Malabar: It’s no giving up for footwear industry

KOZHIKODE: The footwear industry of the Malabar region registered a jump over the years with the annual cumulative turnover of the Kozhikode-based footwear companies alone crossing Rs 1,500 crore, according to the Kerala State Small Scale Industries Association. With 150 manufacturing units supported by 300 ancillary units and providing direct employment to 25,000 workers, the footwear sector has been a breadwinner for thousands of families. With many popular brands including VKC, Paragon, Lunar, Mark, Odyssia, Cubiz, Fisher, Hawalker and Jogger, the footwear sector of the state is strong and most of the players have their origins in Kozhikode, it was pointed out. 

Confederation of Indian Footwear Industry vice-president V. Naushad, who is also the managing director of VKC group, told DC that Kozhikode is contributing a lion's share of the state's footwear production. "Unified efforts of the industry players helped in making significant growth over the years", he said, adding that India could pose a challenge to China, the global footwear market leader, in a few years.

"The entrepreneurs here have been getting exposure to world class technologies and changing trends during the International Footwear Exhibitions that is organized often which attracts several players to the footwear industry", he added.    Started in the 1980s, the footwear industry in the region is growing with new units emerging every year. The flagship footwear company of the region is the VKC group with an annual turnover of Rs 1,500 crore (approx.).

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