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Non-leather footwear maker Pou Chen to invest Rs 2,302 cr in Tamil Nadu

The MoU is expected to generate jobs for over 20,000 people in the non-leather footwear sector in the state over a span of 12 years, especially for youth and women, in and around Kallakurichi District

Shoes, footwear

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Shine Jacob Chennai

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The government of Tamil Nadu on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with High Glory Footwear India, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Pou Chen Corporation, the world’s largest branded athletic and casual footwear manufacturer, which may see investments to the tune of Rs 2,302 crore and generate more than 20,000 jobs.

The MoU entails the setting up of a non-leather footwear manufacturing unit in SIPCOT Industrial Park, Ulundurpettai, in Kallakurichi district. The MoU is expected to generate jobs for over 20,000 people in the non-leather footwear sector in the state over a span of 12 years, especially for youth and women, in and around Kallakurichi District.

Chief Minister M K Stalin, Minister for Industries, Investment Promotion, and Commerce Thangam Thennarasu; V Irai Anbu, Chief Secretary, S Krishnan IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Industries, Investment Promotion, and Commerce and Vishnu Venugopalan, managing director and chief executive officer of Guidance were present at the event.

The leather, leather goods, and leather footwear industry in Tamil Nadu has been a significant contributor to the state's economy for decades. The state has a long history of producing high-quality leather footwear and is known for its skilled workforce and favorable business environment where the leather industry thrives. With partially similar manufacturing operations, and similar skillsets required of the workforce, the industry has been able to easily adapt its existing operational capacities in leather footwear manufacturing to non-leather footwear manufacturing at minimum costs of transition. Over the years, there has also been a smaller but significant non-leather footwear industry in Tamil Nadu primarily driven by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The state has been home to several major non-leather footwear manufacturing clusters, including Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Ranipet, and Cheyyar. These clusters have been in operation for decades and are known for producing a wide range of non-leather footwear products. These SMEs employ a large number of people and contribute significantly to the state's economy. With a vast majority of the skilled workers and artisans in the leather and footwear sector in Tamil Nadu being female, the industry also majorly empowers the State’s women and contributes significantly to rural economies.

The MoU signed with Pou Chen Corporation is expected to be the vanguard of many more investments to come following expressions of interest from major global manufacturers. Guidance is leading the charge to bring in global investors in the non-leather sector. 

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First Published: Apr 17 2023 | 12:35 PM IST

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