Kozhikode

Footwear units in Kozhikode launch e-commerce portal

ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Innovative designs and competitive pricing have made the local footwear brands popular among buyers in Kozhikode.  

The majority of small entrepreneurs in the district’s famed footwear industry are gearing up to set foot into the world of new generation marketing with their own e-commerce portals and online marketing tools. About 30% of the small industrialists in the sector here are now the proud owners of their own customised e-commerce websites to cash in on the boom in online sales and put up a stiff competition to their established rivals enjoying a monopoly status.

“The pandemic-induced crisis continues to be a life lesson for many to prepare better for business and think of newer sales strategies in the e-space. There are about 150 active footwear manufacturing units now in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts alone which are actively trying to explore the e-trading opportunities,” says M. Abdurahiman, one of the leading footwear manufacturers in Kozhikode and the district president of the Kerala State Small Industries’ Association. He said that digital sales teams and social media promoters were now part of the footwear units in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts to achieve new sales targets.

The Footwear Manufacturers’ Association of Kerala (FooMA), one of the leading organisations in the sector, places Kozhikode as the hub of footwear manufacturing units in South India with the increasing number of new ventures and job opportunities. According to them, innovations take place in the sector and the increasing export potential also attracted many youngsters to the field. The realisation of the proposed footwear park at Feroke with a permanent exhibition hall and convention centre was also expected to help the business scale new heights, the association said.

Owners of some of the leading Kozhikode-based footwear brands revealed that the willingness of large-scale retail companies to display the locally manufactured products in their multi-brand showrooms was a profitable business move and a sign of recognition for the local players in their efforts to come up with quality products and innovative designs. The increasing exports and the entry of many of the locally made products to the international markets in the Middle East countries also have prompted the multi-national retailers to give better consideration to the local manufacturers, they claimed.

Figures available with the Department of Industries attest that there are over 25,000 persons directly associated with the footwear industrial units for a living in the State. There are also city-based companies engaged in the assembling and sales of machines used for the mechanised production of footwear. Entrepreneurs expressed the hope that the annual business turnover which stood now at ₹3,500 crore would touch a new heigh with the growth of digital sales.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 12:08:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/footwear-units-in-kozhikode-launch-e-commerce-portal/article37713308.ece

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