How many have at least one leather product in your wardrobe or are using leather shoes? Well, we all do have, whether made from original or faux leather. Whether it is authentic or any other kind of leather, you cannot deny the demand and the need for leather products. Standing for the style statement, this industry has immense opportunities to earn profits and turn your future as an entrepreneur into success.
But drafting the leather products business plan needs thorough knowledge about leather types and the most profitable leather business ideas that can support it in the long run. Though the overall steps to start the business remain the same, the information collected at the pre-planning stage becomes crucial for success.
Let us explore the details of the leather business in this article to help you become a renowned leather business leader in the future.
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Leather and Its Types
Everyone has a basic understanding of the term leather. The source, quality, and types might be a bit foggy, but the essential information is known to the majority of the individuals and users of the product. But if you are planning to set up the leather products business plan, then this information might fall short for you.
So, let us begin with finding the crucial aspects here to help with smooth planning. But before that, let us look at some facts about the leather business:
- In 2021, the worldwide leather products market will be worth USD 407.92 billion, suggested by Grandview research.
- In 2019-20, India exported $5.07 billion worth of leather and leather products, reported IBEF.
- Leather and leather products exports totaled US$ 289.57 million in April 2021, as per IBEF reports.
- The Council for Leather Exports (CLE) in India has about 3,500 members who manufacture and export leather and leather products, said IBEF.
- IBEF also pointed out that India is the world’s second-largest exporter of leather garments, the world’s third-largest exporter of saddlery and harnesses, and the world’s fourth-largest exporter of leather goods.
The facts suggest that the leather products business plan is one of India’s most profitable ideas to pursue with the vision of generating high-value profits and income. Before moving ahead to find the best products for this business plan, let us look at the top types of leather that you can use.
Types of Leather
Leather has been used to create products for centuries. Through time, multiple varieties of leather have come into existence, but the most common and prominent ones are still the same. The best ones that are usually used in designing the products are:
➔ Full Grain Leather
The top layer of the hide is known as full-grain leather. It is dyed with aniline dyes, which are soluble and do not alter the natural appearance of the hide. The grain pattern is tight, making it moisture resistant. It grows more attractive as it ages, acquiring a rich patina over time. Full-grain leather is also thought to be the best quality leather available.
➔ Top Grain Leather
The second layer of the split hide is separated here, revealing a thinner, more supple layer than regular leather. Top-grain leather is the most frequent type of upholstery leather used in high-end products, and it is also the most durable. The velvety feel of top-grain leather makes it a good choice for furniture upholstery.
➔ Embossed Grain Leather
It is also known as split leather. Because this leather isn’t as robust as top-grain leather, it’s usually reserved for furniture’s sides and backs. It’s made from the fibrous section of the hide left after the rawhide’s top grain has been removed.
➔ Corrected Grain Leather
Imperfections are sanded out of corrected-grain leather, and an artificial grain is embossed onto the surface and treated with stains or dyes. This leather, like split leather, is typically sold for the lowest price.
Suede is a type of leather created from the inner layer of a hide, the side that was initially in contact with the animal’s skin. The leather is softer and more flexible after sanding and buffing. Jackets and shoes are made of suede.
➔ Synthetic Leather
Synthetic leathers have been manufactured since the 1940s as a by-product of the chemical industry. Synthetic leathers are divided into polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Petrochemicals, both non-renewable and non-biodegradable, are used to make them. They are also cruelty-free because they do not injure animals. They are also known as “faux” and are in high demand.
Once you know about the various types of leather available in the market, let us move ahead with the leather products you can start the business with.
Best Leather Products Ideas For Business
Like any other business, the leather products business plan is also based on the proper selection of the products to offer the customer. Making a wrong selection will not only push you out of the competition but will cause damage to the capital invested in the business.
Starters always start a manufacturing business by securing the raw material rather than moving ahead with the finished products. Creating a brand value is possible when you are the creator, but if you move ahead with already produced goods, you would be required to conduct an even deeper analysis of the best company to procure the goods.
Leather Product Manufacturing Business Ideas
So, here are most profitable leather business ideas in terms of manufacturing are as follows:
➔ Watch Band
The leather watchband is regarded as a B2B product in particular. It is the best product to start with as the demand for the changes and variety in this is quite limited, reducing the pressure on manufacturers and sellers.
From the young to the old, everyone wears a leather waist belt. It serves a practical purpose in addition to being a fashionable item. Leather belts are also becoming more popular in both domestic and international markets. It is popular among schoolchildren, young people dressed in western attire, and men of all ages.
The leather garment industry keeps up with the current fashion trends. As a result, new breezes in the fashion world always directly impact the sector’s development and provide more marketability opportunities. On the other hand, leather garment production in India is nearly entirely for export. The leather jackets can also be included under the same category, though there is an entire segment for it.
Leather bags are used for various reasons and have a variety of qualities. Wallets, handbags, laptop bags, office bags, and so on are the most frequent. However, raw material availability is abundant in tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Furthermore, the sector is reliant on the tanning industry.
The demand for footwear is ever increasing. Starting from kids’ shoes to ladies’ footwear and men’s formals, a range of products fall under this category. The leather shoe industry is involved in a variety of activities. It is critical to have a thorough understanding of the procedure and the current industry trend.
The demand for high-end leather furniture is steadily expanding. Furthermore, leather upholstery is regarded as a high-end lifestyle item. Moreover, the product has high export potential. This is one of the most lucrative leather business concepts to implement.
➔ Travel bags
With the expansion of industrialization, people’s economic standards, tourism, and fashion consciousness, the demand for leather travel bags is expanding day by day. People in the service, business, and executive classes make up a large portion of the target market for such products.
Industrial hand gloves are a type of protective clothing worn by factory employees. Leather gloves are primarily used for industrial purposes, railways, and defense, in addition to fashion. The use of industrial hand gloves is predicted to increase significantly due to the expansion.
➔ Artistic leather goods
Artistic leather items are popular due to their appearance and finish. As a result, there is a substantial market for artistic leather goods globally. Traditional styles and patterns are commonly used to embellish these items. Some examples are lampshades, book covers, hair accessories, wall hangings, pet collars, key chains, and other things.
➔ Promotional Product
Promotional products are identified by a unique logo used in marketing initiatives. These products are specifically tailored for the company and feature its brand. Laptop sleeves, keychains, keyrings, leather portfolios, and other promotional gifts are most popular.
Can You Start A Retail Business As Well?
Yes, there is no doubt that the demand for leather products increases significantly. So, if you are looking to draft the leather products business plan, you can start with the retail business. The products suggested for the manufacturing business can also be used for the retail business.
Additionally, you can also combine two or more products in your unit and start a business with them that will allow you to expand and widen your scope.
But, if you plan to start with the exports, manufacturing, and registration with the CLE are important. So, before discussing the business plan, let us look at the brief about CLE.
The Council for Leather Exports (CLE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing leather exports and developing the leather and leather products industry. The Export Promotions Council, which has about 3500 members, is part of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
CLE organizes various activities throughout the year to connect buyers and sellers from both the domestic and foreign markets. To take advantage of the Export Promotion Schemes benefits, CLE requires a certification from an issuing authority.
Types Of Member In CLE
In the most general sense, there are two types of members in CLE:
- Associate Members (FOB value < INR 15 lakh)
- Ordinary Members (FOB value > INR 15 lakh)
Documents To Become Member In CLE
- CLE application form
- Registration-cum-Membership Certificate form
- GST registration
- IEC code certificate
- Additional documents like Udhyog Aadhaar Memorandum, Industrial Licence, IEM certificate, if required.
- Bank authorized export copy for last three-year performance.
- DD for fees in favor of “Council for Leather Exports.”
Once you know the products, types, and the council governing the leather business, let us look at the steps to be followed for business establishment.
Planning Leather Business In India
Starting the leather business in India is simple with the steps below:
1. Business plan designing
Draft the leather products business plan that highlights your complete path and the ultimate destination clearly and precisely. Ensure to state points like:
- Manufacturing vs. retail business
- Products to be included
- Capital investment
- Need for loan
- Certifications needed
- Supplies list
- Market prepositions
2. Get registered
Once you have drafted the plan, the next thing to do is get the business registered. Selecting the company’s name and officially registering it will open the doors to getting the GST registration, IEC certificate, and other documents needed to start the business.
3. Arrange the resources
This step goes together with the registration process. The resources mainly required for the leather products business plan are the financial investment. Once you have the registration done, you can move ahead with applying for a bank account, loan, and making the capital investments.
It will also include procurement of goods, machinery installation, a place set up, and hiring the staff needed to run smoothly.
4. Connect, market, and go online
Starting with acquiring the resources, you are now all set to move ahead and market your product. Ensure to have an online and offline presence to reach the masses. This is the one competitive leverage that leads to success in the long run.
5. Earn and expand
Once you have positively marketed, you can now profit and opt for expansion. Once the tenure for the exports is cleared, you can move ahead with expansion and earn even better.
The leather business in India is one of the fastest-growing businesses with a great potential for profitability. It is a business model that can strengthen the economy and offer a booster dose that can push towards growth.
Though the number of products that one can move ahead in the leather business is quite immense, it is equally important to know the market trend and the requirements before selecting any. With the potential to give high returns when done properly, it’s a business with centuries of existence.
Now is the moment if you want to establish a leather products business, and the market is only getting better.