Company ‘strongly focussing on shoe industry in India’.

Investments would run into several million euros in line with Henkel’s massive infusions made in the wide range of adhesives in India over the last five years.

R. Balaji

Chennai, Nov. 14 Henkel, the Dusseldorf-based multinational company in home care, personal care and adhesives, will soon set up a multi-million-euro production base in Mumbai for footwear adhesives.

The company sees a major potential in the growth of the footwear industry here and Henkel’s shoe adhesive business plans to expand its presence to exploit the opportunity.

According to Mr Jan-Dirk Auris, President-Asia Pacific, Henkel (China) Company Ltd, the company is “strongly focussing on shoe industry in India” and sees the Asia-Pacific region as the second largest market opportunity led by China and India.

Foray after buy

For Henkel, shoe adhesives is a new area of business thrown up by the global acquisition of the ICI group’s National Starch and Chemical (NSC) last April. This brought into Henkel’s fold Dongsung NSC Ltd, a market leader in shoe adhesives.

Mr Auris, who was in Chennai to make a presentation on the company’s plans in India at a meeting organised by the Chennai-based Saba Group, its dealers for South India, told Business Line that the company would set up a local production facility for a wide range of shoe adhesives.

While declining to specify the size of investments, he said that this would run into several million euros in line with Henkel’s massive investments made in the wide range of adhesives in India over the last five years. This facility would be in Mumbai, where Dongsung has the required land area and infrastructure.

India produces over 1.3 billion pairs of footwear annually, nearly 10 per cent of the global production, and this is expected to double over the next five years.

Also with the cost of manufacturing going up in China, which accounts for about 60 per cent of the world’s output of shoes, some of the production would be transferred to India, he said.

Water-based Adhesives

Mr Kim Tagesen, Business Director, Global Shoe Adhesives, Henkel Asia Pacific, said the combination of Henkel’s technological leadership and Dongsung’s market leadership in shoe adhesives would see the introduction of a wide range of water-based adhesives for shoes. Due to environmental and human health concerns, water-based adhesives were fast replacing solvent-based adhesives, which are now in vogue in India. The water-based adhesives would offer significant improvement in terms of cost and efficiency to the industry and value addition to the product, he said.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 15, 2008)
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