Indian footwear industry is entering an exciting new phase of accelerating growth withthe economic boom setting in rise in disposable income of the burgeoning middle classchange in consumers habits and greater than ever before exposure to global fashion trends.
The perception regarding footwear has changed over time. It is now seen as more thanjust a utility item. Instead it is valued as a style statement and as an essential featureof what being well dressed is all about.
Your company being leading brand has been a major beneficiary of this trend and wehave kept our fingers on the pulse of change that has redefined footwear purchase byintroducing more stylish and innovative designs.
Another shift that has taken place is the pronounced preference for casual and sportsshoes amongst the youth who constitute the largest segment of the market. For them comfortalong with fashion has been the important determining factor in buying footwear. Here toowe made sure that our product focus helped us stay abreast of the new market orientationwhile maintaining our identity as a family footwear brand.
Records also show that with brand consciousness on the rise there is an increasingpreference for branded footwear in place of non-branded footwear. The movement towardsbranded footwear is also the result of the trust that branded footwear inspires. In factwith ever-rising aspirations of a youth dominated market India is today among the mostbrand-driven nations in the world.
Also significant is the fact that the growth in women's footwear segment is almostdouble of that in men's. We have ensured that our production was attuned to meet therequirements of this shift in trend.
We have also geared ourselves marketing-wise to keep pace with the new strategies thatare defining today's business techniques in order to achieve our goal of sustainablegrowth. This has led to opening of more company-owned and franchisee stores not just inmetros but also in class 1 cities. As a part of the market expansion drive we have alsoreached out to unexplored market in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities.
Government too has supported the industry by enhancing the ease of doing businesspassing the GST Bill strive towards cashless economy introducing the FDDI Act andannouncing special packages for the Leather and Footwear Sector.
What has also helped is the increasing recognition of the Footwear Sector by theCentral & State Governments as well as initiatives and efforts of CFLA (Council forFootwear Leather and Accessories). CFLA has been recently formed for the benefit &development of domestic footwear industry under the aegis of Department of IndustrialPolicy and Promotion Ministry of Commerce and Industry Government of India and with theparticipation of all leading Indian footwear brands as members of the Council.
Liberty is optimistic that with the implementation of the above developments overallfootwear industry would be benefitted where branded footwear segment would emerge as themajor beneficiary.
There is a saying that to be in the shoes of a successful leader you need a vision thatwill take you places. Friends with your goodwill and support we have been gifted with thevision that will lead us to great glory in the times to come.
Adesh Kumar Gupta
Chief Executive Officer