Kerala-based affordable footwear maker VKC on firm footing

| | Updated on: Jul 01, 2021

V Noushad, MD, Walkaroo International

Expects to sustain its revenue growth in the current fiscal

Narayanan V


Homegrown footwear brand Walkaroo seems to be on firm footing. The company, which clocked a revenue of ₹1,200 crore in FY21, expects to sustain its revenue growth in the current fiscal amid pent-up demand for footwear, coupled with the sharp decline in Chinese imports.

“We are expecting to close FY22 with a 25 per cent growth from our last year’s revenue,” V Noushad, MD, Walkaroo International, told BusinessLine .

“April and May are good seasons for the footwear business, but last year there was no sale during these months. But as the government has indicated, there will be no complete lockdown this year, so we expect things to be better in the second half and are confident of meeting our revenue target,” he added.

Walkaroo is part of Kerala-based VKC Group, one of the largest footwear manufacturers in India. While the flagship VKC brand targets the bottom of the pyramid, Walkaroo is positioned as an affordable lifestyle brand for middle- and higher-income consumers.

‘Good opportunity’

An industry veteran, Noushad said that footwear imports from China have come down sharply, which provides a huge opportunity for the domestic footwear manufacturers.

“Earlier, the domestic market was swamped by Chinese footwear but it has reduced,” said Noushad, adding: “It gives a good opportunity to Indian footwear manufacturers ,especially those who produce kids, sports and knitted shoes.”

“If Indian manufacturers utilise this opportunity by launching new products and new designs, it is a really huge opportunity, which cannot be covered by just one or two players,” said Noushad, who is also the Vice-President of The Confederation of Indian Footwear Industries (CIFI).

He also highlighted that the use pattern of Indians is slowly shifting from slippers to closed sandals, shoes and knitted footwear.

“The knitted upper shoes trend started in China. But very few are providing the knitting technology in India because it’s the latest one. We started offering knitted products very early and now we have increased our capacity because of the faster growth in this area,” said Noushad.

Currently, 70 per cent of Walkaroo’s business comes from the South while East, West and North contribute 10 per cent each.

Published on April 25, 2021
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