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‘Indian Footwear Industry Has Been Drawing A Lot Of Attention’ Ambud Sharma, Founder & CEO Of Escaro Royale

The Indian footwear and leather industry is majorly export-oriented and the government has been taking initiatives for the increment of footwear.

1. What is the Idea behind the launch of Escaro Royale?

Escaro Royale started as an experiment to understand how luxury brands operated in the tech-first world of ecommerce. That experiment has flourished into a full-blown tech-focused luxury brand.

2. What is your take on VocalForLocal?

Unlike other brands in the industry which procure components from different parts of the world and assemble them to mark them as “Made in India”, Ambud and his team at Escaro Royale don’t tread the same path.

They comply with the Make in India campaign and hence each product in their esteemed portfolio is made by skilled Indian artisans in factories. Meanwhile, they also focus on engaging the raw material suppliers in India. Additionally, the brand enforces an exclusively designed process wherein periodic checks are conducted in the factories.

They also follow the “Zero China Policy”, a regulation rooted internally in the company, wherein, they do not use any products that are procured from or produced in China. They work with Indian manufactured products and imports from European and American companies that come with strong values of ethical standards of manufacturing. The brand understands that quality overpowers the economical aspect in a consumer’s purchasing decisions and hence they give prime importance to the quality of their products.

3. What are Challenges for the footwear market in India?

1. Competition from Chinese Products: 63% of Leather imports come from neighboring China. So, this factor poses the biggest challenge to the Indian players. Thus, Competing with Chinese products is the biggest hurdle for local players.

2. Sluggish Market and BREXIT policy: Biggest Market for Indian Footwear exports is the United Kingdom. But the recent slowdown in the U.K and the depreciation of the British Pound has affected Indian Leather Exports. In addition, the Govt. policy of banning slaughterhouses has also led to a deficiency of raw material for footwear.

3. Competition from the Unorganized Footwear Sector: A huge chunk of unorganized players offering goods at very cheap rates has affected brands and retailers selling their products in the Indian Market. Approximately 85% of the Indian Footwear Market is occupied by unorganized players. So, Retailers selling branded goods have to rely on innovative and technology-enabled methods to woo customers.

4. What are government initiatives for the footwear industry in India?

The Indian footwear industry has been drawing a lot of attention in the fashion and style industry, thus expanding rapidly. With the help of swift internet penetration and widespread rise of e-commerce, footwear manufacturers are understanding consumer behavior and drive sales.

The Indian footwear and leather industry is majorly export-oriented and the government has been taking initiatives for the increment of footwear. This is expected to help the footwear manufacturers in the organized sector deal better with pricing pressure, along with employing nearly 300,000 people.

In spite of the slow economic growth and sluggish market due to Covid-19 pandemic, the footwear industry is highly likely to bounce back, with the sector’s future looking promising.

5. What are your future expansion plans?

Escaro Royale is currently bootstrapped with profit reinvestments but is inviting various PE investors to raise funds to fuel its global ambitions. With technology at its core, strong data analytics and 100% in-house marketing, the company is solidly placed to raise $20 million over the next couple of years.

“We are building a platform that will act as a luxury data highway in future for global luxury brands to plug and play. Envision onboarding an entire catalogue of a luxury label in 30 minutes and pushing the sales through our platform within an hour of that. With the trust and reliability already in place, and the potential audience already aligned, it would be a breeze for any brand to launch with us within a day! That’s the power of the luxury data highway we envision.”, exclaims Ambud.

Escaro Royale is now inviting mid-sized PE funds for a conversation about this high margin and high expansion opportunity. The team is sure that with the right partners, Escaro Royale will prove to be an excellent investment.

5 How COVID 19 pandemic impacted the footwear Industry?

The novel coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic could lead to an acceleration in the reshoring of manufacturing to Europe. The shift could be significant for countries such as Spain, Croatia and Portugal. The move out of China is also benefiting countries such as Vietnam, but the pandemic has reduced the appeal of those destinations. Many companies – especially Japanese, Taiwanese and South Koreanhave for some timebeen thinking of relying less on China and that the pandemic is speeding up the process 

Impact Due to COVID-19 Pandemic:

– Order Cancellations

– Price Reductions

– Liquidity Crisis

– Bankruptcy Threats

– Uncertainty

– Unemployment

– Currency Risk

– Crisis management

– De-Globalization

6. India is the second-largest global producer of footwear after China then Why do we still depend on imports for raw materials and the time has come to look at innovating by using local materials?

Despite being the 2nd largest global producer of footwear after China, India still relies on imports of certain raw materials as their availability is much less as against the demand. Hence, many homegrown brands and footwear manufacturers are importing those raw materials. To do away with this practice and strengthen the footwear landscape in India, its essential that the footwear exporters scrap all duty-free import schemes as these are misused by exporting India’s valued products and instead importing products that are highly undervalued, thus creating an influx of substandard products in the local market.

For the domestic footwear industry to invest more and produce top-notch and premium products, machinery has a vital role to play in ensuring that raw materials are produced complementing both the quality and quantity.

Source: Business World

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