Stepping Up: Exploring the Thriving Footwear Manufacturing Business in India

Footwear manufacturing is a significant business in India, with the country being one of the largest producers of shoes in the world. India is known for its skilled workforce and low production costs, making it an attractive destination for footwear companies looking to outsource their manufacturing. In this blog, we will explore the business side of footwear manufacturing in India.

Overview of Footwear Manufacturing in India

Footwear manufacturing in India is primarily located in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab, with Agra being the center of the industry. The industry is divided into two segments – organized and unorganized. The organized sector consists of large companies that produce branded shoes for domestic and international markets, while the unorganized sector comprises small-scale manufacturers who produce non-branded shoes for local markets.

India’s Footwear Industry Size and Growth

India’s footwear industry has grown significantly over the years, with the market size expected to reach $15.5 billion by 2024. The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% between 2019 and 2024. The growth of the industry can be attributed to several factors, including the rising demand for branded footwear, increasing disposable incomes, and the expansion of the retail industry.

Footwear Exports

India is also a major exporter of footwear, with the country exporting around 220 million pairs of shoes annually. The major export destinations include the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy. The Indian government has also taken several measures to boost footwear exports, including the establishment of dedicated footwear parks and the provision of incentives to exporters.

Challenges Faced by Footwear Manufacturers

Despite the growth potential, footwear manufacturers in India face several challenges, including high input costs, lack of skilled labor, and outdated technology. The industry also faces stiff competition from other low-cost manufacturing destinations such as Vietnam and China.

Government Initiatives

The Indian government has taken several initiatives to address the challenges faced by footwear manufacturers. The government has launched several schemes to promote the growth of the footwear industry, including the establishment of a dedicated footwear design and development institute, the provision of subsidies for technology upgradation, and the setting up of a common facility center for the testing of footwear.


Footwear manufacturing is a significant business in India, with the industry expected to grow further in the coming years. The industry offers several opportunities for both domestic and international footwear companies looking to set up manufacturing operations in India. While the industry faces several challenges, the government has taken several initiatives to address these challenges and promote the growth of the industry. With its skilled workforce, low production costs, and favorable government policies, India is poised to become a major player in the global footwear industry.