India’s first non-leather component cluster takes shape in TN, foundation stone laying during GIM

Chennai, Jan 1 (UNI) The foundation stone for the maiden factory at the country’s first non-leather footwear component cluster that is coming up inside the footwear park at Perambalur in Tamil Nadu will be laid during the upcoming Global Investors Meet (TNGIM) next week in the presence of Chief Minister M.K.Stalin.

Zhong Bu Development Singapore Pte. Ltd will be the first to set up an adhesive factory at the component cluster in Perambalur.

It has already set up an Indian subsidiary to implement the project, a companh rleease said on Monday, a new year boost for Indian industry.

The footwear park itself is being developed by Phoenix Kothari Footwear, a joint venture between Kothari Industrial Corporation Ltd. (KICL) and Evervan Group of Taiwan.

The two-day GIM will begin in Chennai on January 7 and will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister.

The foundation stone for the proposed facility of Zhong Bu will be laid during the GIM, said J. Rafiq Ahmed, Chairman of Phoenix Kothari Footwear Ltd.

“Our aim is to get the factory on stream within six months from the date on which the foundation is laid,” he said.

In this context, he pointed out that the first factory at the footwear park had gone on stream within one year from the date on which the construction was started. JR One Footwear Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between Phoenix Kothari Footwear Ltd. and Shoetown, has already started making Crocs brand of footwear at its factory in the Perambalur park. T “The JR One factory was built in a record time of one year. This stands as a testament to the dedication and efficiency of the Phoenix Kothari team and its commitment,” Mr. Ahmed said.

Mr. Ahmed expected the Perambalur non-footwear component cluster to house 30 factories. “We are getting a number of overseas players into the component cluster,” he said.

Phoenix Kothari Footwear Ltd. has already tied up with 21 companies to set up facilities in the component cluster. At the upcoming TNGIM, these would be formalised.

Zhong Bu is into the production and sale of high-quality adhesives and related products for the footwear industry. It has production plants in China, Vietnam and Indonesia, with research and development facilities and technical service capabilities. It has patented technology and has technical cooperation with multinational manufacturers in the industry.

This is, perhaps, for the first time that a non-leather component cluster is taking concrete shape in the country. Only China has a non-leather component cluster in the world. Though Brazil did make an attempt, it did not fructify. The Perambalur component cluster, Mr. Ahmed said, was a significant national initiative in the post-Covid era and in the wake of the China Plus One strategy pursued by global manufacturers. “This clearly fits in with the Make-In-India policy of the Government of India. Tamil Nadu will be the next Vietnam,” he said. The non-leather component cluster would conform to ESG (environment, social and corporate governance) goals with focus on creating jobs and especially for women, Mr. Ahmed said.

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