videoconference anytime, anywhere, from their devices, whether smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops, rather than having to book a meeting room.

While the company was not willing to disclose the app’s total usage numbers, Kapil says he’s satisfied. “We see people huddling where they are. There is no metric to compare productivity earlier and now, but what we hear from various leaders now is that people are more engaged.”

Karan Arora, manager, retail, says: “The collaboration quotient has gone up quite a bit. There are open spaces you can just walk around; special collaboration areas are available on every floor so these casual meetings can happen there, instead of just sitting in the closed meeting room, so it has become much more interesting.”

The company’s omissions are as prominent as its commissions—there are very few TV or brand-led screens in the office. “We are promoting movement and sports. Screens would conflict with the idea,” says Anuja Gupta, a designer in Gensler’s Bengaluru office.

As a corollary, the office infrastructure supports movement in the most basic fashion: stairs. Since there are three floors, not nine as in their earlier office, it was a pleasant surprise to see office workers wearing trainers, and walking up and down the centrally located staircase. A good case of design that is fit-for-use.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Leather bigshots to invest Rs 1,000 cr for tanneries in Kolkata

Expressing their satisfaction with the infrastructure at Kolkata Leather Complex (KLC) and the vision of the state government, big players in the country's leather industry have decided to invest Rs 1,000 crore to set up tanneries covering an area of two lakh square metres within the complex. Amit Mitra, the state Commerce and Industries minister, said: "There was a two-hour meeting with Mukhtarul Amin, chairperson of Council for Leather Exports in India and the delegation of businessmen led by him.

In the meeting, they went through a detailed map of KLC and decided to invest Rs 1,000 crore to set up tanneries on an area of two lakh square metres. It will enable the generation of around 6,000 direct jobs and there will be another 4,000 indirect jobs created because of the development of the tanneries." He said that the businessmen were also presented with a proposition to take steps to reopen 50 small tanneries which had previously been closed due to various reasons.

Amin said: "We went to eight different states as there is a major expansion plan. We found Bengal most suitable after going through the roadmap prepared by the state government and the vision of the government has also pleased us. Thus, we have decided to invest in the state." He further said: "In the US, buyers are not looking to India for business in leather goods. However, Finance Minister Amit Mitra has a very good vision and we are hoping to bring business in this sector from many countries and the investment is going to take place in Bengal." In reply to a question on the availability of raw material for tanneries with unauthorised slaughter-houses being closed down in Uttar Pradesh, Ramesh Juneja, Regional Chairman (East) of the council, said: "It will not be a problem as we are not concentrating solely on Uttar Pradesh for raw material. There is sufficient availability in Bengal and if needed we can import it as well." There is around 1,100 acre of land in the KLC, where at present 385 units including tanneries and shoe manufacturing factories have come up on 312 acre of land. A solid waste management system is being developed on a plot of 50 acre.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

GST Council to decide tax rates for services, gold, footwear on day two

The all-powerful Goods and Services Tax or GST Council on day two will discuss rates on services on Friday. The Council is chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and has all state finance ministers as its members. The fourteenth meet of the Council has been termed as historic as it is being held in Jammu and Kashmir's capital Srinagar.

Presently, the services are charged at 15 per cent that includes both central and state levies at different stages. Players in services sector fear that services will become costlier if government decides to put them under 18 per cent tax bracket. Most of the players demand a 12 per cent tax net for services, which will make services slightly cheaper.

GST Council will meet one more time if tax for all items are not decided by Friday," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. At today's meeting, rates on precious metal gold, and rates for services are to be taken up for discussion and final conclusion.

It may be noted that some states have sought a 4 per cent tax on gold and services though the rate does not form part of the four-tier tax structure under the GST which has been fixed at 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

All states along with the Centre yesterday unanimously approved rates for 1,211 goods barring such items as services, gold, biscuits, footwear and packaged cereals. Tax rates for these items will be taken up and decided today.

The Council has exempted 7 per cent of total goods from GST. It has brought 14 per cent of good under 5 per cent tax bracket. Further, 17 per cent of goods will be put under 12 per cent tax net. And, 43 per cent under 18 per cent tax net which is apart from 19 per cent goods that come under 28 per cent bracket.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Abattoir closure will boost India’s animal rights image: Footwear industry

AGRA: Shutting down of illegal slaughterhouses in the state will prove a positive development for Agra's footwear export industry, said those, who are associated with it. The crackdown will have a positive impact on India's, and this region's image with regard to animal rights in western countries, said industry insiders.

Puran Dawar, regional chairman (North) of Council for Leather Exports (CLE), also president of Agra Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Chamber (AFMEC), said that many international brands from UK, US and Germany have in the past refused to buy products from Agra owing to negative publicity by animal rights groups over ill-treatment of animals at slaughterhouses.
"With such illegal abattoirs out of Uttar Pradesh, we will be able to market our products in these countries in a better manner," Dawar added.

Agra is the largest footwear manufacturing hub in India, contributing around 65% of the total domestic consumption as well as having a whopping 28% share of the total footwear export from the country.

Of the leather used by units here, 90% is sourced from the different leather production centres across the country, mainly from Kanpur and Chennai, while the rest is imported. According to industry experts, 2 lakh pairs of footwear are manufactured per day in Agra, even as the installed capacity of the producing units is around 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh pairs per day.

"The sudden closure of slaughterhouses has affected the supply of leather, but it is a temporary phase. In the long run, this decision will only help in improve the image of India's leather industry in the global market. Till now India has been accused by many international animal rights groups of allowing inhuman treatment of animals by not taking action against illegal abattoirs. Because of this, many international brands from the US, UK and Germany have completely stopped giving manufacturing orders to Indian firms," Dawar said.

"We have 25% of the cattle population of the world, but we are still struggling with poor quality of hides. As a large number of animals are slaughtered in an unscientific manner and are in poor condition, the problem of poor quality hides is always faced by the industry," the AFMEC president added.
According to the CLE, there are only 60 units which are fully mechanised and 150 others in semi mechanised category with the state of the art manufacturing facility, using the latest technology and world-class raw materials.

According to a rough estimate there are 5,000 units involved in shoe manufacturing in Agra, although it is difficult to put a finger on the exact number as most of them are being operated from households located in dingy lanes of Heeng ki Mandi, Mantola and surrounding areas.
"This is a good time for brand India. Now, not only slaughterhouses, but also tanneries will have to improve their facilities and buy animal skins from legal sources. They will also have to install effluent treatment plants and ensure proper disposal of wastes. It will definitely improve the quality and credibility of Indian products in the international markets," said another senior official of CLE.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Already suffering, Uttar Pradesh leather industry takes another setback

Even before the new UP government’s crackdown on unauthorised slaughterhouses, the state’s leather industry was strained by slowed exports, closure of tanneries for environmental concerns and reduced supply of hides amid fears of becoming the target of vigilantes.

From Dalit workers who skin dead animals and suppliers who buy the hides, to tannery owners and their workers, those in the industry now say their earnings have fallen further, with many losing their jobs. At the Sunday hide market in Banthara of Lucknow district, where skinners from rural areas come to sell a week’s collection in allotted areas, business closes by noon.

Radhe Lal, 38, from Sandila in Hardoi, says he has been supplying hides for 15 years. “It has been very bad the last few years. I used to sell a piece of hide for Rs 400 two to three years ago; it now fetches only Rs 100.”
“I don’t know much about the industry but the rates have come down. Since 2014, business has been bad; it was not like that during the Congress regime,” says Radhe Lal, who claims he voted for the BJP in UP this year, hoping “the new government would make things better”. A graduate with three school-going children, he followed his father into the family profession.
Abdul Latif, 55, who brings hides from Barabanki, says his trips to the market are no longer weekly. “I come once in 15 or 20 days. There is not enough skin. People who skin dead animals are scared of being attacked, and rates are so low. Besides, skin from smaller slaughterhouses has stopped.”

The market operates on land owned by the family of Manoj Singh, a local Samajwadi Party leader, who says it has been so since Independence. “Stray animals are damaging farmers’ crops. They are roaming all over the road, causing accidents. When animals die, skinners are afraid to lift them,” he says.

At the raw hide market in Pechbagh, Kanpur, police raided a warehouse on April 26 following an alleged tip-off that “white skin” — apparently from a cow or its progeny — was stored there. Police locked the warehouse and picked up the driver of the truck that had brought hides from Jaunpur. “We gheraoed the police station… We get hide from people who skin dead animals, including cows, which is not illegal. The governments gives them a licence,” says Shafiq Ahmed, of the UP Hide Merchants’ Association.

Another trader, Farhat Hussain, says: “Nearly 95 per cent of the market is closed. There is little supply from UP. Suppliers from other states too are scared of being attacked on their way. We have about 240 firms registered here but most are shutting down.”

At his warehouse, only two labourers are working. Kamruddin, who has been in Kanpur for 15 years, says he used to get Rs 500 to 600 a day but now finds it hard to find enough work to earn him even Rs 100. He has sent his wife and children to his village as he can no more afford the house rent; he now sleeps in the market.
Tara Chand, 65, a Dalit, says he has been working at hide warehouses for 40 years but rarely gets any work these days.
Meraj Solanki, vice-president of the UP Hide Merchants’ Association, says his firm now does only 20 per cent of the business it had a few months ago.

At tanneries in Jajmau locality of Kanpur. Hafizur Rahman, president of the Small Tanners’ Association, says work is down by more than 50 per cent.

According to a report of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, out of 400 tannery units in Jajmau, only 271 were operational in 2016, 42 had shut of their own and 87 had been closed by the board for pollution.
Qazi Naiyer Jamal, general secretary of the Small Tanners’ Association, says, “The industry has lost its reputation because of setbacks one after another. The closure of slaughterhouses has further hurt the industry. Twenty per cent of the demand for hide is met by skin from animals that die in villages. About 40 per cent supply comes from large mechanised slaughterhouses and 40 per cent from unorganised slaughterhouses, now closed. People are not interested in supplying the skin of dead animals because of low prices and fear of vigilantism.”

Taj Alam, president of the UP Leather Industries’ Association, says the closure of small slaughterhouses and butchers’ shops has hit supply. “Hide prices are up. Orders are about about one-third of what we got earlier. Buyers are are tapping other places for their orders,” he says.

Sunil, 38, a Dalit, who lives close to Jajmau, says he had been making shoes for five years but has not been able to get regular work in the last two months. “I have started sitting at my mother’s small grocery,” says Sunil, who claims he had voted for the BJP this year.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Wine leather: What you could be wearing next season

Think luxury goods. Think leather. Think wine. Think wine leather – a simulated leather made from grape skin and seed fibres, currently provided by organic Italian winemakers.

The new material, in the form of prototype garments, bags and other fashion accessories, will have its official launch this October in Milan.

It could potentially reduce pressure on a range of animals and reptiles, including cows, donkeys, ostriches, dogs, alligators and crocodiles, to provide their own pelts.
Creator, Milan-based architect Gianpiero Tessitore, says the product is aimed at consumers who prefer to spend money on green and cruelty-free alternatives to animal and oil-based synthetic leathers.

After the official launch, Tessitore will begin sorting through the various business proposals he has already received, from both wineries and fashion brands, to find a collaborator for the next stages.

Businesses outside the wine and fashion industry may also be interested. According to the advocacy group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) BMW already produces a car with vegan interiors, as do Buick, Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Volkswagen and others.

Work on the wine leather project began in 2014, in cooperation with several Italian research centres and the University of Florence. By June 2016 Tessitore had patented the wine leather production process and launched his company, Vegea.

Asked about costs, Tessitore said the grape marc (as the vegetal wine by-product is known) is free, while the necessary machinery already exists, helping to make large scale wine-leather production a competitive alternative to skin.

Along with its green and cruelty free creds, Tessitore says Vegea is also highly sustainable, with the 26 billion litres of wine produced annually, providing an estimated seven billion kilos of grape marc, from which he could potentially produce three billion square metres of wine leather.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Leather technology and its potential in Kashmir

The present article entitled "leather technology and its potential in the valley" deals with an analytical study of the challenges and opportunities of the leather industry in Kashmir. In the recent future, this industry can play a commendable role in the economic development of the state, as it affords great potential for exports and employment generation. The leather industry is particularly an export-oriented one, as more than 90 percent of its total production in India is exported to many foreign countries, particularly to Germany, France, United States of America, United Kingdom and Switzerland, Etc. India's leather exports are likely to grow 20 per cent at $6billion (approximately 39600 crore) by the end of the current fiscal, and may even touch $14-billion (approximately 92400 crore) mark by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan(2012–17), according to the Council for Leather Exports.
Raw animal hide traders in the valley have experienced a boom during the last few years. Engaged in the rawhide business since generations and mostly confined to the downtown area of Srinagar localities, they constitute a very small number of people. Between 200-250 families are involved in this business, and that means around 1000 people are involved in this trade. Number could be much higher right now as these figures were calculated in 2008 study. The annual overall turnover in this business is worth millions of rupees, according to the industry experts. The growing turnover figures are a statistical evidence of the profitability of this business. Rawhide dealers collect hides of various animals like sheep, goat, and cattle mostly from Srinagar and also from villages. Raw hides are tanned with a coat of non-iodised salt and other materials at various storage points from where they are segregated and transported to various places outside Kashmir. A large number of young people are involved in this business. Over 3 million pieces of rawhide are transported to different tanneries and leather factories in Delhi, Kanpur, Agra and Chennai where various leather products like jackets, boots, wallets, purses and belts are designed and made. From these factories these items are being exported to the international markets since decades.
Leather technology
Leather is a very durable and flexible material created by tanning rawhide and skin of animals, ranging from using domestic animal like Cow, Sheep and Goat hides to wild animals as well subject to statutory limitations. During the course of history leather production has gone from small scale like cottage industries to heavy scale industries as the demand increased for the finished products and introduction of new uses of this material. Technology on the other hand is defined as, the collection of techniques, methods or processes sometimes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Technology can be the knowledge of techniques, processes, etc. in order to facilitate a particular task or it can be in the use of machines, computers, devices and facilities.
Leather Technology as a discipline is described as leather processing and its finished products. Because of the kind of wok it involves, it utilises principles of chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, computing, management, microbiology, physics, polymer sciences and mechanical engineering. Professionals engaged in Leather Technology are known as Leather Technologists. Leather Technologists understand the materials, their reactivity, the means to control them and techniques of testing and analysing the finished products. Leather Technologists use this knowledge in practical tanning processes and machinery operations in a leather industry. In India, leather industry involves:
(1) The process of raw material production – collection of hides and skins of animals for initial process in order to make them ready for next phase processing.
(2) Production of leather from the raw material – this is known as tanning process and its converts the basic rawhides into semi-finished leather and eventually finished leather after applying the desired colour.
(3) Manufacture of leather products from finished leather. All these processes involve operations which determine thickness, softness, texture, colour and water proofing leather. Leather is then converted into a wide variety of products – bags, belts, bookbinding, clothing, driving belts, footwear, gaskets, gloves, gas meter diaphragms, harness, hydraulic seals, luggage, saddles, wallets and underwater craft, upholstery including automobiles, sports goods and many others. Buffalo, Cow, Goat, Ox and Sheep are major animals from which hides and skins are procured.
Potential of leather technology
Encouraging Leather entrepreneurism in the Valley will be a fruitful initiative, as the rawhide business is not fully saturated and there is lot of potential for growth. Not only those engaged in the raw hide business directly are reaping the benefits but also businesses ranging from the salt merchants to the transporters which act as support services, to the business will bank their profits from the growth in this industry. Of course, voracious meat-eating habit of the people in the valley plays a key role in the regular supply of huge number of raw hides which is a main ingredient in the leather manufacturing. As per the report, in Jammu and Kashmir total requirement of mutton during 2012-13 was 560 lakh kg. Due to mismatch in demand and supply of mutton, the import of sheep and goat is continuously increasing. During the period 2000 to 2010 the import of sheep and goat has increased by over 26 percent. During 2013-14, a number of 13, 70,755 sheep and goat were imported as such hundreds of crores of rupees are spent on import of meat. Kashmir valley boasts of maximum ratio of non-vegetarians in India. Consequently, the rawhide traders in the valley are also reaping it benefits.
Due to highest per capita consumption of mutton and beef, Kashmir is a major exporter of raw material to leather industry in India. But the lack of processing infrastructure back home remains the major obstacle in realizing its full potential in the state’s economy. To boost the sector, State Industrial Development Corporation, (SIDCO), state’s premier industrial developer, has reserved 1500 kanals of land for the development of a Leather Park in its 5000 kanal huge industrial estate at Lassipora, Pulwama. The Centre has proposed to set up two satellite (dry) ports in Jammu and Kashmir to facilitate "direct import and export" and has sought 300 acres of land from the state government for the purpose, even as it plans to undertake highway projects worth Rs 25,000 crore in the state this year. As is evident both state as well as central governments is taking initiatives to create infrastructure which will support growth in the industry, but the disturbed thing is the rate of development of these initiatives.
Experts believe Kashmir leather industry has a potential to generate revenue in millions for the state economy annually. On an average 3.5 million sheep and goat skins plus 1.2 million cattle hides are available in the Kashmir market every year. Apart from its export potential, leather industry can support a large number of people belonging / both to rural as well as urban areas. The employment potential can be judged from the fact that it can provide employment to as many as 15000 persons directly, at present in the state as per the industry experts and can generate revenues of around 500 crores.
The industry being highly capital intensive can prove an effective and powerful instrument for bringing about the socio-economic transformation, especially in rural and backward areas of the state. The sizeable gap between the demand for and supply of superior quality leather products in major importing markets has offered an ample opportunity for Kashmir to emerge as an alternative source of supply, because it possesses the necessary raw material, but lacks infrastructure for the production of superior quality leather products. This is where the role of government comes in, they have to identify the bottlenecks and take necessary steps to encourage entrepreneurs to take interest in this industry which promises huge increase in revenues for the state. They have to set up a department to evaluate the potential of various industries in the valley and provide appropriate help as needed. However, due to the presence of redtapism and nepotism in the state, it has not been able to reach its full potential which it deserves.
Kashmir is an area with great availability of natural resources giving potential to lot of development. But, it is also true mere production of raw materials in tonnes won’t uplift leather sector in the valley, government support is needed to uplift this sector. According to the experts, the leather produced here is best for making shoes, jackets, purse, fashion accessories and every other leather item. The way forward for the leather industry here is forward integration and start manufacturing the finished products themselves in national as well as international markets? Government also has a role to play in this development as they have to facilitate the necessary conditions to allow for growth. Leather Industry can surely emerge as a way of employment generation, poverty alleviation & sustainable development in the valley.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Lonzo Ball has unveiled his first shoe and it comes with a $495 price tag

One week after it was reported that Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas were spurning Lonzo Ball as a potential athlete endorser, the UCLA product has unveiled his first shoe under his family's own brand, Big Baller Brand.

And it costs $495 (not a typo).

Here is the shoe, dubbed the ZO2 , not to be confused with a son of Alonzo Mourning.

Here is a closer look at the back of the shoe and the shoe's logo.
the shoe giants walked away after LaVar "offered something that has no precedent."

"In his meetings with all three companies, LaVar insisted that they license his upstart Big Baller Brand from him," wrote Rovell . "He also showed the companies a shoe prototype that he hoped would be Lonzo's first shoe."

In other words, the Balls were not looking to sign an endorsement deal. Rather, they wanted their personal brand, Big Baller Brand, to become something more akin to Jordan Brand, a branch of Nike that grew out of Michael Jordan's Air Jordan shoe line.

At the time, many were critical and laughed at Lonzo's father, LaVar Ball, for potentially costing his son millions of dollars. But if this line of shoes takes off and the family is keeping most of the money, it might be LaVar who laughs last.

There is one odd detail, beyond the price. The website says there are no refunds or exchanges, a risky proposition for a shoe people can't try on before they order

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Sneak a look at the new Kevin Durant shoes: The KD10

Kevin Durant has some of the most popular shoes, not only among NBA fans but among players themselves. It's not uncommon to see a pair of KD9s on an NBA court, especially among the Golden State Warriors, and they're a popular choice among hoop heads. Most prefer to play in them as opposed to showing off, but they rarely look bad.
Today on Twitter, sneaker heads got a sneak peek at the new KD10 that will be coming out soon. Fans should get a closer look at them later Tuesday night on YouTube. It makes sense that Tuesday would be the reveal with the Warriors opening up their second-round matchup against the Jazz.So, the KD10 themselves. They're fine. Not awful by any means, but they lack the flash that other shoes out there have. However, these look extremely comfortable to play in, which seems to be the top priority for KD brand shoes. The material looks like it breathes and hopefully the inside won't tear up the bottom of the users' feet too bad.
The only complaint is the shoe being shown here is kind of boring and will get dirty way too quickly, but it would be weird if they didn't come in other colors. Also, the fat shoelaces look a little strange. Besides that? These are solid shoes that will likely be just as popular as the KD9.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Kanpur leather units scout land in Bengal

Kolkata, Apr 30 (PTI) Tanneries of Kanpur were keen to set up units in West Bengal and looking for lands in the state following problems of raw material sourcing in Uttar Pradesh.

"Some 20 or 25 tanneries have shown interest to open their units here because of problem to get raw materials in Uttar Pradesh. They are looking for land or taking over existing units," Calcutta Leather Complex Tanners Association president Ramesh Juneja told PTI.

Tanneries of Uttar Pradesh were facing shortage of raw materials following the state government's action against illegal slaughter houses.

State MSME secretary Rajiva Sinha said that he had been informed by the local leather industry about their UP firms' interest in opening units in West Bengal.

"A meeting is likely to take place in near future with them. The government will offer all support to accommodate them," he said.

The Calcutta Leather Complex currently has about 350 tanners and leather processors and it cannot offer plot to new units due to constraints in effluent treatment capacity in the complex, Juneja said.

"Two new treatment plants have been proposed by the state government which will help open scope for additional 250 units to set up shop here," he said.

West Bengal government would be pumping Rs 200 crore over the next two years to modernise the complex, Sinha said adding that the DPR for the project was underway.

"To overcome waste management and effluent treatment problems in the leather complex, we are modernising the existing four plants and installing two new plants at a cost of Rs 60 crore as also part of it, Sinha said

Saturday, 29 April 2017

How Adidas is trying to catch Nike in the footwear race

While Adidas is one of the dominant players overseas, it has struggled to gain ground in the United States and the rest of North America. Now it's looking to topple its biggest competitor and corner the U.S. market for footwear.
It'll be tough, to say the least: In 2016, Nike (NKE) controlled just over half of that market, according to NPD, which tracks the retail industry. Adidas controlled about 7%, while Under Armour (UA) had about 3%.To get closer to the top spot, Adidas is focusing on signing big-name athletes to endorsement deals, listening to customers, getting shoes into stores faster and using technology to come up with new styles and designs.
Mark King, the president of Adidas North America, admitted in an interview with CNNMoney that the company hasn't succeeded "in a big way" in the United States. But if you don't win here, he said, becoming the top brand in the world is almost impossible.
"We have more sports here," he said. "Trends, media attention, just overall hype around sports, the epicenter is America."
So Adidas is making the United States its priority.For big-name American athletes, Adidas has landed the NBA's James Harden, the NFL's Von Miller and baseball's Kris Bryant, who all dominate in their sports.
By comparison, Nike has LeBron James, Serena Williams and Cristiano Ronaldo, and Under Armour has Steph Curry, Misty Copeland and Bryce Harper.
So what's the sell for an athlete to choose Adidas?
King hopes the biggest draw will be the chance to shape and grow the brand in the United States. Another selling point: They won't get lost in the crowd at Adidas.
Nike declined comment on Adidas' ambition, but its dominance only shows what a challenge it will be for Adidas to even get close. Nike reported $14.8 billion in total North American sales last year, compared with $3.7 billion for Adidas.Adidas is also changing how it targets women and trying to market itself as their go-to brand.
One of the key ways is by actually listening to what they want -- paying more attention to footwear trends and customer feedback.
"We haven't been very effective in how we've talked to women, the way we've designed products for women, the way we've taken products to market," King said.
Historically, he pointed out, stores and brands made all the decisions about products. Now companies are listening more to their customers.
"We're asking you what do you like and what are we doing wrong and what should we be. We're constructing things based on consumer feedback," King said. "I think the brands that do that the best will be the brands that win, whether it's women's or any other category."
And Adidas is trying to respond to those customers more quickly -- opening "speed factories" in Atlanta and Germany that will allow the companies to get more shoes into stores while they're still in demand.
The Atlanta factory, set to open later this year, will make running shoes -- about 50,000 in the first year.Adidas is also rolling out innovations like cleats made out of recycled plastic or its newest shoe -- the Futurecraft 4D, which has a sole that's 3D-printed using light and oxygen.
"Will it become the driver of revenue? No. But what it's a driver of, is what's possible," King said. "It says to consumers, this is a brand really on the forefront of technology, and stay tuned."

Friday, 28 April 2017

Shot in the arm for leather industry in Tamil Nadu as tannery residual salt can be processed, marketed

CHENNAI: In a major breakthrough for the leather industry in Tamil Nadu, which contributes 40 percent of the country’s $6 billion leather exports, scientists of the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) and Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) in Bhavnagar in Gujarat, have discovered a novel method that converts waste residual salt into saleable raw material.

The State was staring at a major environmental hazard as nearly one lakh tonnes of residual salt produced by tanneries piled up at Common Effluent Treatment Plants.

In India, Tamil Nadu is the only State that enforced Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) on leather processing units in 2001. Though the measure was taken by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to prevent untreated effluents polluting the waterbodies, it has resulted in accumulation of residual salt over the years, and has become a big cause of concern.

B Chandrasekaran, Director, CLRI, told Express on the sidelines of the Commemoration Day celebrations, about 15 common effluent treatment plants that are stocking close to one lakh tonnes of salt, which is a mixture of sodium chloride and sodium sulphate. This salt is used during rawhide stage, and has no direct market. “We can neither keep the stock nor dispose it off. It is a huge burden on the industry and a storm like Vardah has drained this stock leading to environment disaster. So, we came out with a solution to separate sodium chloride and sodium sulphate using a simple technique and market them separately,” he said.

Laboratory trials have proved successful, and now a pilot project is envisaged with the help of the industry represented by the All India Skin & Hide Tanners & Merchants Association (AISHTMA) for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed recently.

Amitsava Das, Director, CSMCRI, said that trials have given the desired purity (98.8) acceptable for the industry. The technology has proved very economical. The pilot unit is planned at salt farms in Bhavnagar, and once technology is developed into a commercial product, it will be implemented in CETPs.

Chandrasekaran said the salt can be converted into raw material and sold within a year.  AISHTMA president, Rafeeq Ahmed, expressed gratitude to scientists for developing such a cost-effective technology.

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