Footprints of Progress
Date: Friday , November 30, 2012
Liberty Shoes Limited (LSL) is a BSE & NSE (NSE: LIBERTSHOE) listed Indian shoe company based in Karnal, Haryana with a current market cap of Rs.167.62 crores.
Making sure your business works for you requires boundaries between owner and entity. It is about understanding that there are indeed two distinct systems at play here: the family and the business. The more efficiently each system runs, and the more clearly each is understood, the more likely it is that both will support each other to achieve the business owner’s dreams.
Why wait for tomorrow? Why not do it today? Or better still, why not do it now? For me 'Carpe diem' or 'seize the moment' sums up the approach to life. But making every moment tick is easier said than done. It means being pro-active rather than reactive. It means giving ascendancy to vision, intuition and anticipation. And that’s what I believe separates the leader from rest of the herd.
I believe that currently we are living through some of the most momentous times in the history of mankind. It's time of great challenges, great opportunities, great changes and great advancements. Technology has eclipsed faith to emerge as the world’s biggest unifier. It is technology that today defines how we cover ourselves from head to toe.
Being in the footwear business I can certainly take pride in the fact that to Liberty goes the credit of introducing some of the latest advances in footwear technology in India. We are talking about technology that has made footwear more comfortable, more durable and also more attractive in terms of styles and looks.
Liberty Shoes, an Indian footwear industry leader, with the direction of Vector Consulting Group (VCG) built a decisive competitive edge (DCE) based on a holistic, tailored implementation of the TOC distribution/replenishment solution.
Liberty's DCE is to replenish any retailers’ inventories from a central inventory based only on transportation lead-time or to produce and distribute the item in 15 days or less. Consequently, the company experienced a significant sales growth (about 15 and 25 percent) during the last two years, unearthed additional manufacturing capacity for tripling their sales, reduced supply chain inventory investment, particularly the slow sellers (losers), and increased the fast sellers from 15-60 percent of new products introduced (winners).
What’s more as a result of the fast changing tastes of footwear buyers, it is important for footwear manufacturers to continually innovate and offer better and bolder product lines to catch the buyer's attention.
Along with technology innovations, globalization has emerged as the way forward for today's world. Once upon a time, R&D happened to be the exclusive preserve of the developed world of Europe and the U.S. But today with focus on internationalization of R&D India and China have emerged as the new powerhouses in this area.
As far as the footwear industry is concerned we are faced with a great challenge as well as a great opportunity.
At present, Indian footwear industry ranks as the second-largest footwear producer after China. Studies monitoring the current and future trend of the Indian footwear market reveal that it does have a significant potential to grow at a CAGR of around 14 percent during 2012-2014. Also the entire leather sector now 'de-licensed' and 'de-reserved' has paved the way for expansion on modern lines for footwear manufacturing units equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment.
I believe the success mantras for footwear market in India lies in the core set of advantages existing in the country itself, including low labor cost, skilled working professionals and others. The footwear industry in India is presently witnessing various shifts in the trends that are indicative of contributing in the future growth of the industry.
We also foresee immense opportunities for increasing trend of online footwear retail market. Shoe manufacturers have gained a sudden upsurge in the retailing of footwear with the rise of e-commerce and the growing trend of online shopping. Furthermore, there also exists huge demand for the traditional footwear market in India. Fashion driven youngsters now prefer ethnic footwear to give a touch of Indian glamour to their western outfits.
I also find that the taste of Indian consumers is gradually inclining towards casual, cleaner and younger styles. With rising global traveling and increased media penetration, awareness about international trends and lifestyles has increased among domestic consumers. Besides, workplace actualization has also popularized the use of casual footwear and led to a higher demand in this segment. This trend is as popular among working women as in the men who are also now giving equal importance to broad range of fashion accessories to distinguish themselves from their co-workers.
It was Gautama Buddha who once said: "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world."
We at Liberty Shoes have adopted ‘Think young, think fashion, think innovation’ as our mantra as our company embarks on a new phase that sees it garnering the fruits of consolidation that took place in the recent past and move upwards on the growth trajectory .
We are a company with a History. We are a company that is part of Indian History. We are a company that has made history over the years. Started in 1954 by my father and his elder brother the company initiated an Indian Footwear to its countrymen against embedded foreign brands. Those were the days of nationalism of new found freedom in our country. My father was motivated to deliver an Indian brand. The Indian brand grew to become part of the Indian Lifestyle. It catered to the middle class. It aimed to deliver quality at a price that the Indian middle class could afford.
We also built a strong manufacturing base which not only provided employment to large rural population but also put a small town like Karnal on the World. In our new avatar we are just keeping pace with the New India. Are we making history now!