October 14th, 2011
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Footwear that make heads turn



Career Hunt/ Vivek Prasad

Chappal careerFootwear is an important part of one’s total look. Thus, in the present world of high fashion and beauty awareness, a person’s image is defined by the kind of clothes and shoes they wear. Recently, there is an increase in demand and choice for footwear that has led to a spurt in the number of companies including some international players, dealing with footwear production and export. Now-a-days footwear is made from leather, plastic, canvas, jute, rubber and even cloth. The footwear industry has evolved tremendously involving the use of sophisticated machinery and skilled manpower. Thus, footwear designing technology as of today is a lucrative career option.

Under-graduate, Post-graduate, Diploma and Certificate courses are available in footwear design/technology. Generally for under-graduate Diploma or certificate courses in footwear design the minimum qualification is 10+2 pass with any subject. To pursue a Post-Graduate Diploma is footwear design one must be a graduate in any stream of education. Admission into most of these courses is made through entrance exams. However, footwear technology courses are offered as B.Tech/M.Tech programme which are only open to science/engineering students.

chappal-3 Students, who have the skills of creativity and business, can seek great career option in the field of footwear designing. They can join specialist footwear companies, sportswear companies, designer labels, at the executive level. After gaining experience, one can also start his or her own exclusive footwear label or can enter into the market as Footwear Technician or trade analysts etc.

Some of the premier institutes that offer this course are: The Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI), Noida and Chennai; The Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai; Central Footwear Training Centre (CFTC), Chennai; The Government Leather Institute, Agra; Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur; National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi and Gandhinagar; AVI School of Fashion & Shoe Technology, Chandigarh; College of Leather Technology, Calcutta; Institute of Government Leather Working School, Mumbai and National Small Industries Corporation Ltd., Chennai.

Since the nature of job prospects is very diverse, the salary can vary tremendously. Initially one can expect a starting salary somewhere around Rs. 10,000-12,000 per month. International players offer even more high pay packages to these people which may be between Rs. 15,000-20,000 per month. Independent footwear designers have earnings depending upon the nature of their assignment. Entrepreneur in this field can earn crore of rupees per annum depending upon the size of their business.

‘The footwear industry is growing beyond belief. We have a record of 100 per cent placements every year. There are more jobs available compared to the number of students applying for them. It is a win-win situation for those who want to pursue a career in the footwear industry,’ says Jyoti Kohli, Assistant Director, Corporate Communication, Footwear Design and Development Institute  (FDDI) and added that ‘companies like Action, Adidas, Paragon, Puma, Bata, Zara, et al visit our campus for placements,’ she added.

With the Indian population rising over 1.2 billion, the estimated size of the footwear market is about 80 million pairs. The footwear export industry is also on an upward spiral and is expected to reach a total of 400 million pairs a year in the next five years. The investment cost being low, thanks to cheap labour and raw material in the country, a number of private units are also being set up. As a result, the scope for interested candidates will increase in future.mens shoe

Footwear Design & Development Institute (FDDI), functioning under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry at Irungattukottai near Chennai has introduced three new courses in fashion and retail management for the forthcoming academic year.

Briefing newspersons at a press conference at Chennai on March 2011, a senior executive of FDDI, said the institute was the first of its kind in the entire southern region. ‘We are offering three PG courses in fashion merchandising & retail management, footwear technology and creative designing CAD/CAM, apart from two UG courses in fashion merchandising & retail management and footwear technology,’ he said.


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