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Top made-in-India footwear brands by production volume

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These homegrown footwear brands are a key part of the country’s footwear market and are standing strong in the face of international competition

Bengaluru: In the world of footwear fashion, India boasts a rich heritage of brands that have made their mark with style, comfort, and functionality that resonate with the tastes and preferences of the country’s diverse population.

The Indian footwear market was valued at $15.22 billion in 2022 and the total revenue is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.83% through 2023 to 2029, reaching nearly $35.43 billion as per Maximize Market Research.

Homegrown footwear brands are an important part of this segment and many of them have their humble beginnings in the 20th century.

Here are five Indian footwear brands, born in the last century, which have played a significant role in shaping the nation’s footwear industry and are today standing strong in the face of international competition. They’re ranked here in the descending order of their daily production volumes.

Lakhani

Lakhani Footwear was established in 1966 by K C Lakhani under the automotive components manufacturing company Lakhani Armaan Group.

It produces a wide range of footwear including slippers, sandals and different kinds of shoes such as sports, leather, canvas, formal and outdoor for men women and kids. Currently Lakhani has 16 sub-brands.

The retailer has four manufacturing plants—Faridabad (Haryana), Dhar (Madhya Pradesh) and Haridwar (Uttaranchal)—boasting a total land area of about 2,36,806. sq. ft. with more than 8,000 employees across the units.

Presently, Lakhani has an annual production capacity of 555 million pairs, equating to around 15 lakh pairs per day. The company’s distribution network encompasses over 350 wholesalers and retailers, as stated on its official website.

VKC

Founded in 1984, VKC was started by Indian politician V. K. C. Mammed Koya under The VKC Group—a wood and timber business in Kerala in the late 1960s.

Koya ventured into footwear seeing the huge demand for ‘Hawai’ chappals among Indian consumers. Since the Southern state had a robust rubber industry, the company set up its first unit in Kozhikode district that produced 600 pairs of chappals a day.

Today, the footwear manufacturer has sub-brands such as Walkaroo, VKC Pride, VKC Lite, VKC Stile, VKC Debon, GoodSpot, Debongo and Eazy among others.

The group had a daily production capacity of 5.5 lakh pairs of footwear as of 2021 according to Forbes. Additionally, it maintains a distribution network comprising approximately 550 distributors and a retail presence of 1.5 lakh retailers throughout India.

Paragon

Footwear manufacturer Paragon was founded in 1975 in Kerala by P V Abraham, K U Thomas and K U Scaria with a production capacity of 1,500 pairs per day. After gaining popularity in its home state, Paragon began its passage into the other Indian states in 1982.

The Bengaluru-headquartered brand sells a range of plastic and rubber footwear for men, women and kids and boasts more than 20 sub-brands under its umbrella. Its products are available both online and offline.

Currently, the company’s distribution network spans 18 strategically located depots across India and its retail shops are serviced by over 500 distributors. The retailer’s factories are located at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Kottayam (Kerala) and Tamil Nadu.

Today, Paragon’s total production capacity (in-house) has reached 4 lakh pairs a day and its total sales is approximated to 14 crore pairs each year, as per the brand’s official website.

Liberty Shoes

Liberty Shoes was founded in 1954 by Dharam Pal Gupta, Purshotam Das Gupta and Rajkumar Bansal as Pal Boot House. The company’s journey began with a modest shoe manufacturing unit in Karnal, Haryana, producing just four pairs of shoes per day. In 1964 the brand Liberty was born.

Liberty’s first sub-brand Force 10 offering casual footwear was launched in 1990. Now, the retailer has over 10 sub-brands and produces over 5,000 new designs every year.

It manufactures over 50,000 pairs a day across 5 units and markets across the country, as stated by the brand. It has more than 4,000 retail partners and exports to 25 countries around the world, as per the company’s website. In India, it has over 450 stores, out of which 250 are franchisee-owned and 200 are company-owned and operated as of 2022.

Red Chief

Red chief was founded in 1997 by Manoj Gyanchandani in Kanpur under the North Indian leather manufacturing company Leayan Global Pvt Ltd (a part of diversified FMCG conglomerate RSPL Group) as its first ever range of footwear.

All footwear made under this brand is leather. The company has its own tannery where it makes leather and two manufacturing plants in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Red Chief’s daily footwear production surpasses 6,000 pairs, as reported by the brand on its official website. Its products are available through over 3000 multi-brand outlets, more than 200 exclusive stores across 16 states and e-commerce platforms such as Ajio, Flipkart, Amazon, Tata Cliq and Myntra according to Fibre2Fashion.

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