Overview of the Leather Industry

The leather industry's capacity for growth and rapid change, along with an emphasis on luxury, allows it to meet growing consumer demand for new offerings and trends. With creative items like handbags and backpacks made from unique skins, leather product manufacturers are improving their reputation in niche sectors.

What Makes the Leather Industry Important?

In our contemporary environment of mass production, it's easy to overlook that people have been producing goods for centuries, the majority of which are still being used today. One of these durable products is leather. Perhaps you want to understand more about how leather is manufactured so you can fully enjoy your preferred shoes or belt, or maybe you have an idea regarding something that would be made of leather. Regardless of your interests, leather is without a doubt one of man's first materials. It has survived several past fads and fancies because it is so helpful. Throughout history, many cultures have used leather for everything from clothing to furniture, handbags to saddles.

Is The Leather Industry Successful?

Are you considering starting a leather products manufacturing company? Are you seeking opportunities with a high rate of return on investment or low-cost leather start-ups? Undoubtedly, this article will help you identify the most well-liked leather business options. The leather industry is well-known worldwide. The desire for leather items has lately increased due to consumer demand for modern styles and innovative designs. According to estimates, the market for leather products would be valued at USD 394.12 billion in 2020. Although some enterprises in the leather sector demand a lot of funding and management, there are other opportunities to start with less capital, less financial outlay even for home-based businesses. The leather industry is divided into many subsectors, including saddlery and harness, footwear and footwear components, leather clothing, and tanning and finishing.

World's Tannery

With a strong annual output of around 3 billion sq ft of leather, leather products manufacturers in India generates about 13% of the nation's hides and skins. 9 per cent of the world's footwear is produced in this nation. One of the top ten foreign currency earners in the nation, the sector is known for its continuously strong export income. India has accessibility to 20% of the planet's cow and buffalo population as well as 11% of the sheep and goat population, giving it a wealth of raw resources.

Over 4 million people are employed in the leather industry, a high-wage sector that mostly employs individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. About 30% of the workers in the leather goods industry are made up of women. India's leather industry has one of the youthful labour forces, with 55 % of the employees being under the age of 35. India is also:

  • The second-largest manufacturer of leather goods and footwear in the world
  • The second-largest manufacturer of leather clothing in the world.
  • The fifth-largest exporter of leather products and accessories worldwide
  • With every 1,000 pairs made and sold in India each day, the industry may create 425 jobs in manufacturing, related businesses, and retail.
  • India generated 1.8 billion units in volume in 2017 and is expected to manufacture 3 bn pieces by 2024, with a yearly increase of more than 10%.
  • The Association for Leather & Footwear Accessories estimates that the footwear market might increase to US$ 80 billion, or eight times its present size, by 2030.
  • The Indian footwear industry was estimated to be worth $ 9.70 bn in 2020.
  • From 2016 having 1.7 pairs to 2 pairs in 2019, India's per-capita footwear consumption is anticipated to rise.
  • The non-leather footwear industry, which had a market value of $ 4.3 billion in 2019 and was expected to reach $ 6 billion by 2024, made up around 59% of the overall footwear market.

Read More About: Leather Belt Making Business in India - Costs, Profits & ROI

India's Leather Industry Is Growing

India's leather, leather goods, and footwear sectors all contribute significantly to the country's economy. One of the top 10 foreign currency earners in the nation, this business is renowned for its continuously strong export income. Leather products manufacturers in India exported $3.68 billion worth of leather goods, footwear, and leather in the fiscal year 2020–21. 4.42 million people are employed in the leather industry, and the majority of them are from the lower socioeconomic strata. Women make up about 30% of the workforce in the leather goods sector, making them the most prevalent employees overall.

India is the third-biggest supplier of saddlery and harness, the second-largest exporter of leather items worldwide, and the fourth-biggest exporter of leather garments. One of the world's most powerful nations now is India. Among the most significant nations on earth for finishing and tanning hides. The leather industry is anticipated to expand at a pace of 5–10% annually and contribute around 6% of India’s Gross domestic product. India is the fourth-biggest producer of finished leather, the third-biggest supplier of raw skins and hides, the third-largest exporter of footwear, and the eighth-largest exporter of leather apparel worldwide.

Among the top 10 producers of finished leather products worldwide is India. Having more than 20 million people currently employed by it and over 100 million indirectly reliant on it, it is poised to contribute even more to the development of new jobs in the future. Approximately $40 billion worth of leather is produced annually by the worldwide leather industry. Everywhere in the globe, leather products are in demand.  The leather industry is growing as urbanisation and population growth takes place. Since people regularly utilise its goods, the leather sector is lucrative. The industry's reach is constantly growing as a result of its broad variety of applications.

What are the Leather Industry Business Opportunities?

If you're curious about what economic prospects are available in the leather product manufacturing sector, here are some potential options. When considering business possibilities, bear in mind that starting a new endeavour is challenging yet beneficial for business owners searching for new opportunities. As everyone is aware, originality is the standard by which all businesses are evaluated. There are several options available on the leather market. One of the factors contributing to leather's profitability is its multitude of applications for it. Shoes, apparel, purses, accessories, and bags are just a few items made of leather.

Therefore, the leather industry involves trade. You may choose to be a maker, a merchant, or a wholesaler of leather products in India. The product will be developed by you to fulfil whatever goals you as a manufacturer have in mind. It's important to weigh your options before deciding and to keep in mind that if you do start to enter a leather-related company, you'll require a lot of cash. The size of the global leather goods market is anticipated to increase during the next years at a Growth of roughly 5.4 %. The leather business is among the oldest industrial sectors in the world due to the rising need for a pleasant environment. It should come as no surprise that leather as well as its components are one of the most traded items worldwide.

Scene of The Industry

In the 2020–21 period, shipments of leather, footwear, and leather goods reached $4.03 billion. The various export categories for leather, footwear, and leather items, together with each category's proportion of exports, are as follows:

  • 4.6 % Harness and Saddlery
  • 14.4% of the overall was made up of clothing made of leather.
  • 6.7 % for leather that has been finished
  • Accessories made of leather (25.2%).
  • 46.2 % of the overall was made up of footwear.

The major manufacturing hubs for footwear, leather, and leather goods in India are located in the states of Tamil Nadu, namely Erode, Vaniyambadi, Dindigul, Trichy, Pernambut, Vellore, Ranipet, Ambur, and Chennai.


Several factors contribute to the leather products in India making the profits they are:

  • Substantial Millennial Population: 1/3 of the Indian populace is under the age of 25, and their growing attention to brand-related purchases is boosting the demand for luxury footwear.
  • The global retail market, which grew to $ 0.7 tn in 2019, is expected to reach $ 1.1 trillion by 2025, according to predictions.
  • Human Resources: With 62 % of the populace between the ages of 15 and 59 classified as working age, the labour force is youthful and well-educated.

These factors, together with everything mentioned above, have contributed to the current status of the Indian leather sector.

FAQs: Leather Industry

Q. How large is India's leather market?

Ans. The second-largest manufacturer and consumer of footwear worldwide are India. Approximately 13% of the planet's leather hides and skins are produced in India, where the leather sector also manages a sizable yearly output of around 3 billion square feet.

Q. What is the outlook for India's leather industry?

Ans. There is a vast domestic sector in India that may be taken advantage of. By 2020, the domestic industry is predicted to be worth USD 18 billion.

Q. Which Indian company exports the most leather?

Ans. Hong Kong.

Explore More: