Situation poised in favour of organised footwear, says Paragon

Market conditions are now positively biased towards organised footwear players and this is evident from the shift in consumer interest towards branded footwear, said Thomas Mani, executive director footwear manufacturer Paragon.

"Many brands are now bringing down the prices in highly preferred segments to match the unorganised footwear category. As against the price difference of Rs 150 a few years ago, it is now Rs 15," said Mani. In fact, organised players are confident of expanding operations and are planning frequent product launches, he added.

For Paragon, which is present across 100,000 touch points pan-India, he said the focus this year would be on improving sales in the women category. The segment currently accounts for 35% of the total annual revenue of Rs 1,375 crore. "We want to double the sales contribution in this segment in the current fiscal," said Mani. The major markets for its products are Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

He was here today to launch new styles in Solea range for women. The company has roped in Telugu actress Samantha for endorsing the range nationally.

With no presence in the leather segment, coupled with a recent entry in sports footwear, it plans to gear up with new launches in both the categories in the next 2-3 years, said Navin Thomas, executive director of marketing.

It is targeting to be a Rs 5,000-crore revenue company by 2020 with presence across every category along with exports to West Asia and Africa.

The company said the introduction of Goods and Sevices Tax (GST) by the next government would lead to a uniform tax structure making business attractive for organised players. Exploiting the tax structure, several non-leather and leather footwear players from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala have been flooding the AP market, said Thomas.

Paragon, which has sold around 130 million pairs of footwear with a revenue of Rs 1,375 crore in the last fiscal, expects to grow at 25 per cent this year, as against the overall footwear industry growth of 20%.

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