Mohib Group pioneers industry changes
Exploring the Indian organisation’s philosophy of ‘research, innovate and implement’.
Leather technologist Kottai Mohammed Mohibullah founded the company which bears his name three decades ago. Since growing into the Mohib Group in 2006, the organisation, which is headquartered in the south Indian town of Ambur, has worked hard to be an innovator in leather and footwear manufacturing.
Beginning with the processing of leather, the group soon established and expanded facilities to manufacture leather, shoe uppers and finished footwear. It now makes five million pairs for international brand owners every season for sale in the United States, the United Kingdom and other European markets.
Mohib Group is said to follow the REACH and CADS standards for all its leather, materials and soles. In addition, its tannery has received a Leather Working Group Gold ranking for a number of years. Mohib Group’s factory is one of a handful of operations in the leather belt in southern India producing men’s, women’s and children’s shoes. Although specialising in casual footwear, it also manufactures formal footwear.
Expansion plans linked to innovative ideas
Now managing director Kottai Mohammed Rasib, a second-generation entrepreneur, is ready to scale up the business, continuing with an approach based on innovation. Mohib Group reportedly invests heavily in research and development in various sectors, but especially within the growing market for sports footwear. Such exploration is deemed essential in order to avoid the company being viewed as only a leather footwear manufacturer.
According to Mohib Group, 86 per cent of the world’s market share of footwear in terms of volume currently fills the demand for non-leather products. Indian footwear exports are traditionally of leather footwear which, the company states, creates lucrative opportunities in the other sectors. While Indian companies’ focus continues to remain in the leather segment, other opportunities from various industries can be embraced as part of the change. “We have to unlearn what we did yesterday and continuously evolve if we have to grow,” remarked a Mohib Group spokesperson.
Mohib Group recently engaged in a significant initiative by joining with the state government of Tamil Nadu and a Taiwanese company to build a USD 125 million (GBP 94.3 million) ‘footwear park’ in Ambur with the intention of producing 32 million pairs each season.
This facility will feature component manufacturing units as well as a number of shoe factories to enable smooth operations. According to Mohib Group, this cluster will contribute considerably in helping to develop and grow a number of related industries.
Why is all this being done? Because Mohammed Mohibullah is striving to build and project a new image of the Indian footwear industry which can compete with big players by making shoes for the best of the world’s sports brand owners.
This article was originally published on page 32 of the February 2022 issue of SATRA Bulletin.