‘Smart’ Thinking in Footwear Manufacturing can drive huge Employment Generation

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Niren Anand Evertrade Production Line
Niren Anand Evertrade Production Line

‘Smart’ has been a craze in everything from gadgets to manufacturing processes. Footwear, howsoever, may seem remote from being ‘smart’ is actually getting smart, so is its manufacturing process. No, wonder Smart shoes or sensor fitted shoes are making their sizeable presence in the list of smart wearables. Likewise, 3D printing technology is also getting for shoemaking.    

Smart manufacturing is, in essence, working for the community. For me, it means such thing as ensuring that at least 70 per cent of the manufacturing process comes from renewable energy sources or pushing for empowerment by employing marginalised to boost self-reliance.

India needs ‘smart’ thinking

3D Printing will increase its application in footwear manufacturing

With Indians becoming more health-conscious, smart shoes may seem an alluring option. This fad for the ‘smart’, however, cannot be a priority. The only difference between a pair of sports shoes and a pair of smart shoes is the presence of a chip, which allows the user to keep track of their daily walking distance. Smartwatches can do this better because they are in direct contact with the skin.

The concept of 3D printing in shoe manufacturing, though relatively new in India, has been in use in China for at least six years. India should treat these concepts with some disdain for the time being, given the large availability of manpower in the country and the urgent need for creating employment opportunities instead.

Employment Generation Opportunities

80% of the employees at Evertrade in China are women keeping with our goal of training, employing and making women empowered and financially independent. We have the same goal for India as well where we plan to employ the majority of the workforce from women. At Odisha, we are already connected with the Directorate of Industries, Skill Odisha and FDDI to train women from rural areas and get them skilled to work at the factory of Evertrade India. As a company, Evertrade does not believe not in short time financial help, rather in skilling people so that they can have a sustainable quality of life.

As per a report released by the Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the shoe manufacturing sector has the capacity to generate 250 jobs for every investment of INR 1 crore. For every 1,000 pairs produced and sold in India per day, the sector can create 425 jobs in manufacturing, allied industries and retail segment. Currently, India is the 2nd largest producer and consumer of footwear in the world, generating employment for over 2 million people.

At Odisha, the EverTrade facility will be training and employing rural women, adopting the latest technology for sports shoe manufacturing (Niren Anand extreme left with Former Invest Odisha Managing Director Nitin Jawale IAS, Energy and Industries Minister, Government of Odisha Captain Dibya Shankar Mishra, and  EverTrade India Director Niraj Anand)

As per the estimates, the footwear sector can create up to four million jobs in the next five years in India by imparting basic skills. The sector has the potential to grow up to eight times more than its current size by 2030. India’s footwear industry has the lowest cost structure in terms of labour in the world, making India highly competitive in this segment.

Many foreign companies are showing interest in India, many footwear brands are already sourced from India, and many other footwear companies have entered India through joint ventures with domestic players owing to the 100 per cent FDI through the automatic route for this sector.

While ‘Smart’ is definitely the buzzword, there should prevail smart thinking on the part of Indian sports shoe manufacturers to tap this opportunity to create a huge employment generation instead of pursuing some fancy technology or process at the moment.  

Author

  • Niren Anand

    Niren Anand is the founder of Evertrade, a China-based sports shoe manufacturer. He is a visionary entrepreneur with a passion for the sports industry and a commitment to innovation and design. With his strong background in the sports shoe industry, Niren has been instrumental in the growth and success of Evertrade. His dedication to providing athletes and sports enthusiasts with the best footwear has earned him a reputation as a leader in the industry. Niren's commitment to quality and his focus on the needs of athletes and sports enthusiasts has driven the success of Evertrade and the launch of its new brand, EVER. He has been inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' initiative and has decided to invest in India by establishing his first manufacturing facility in Odisha. This marks a significant milestone for the company and a step towards achieving excellence in the sports industry in India.

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