Hyderabad has recently seen the opening of a new footwear design centre, aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of India’s footwear industry. The Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) is one of three set to open in India over the next few months.

Suresh Prabhu, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, opened the new facility, and said it marked the latest step in a $400m investment drive to improve the country’s industry, with footwear marked out as a crucial part of that effort.

Prabhu was firm in his belief that design ad quality were critical factors in establishing Indian firms in the global marketplace. Efficiency is fine, but design, developed in FDDI’s like the new Hyderabad facility, was the most important thing.