Forward Leather Company

22 March 2007

Forward Leather Company produce special articles in kid leather for shoe uppers. The company have two tanneries which are located in Chennai with a total capacity of one million sq ft per month. The company use Indian raw materials in the course of normal production, although in special cases imported raw materials are used. The tanneries, which employ 250 people, are currently working at 80% of capacity. The Forward Group as a whole, including their shoe factory, employ a total of 3,000 people. 95% of production is exported and their main markets include Hong Kong, China, Europe, Korea, Australia, Japan, USA. They maintain their international presence by exhibiting at the Lineapelle and APLF. The company make use of the local common effluent treatment plant (CETP). Yavar Dhala, managing director of the Forward Group, told Leather International that there are several government initiatives underway to assist the leather industry, such as subsidies for tannery modernisation and the provision of technical know-how through the CLRI. According to Dhala, his company offer good and consistent quality, Eco-friendly leathers, and a professional business manner. Forward Group also have a wide range of products and new articles which can be developed in the company's R&D lab. In addition, they have good cost and quality control systems along with a strong network in both buying and selling leathers. The company have increased capacity and expanded their machinery park to enable them to meet delivery deadlines. The group have their own logistics and cargo handling system and are located very near to both an airport and seaport. According to Dhala, other south east Asian countries can offer competitive prices and shorter production lead times which is affecting sales for Indian companies.

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