Footwear technology in recent times is fast emerging as a lucrative career option

Footwear technology in recent times is fast emerging as a lucrative career option. Until a few years ago, those who happened to be in the industry were there through experience rather than through any formal training. But now, in India, scores of institutes are offering certificate as well as diploma courses in designing as well as production, adding a much needed professionalism to this industry.

The Indian leather/footwear industry is growing by leaps and bounds. One must be wondering why India is exporting so much of leather to western countries. Apparently because leather wear still enjoys a great demand abroad and nowadays even the domestic market is developing and consuming the offerings of this industry. To many, it would also be a surprise to know that the Indian Leather/footwear industry is the fourth largest export earner in the country. One can only imagine what shape this industry takes on further maturing.

Nature of Work

The demand of the leather/footwear is on the rise and is expected to grow further. With more and more multinationals coming to India, this industry is poised to become a hi-tech industry. Leatherwear constitutes a variety of products ranging from footwear. The largest sub-section of this industry is footwear, despite growing competition from the materials like synthetics and fabric.
At present, most of the people in this industry are not trained but now with this industry advancing and developing both technologically and professionally, it calls for qualified professionals to cater to the needs and requirements of the people. Thinking of this industry as a career option, one can either take up designing or may get into the technical side that is production, depending upon the interest and aptitude. Both the options are rewarding. As far as designing is concerned, world over, designers have started using leather/footwear as an important part of their designer, which has made leather/footwear amongest the top apparel material. The other option being production is also not a bad proposition. On attaining requisite qualifications in the field of production, one can start working with footwear manufacturing companies. On gaining experience setting up self owned production unit can also be given a thought. The initiative can be advantageous as it is a low cost-intensive small scale unit, requiring relatively small investment, cheap labor, raw material and minimal power supply.


Footwear industry as such, does not ask for very special attributes but just like any other industry, to be a high achiever, commitment, dedication and hard work are the key, the same goes true for this industry. If one happens to be in the production line. The work can be quite tiring, especially while working in the footwear & production units, often involving a lot of physical hard work and strain.
Designing successfully, on the other hand is more of a combination of mental ability and artistic finesse. Creativity with uniqueness can do wonders for designers. So being creative and original is of utmost importance. They should combine well their mental ability to constantly think and come up with new ideas, with dexterity so as to give shape to their ideas.

Professional Courses

Whether designing or production of footwear or accessories, professional qualification is important to up-date with the latest international standards and competition. The various institutes offering courses in leather/footwear technology.
1) Central footwear training institute (CFTI) Agra.
2) Central footwear training institute (CFTI) Chennai.
3) Footwear design & development institute (FDDI) NOIDA.
4) Central leather research institute (CLRI) Chennai.
5) College of leather technology (CLT) Kolkata.
6) Govt. leather institute (GLI) Agra.
7) Leather working school (DAYALBAG UNIVERSITY) Agra. ETC.
CFTI, Agra Campus FDDI, Noida Campus

Career Prospects

The footwear industry is set to boom with bright career opportunities in both technical and designing areas. The Indian corporate along with foreign multinationals in this industry have made it possible to look forward to exciting employment options. Earlier Indian exports included only raw materials, but now leather goods are fast catching up with increasing acceptance in the international markets. This has enhanced opportunities for designers.
Designers are found to be working with footwear companies as technical designers and stylist designers. While Technical designers train themselves in pattern making, cutting, designing, Stylist designers are responsible for updating the product in fashion and style. Designers are also employed by buying houses and boutiques. Established designers also hire young designers to work under them.
On gaining sufficient experience, one can also set up his own unit for production and marketing of leather based products. As far as career growth and progression is concerned it is purely performance based and there is no limit to what one can achieve.

Self Employment

Rather than looking for job opportunities a footwear technologist can start his or her own business / production house with a small investment. Since footwear is the daily need of a common people and in demand due to regularly change in fashion & trends. Due to this conditions one can start a own business such as production house / trading company / export house. Many government organizations such as UPICO Kanpur, DIC, CLE, MSME etc. are promoting leather/ footwear for export as well as domestic market. These organizations are helping those footwear technologist who are willing to start own production house.


As most of the jobs are in the private sector, pay is generally high. With Multinationals setting up their bases in India, this industry is no longer confined to small scale and financial returns can be quite satisfactory. Fresh recruits can expect a starting pay package between Rs. 5000 - 8000 p.m., depending upon their qualifications and the size of the organization. For freelancers and those self-employed in their own units returns are not fixed. It varies from one another based on individual performance.

Article By: 
Assets consultancy
Ex Asst. director C.F.T.I (MSME TDC) Govt.Of India,
Ex.Project Head NIIFT Mohali. (Footwear division) Govt. Of Punjab,
Examiner of DEEMED university Agra,
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