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World's tannery

Indian leather industry accounts for around 12.9 % of the world’s leather production of hides/skins and handles a robust annual production of about 3 bn sq.ft. of leather. The country accounts for 9% of the world’s footwear production. This sector is known for its consistency in high export earnings and it is among the top ten foreign exchange earners for the country.

India has an abundance of raw materials with access to 20% of world’s cattle and buffalo and 11% of the world’s goat and sheep population. 

The leather industry is an employment intensive sector, providing job to about 3 mn people, mostly from the weaker sections of the society. Women employment is predominant in leather products sector with about 30% share. Indian leather industry has one of the youngest workforce with 55% of workforce below 35 years of age.

The sector can generate 250 jobs for every USD 0.2 mn investment.


100% FDI is permitted through the automatic route


  • Second largest producer of footwear and leather garments in the world
  • Second largest exporter of leather garments in the world
  • Fifth largest exporter of leather goods & accessories in the world

Industry Scenario

With an annual turnover of over USD 12 bn, the export of leather and leather products touched USD 5.6 bn during 2016-17.

Exports are segmented as: 

  •  Footwear export accounts for 49% share. Product mix with gents (55%), followed by ladies (35%) and children (10%). With an annual production of 2065 mn pairs, a huge domestic retail market exists with 1950 mn pairs (95%). 
  •  Leather garments sector: Annual production capacity of 16 mn pieces. 9% share of India’s total leather export. 
  •  Leather good & accessories sector including saddelery & harness: Accounts for 23% share for leather goods and around 2.5% for Saddelery & Harness. Annual production capacity of 63 mn pieces of leather articles, 52 mn pairs of Industrial gloves & 12.5 mn pieces of harness & saddlery items. 
  •  Finished leather stands at 15.6%. Tanning sector accounts for an annual production about 3 bn sq.ft.

Growth Drivers

GD leather
  • World’s cattle, buffalo population share


  • World’s goat and sheep population share


  • People employmed

    3 mn

  • World’s share of hides/skins production


Key policies

Assistance to States for Infrastructure Development of Exports

The objective of the scheme is to involve the states in the export effort by providing assistance to the State Governments for creating appropriate infrastructure for the development and growth of exports. The scheme shall provide an outlay for development of export infrastructure which will be distributed to the States according to a pre-defined criteria. The existing EPIP, EPZ and CIB schemes shall be merged with the new scheme. The scheme for Export Development Fund (EDF) for the North East and Sikkim (implemented since 2000-2001) shall also stand merged with the new scheme. After the merger of the schemes in respect of EPIP,EPZ,CIB and EDF for NER and Sikkim with the new scheme, the ongoing projects under the schemes shall be funded by the States from the resources provided under the new scheme.

Central Sector Scheme Indian Leather Development Programme (ILDP)

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Central Sector Scheme Indian Leather Development Programme (ILDP) for implementation during the 12th Plan period aiming at overall development of the leather sector.

Market Development Assistance

Export promotion continues to be a major thrust area for the Government. In view of the prevailing macro economic situation with emphasis on exports and to facilitate various measures being undertaken to stimulate and diversify the country’s export trade, Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme is under operation through the Department of Commerce to support the under mentioned activities:

(i) Assist exporters for export promotion activities abroad.

(ii) Assist Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) to undertake export promotion activities for their product(s) and commodities.

(iii) Assist approved organizations/trade bodies in undertaking exclusive nonrecurring innovative activities connected with export promotion efforts for their members.

(iv)Assist Focus export promotion programmes in specific regions abroad like FOCUS (LAC), Focus (Africa), Focus (CIS) and Focus (ASEAN + 2) programmes.

(v) Residual essential activities connected with marketing promotion efforts abroad.

FDI Facts

  • FDI (in USD) in leather, leather goods and pickers during April 2000 - December 2017

  • FDI (in USD) was received during April 2014 - March 2017

  • FDI allowed under automatic route

Recent Investments

  • September 2017 - USD 100 mn Brazilian firm Grupo Priority brings premium shoe brand to India. Grupo Priority has launched its flagship men’s shoe brand West Coast in India in a tie-up with the distribution arm of footwear retailer Metro Shoes.

  • February 2017 - Founder kids footwear brand Teddy Toes aims to make luxurious international designs easily available in India, and at affordable prices.

Major Investors