Indian footwear manufacturers urge retailers to support them instead of turning to offshore markets
"Instead of turning to markets beyond Indian shores for sourcing, the retail leaders should support the manufacturing sector here," a delegate at the conference implored the 12-member panel discussing 'India's Footwear Retail Market: Opportunities, Issues and Challenges' at the first ever Footwear and Leather Accessories Conclave.
The speakers also said that supply-chain management is a big challenge facing the industry. Some of the speakers rued that while international players look at India as the land of opportunities, they "shy away from investments" and expect the local partner to do the same.
The issue of opening up of the domestic market to foreign direct investment (FDI) evoked a note of caution in the footwear and accessories industry. While for the consumer FDI is a welcome step, domestic businesses would prefer that "the protective shield continues" for some more time till they acquire size, said Asif Merchant, the chief at womenswear footwear major, Catwalk. "Once FDI is in, domestic players will be losers," echoed Satyen Nanda of Inc.5.