Thursday, March 18, 2010




The 25th India International Leather Fair 2010 (IILF) organized by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and inaugurated by the honourable union minister for textiles Mr. Dayanidhi Maran, held from 31st January to 3rd February 2010, at Chennai Trade Centre, Nundambakkam, Chennai attracted more participants this year despite the global recession.


According to Mr. Subas Pani, Chairman and Managing Director, ITPO the display area in the fair was spread over 8400 sq.mts and 437 exhibitors participated in it – 265 from our country and 172 from other 24 countries – which represented an increase of 10% in terms of display area and 13% in terms of number of participants compared to the event last year. He said that the IILF was crossing a major milestone after the seed was sown 25 years ago and it had grown into a high fruit yielding tree providing benefit to the Indian leather industry.

The fair was really a big event, of course an improved one. It provided a good opportunity for the participants to display their products such as machinery, chemicals, leather and leather products like shoes and garments, publications etc. and interact with different industrialists, traders and agents to promote their business. The only thing that upset many visitors was insufficient coffee shops and vegetarian restaurants. The nearby store selling tea, cakes and snacks was crowded and had no sitting place. Many visitors were seen going out of the fair area for tea and lunch. The organizers would do well do look into this matter and arrange for the same in the next fair. However the ITPO deserves congratulations and thanks for its otherwise excellent arrangements in the present market scenario. It has proved that whether it rains or shines, its annual extravaganza takes place undisturbed as ever to the satisfaction of all.


The hon’ble union minister Mr. Dayanidhi Maran who inaugurated the fair appreciated the leather industry for its contribution to growth, employment generation and foreign exchange earnings and attempts to recover from the impacts of the global recession and urged it to give more importance to value added leather products and safeguarding environment through proper pollution control measures. He assured the industry that the government would extend its support to it for increasing growth and export. Later he handed over the CLE awards to 70 members of the Council for Leather Exports (CLE) under different categories for their best export performance in the year 2008-09 in spite of global economic crisis in the middle of that year and extended his felicitations to them. He also honoured Dr. R. Ganesh Jeevan, Dr. C. Muralidharan and Mr. Mohammed Sadiq with CLE awards in recognition and appreciation of their contributions to the leather industry.


Earlier Mr. Habeeb Hussain, chairman, Council for Leather Exports welcomed the gathering and said that the late union minister Mr. Murasoli Maran had contributed immensely for setting up the Chennai Trade Centre in 2001 and the IILF had the privilege of hosting its event first in this venue and that he was the architect of the Tannery Modernization Fund, the fruits of which were very much visible. He also said that there was recovery and growth of the leather industry from the recession during the last quarter October-December 2009. He further said, “China and Vietnam had copied a model which India invented 30 years ago and met with huge success in implementing this model i.e. industrial estate with the requisite infrastructure.” He appealed to the hon’ble minister to create a “Mission Mode” for the leather and textile & apparel sectors and set a target of creating an additional one million jobs in the leather sector alone in the next 5 years and possibly many times more than that in the textile & apparel sector.


The leather and leather products industry is to land in negative growth for the year 2009-10 despite positive growth in export during October and November 2009 as the data provided by the Council for Leather exports shows a fall of 16.13% with its total export of US$2121.80 million during April/November 2009 compared to US$2529.85 million during the same period in 2008.

It is to be noted that that finished leather has recorded a drastic fall of 27.47% in exports from US$524.28 million to US$380.26 million. Two reasons can be attributed for this. One is the dull market situation and the other is the strict norms being followed for identification of finished leather at the customs. Many tanners have given up doing finished leather as they do not want to face the custom problems. This writer had highlighted this earlier also in Indian Leather. If the norms are removed, finished leather exports will double and if the duty on E.I. tanned skins and hides is abolished, it will be exported and our foreign exchange earnings will increase further.


The CLE and Indian Shoe Federation (ISF) arranged seminars on “Speciality adhesives for footwear & leather – the green future” by Henkel and “The global US shoe market outlook” on 1st February 2010
There were another two seminars on 2nd February 2010 – 1) CLE and IFLMEA seminar on “Journey Towards Excellence” (Lessons from Auto Component Industry) and “Accredited Production & Compliance “ 2) UNIDO-ISF-IFLMEA seminar on “Leather and Footwear Industry” supported by CLE.
All the seminars were well attended and useful to the people in the industry and trade.

The Council for Leather Exports brought out its first issue of LEATHER NEWS INDIA during the fair. Its editorial, Chairman’s write-up and other articles on environment, perspective, technology, trade etc. are informative. No doubt, the trade and industry will welcome and support it.


Many participants said that the fair was successful in all aspects but the volume of business done seems to be on expected lines as the world leather and leather products market is still to come out fully from the impacts of the global recession. However there are many signs of early recovery from this phenomenon as indicated by several Indian and overseas importers and exporters who participated in the fair. The prices quoted by overseas tanners and exporters for their leathers made it clear that there will be good demand for Indian leather and leather products in the world market because of their quality and competitive prices.

(Indian Leather, March 2010)

Monday, March 8, 2010




Allah bestowed Prophet Muhammad (sal-am) with the great honour of being His Last Messenger to propagate Islam and to teach people the right way of life, the difference between right and wrong, and the life in this world and the hereafter. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) fulfilled his mission with great success. What he has achieved and how he transformed uncivilised and uncultured people into God-fearing, law abiding, pious and sincere human beings is simply fabulous. We must understand his teachings, his qualities and behaviour with the thought that we might be able to imbibe at least some part of it in our lives. In this way we might at least come closer to live a life which Allah wants us to live – a pious, sincere, happy and guilt-free life.

We must learn about the scenario before the advent of Islam, the difficulties faced by the Prophet and his followers, the victories they won and finally the various practices and qualities which are needed to be practised and imbibed as mentioned in the Qur’ān and propagated by the Prophet to lead a pious and happy life. Even before our Prophet was ordained, he was known as ‘Amin’, the Trustworthy. People completely trusted him and had the highest regard for his honesty and integrity. It was Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) who was chosen to fix the Hajr-e-Aswad (the Black Stone) while the repairing of Ka’bah was carried out. He spread a sheet on the ground and placed the stone in the centre of the sheet and asked representatives of the tribes to take hold of the sheet at the four corners and raise it to the desired height. He then took the stone and placed it at the proper place. In this way he not only ensured equality but also won the hearts of the people. Because of his high moral calibre and exemplary qualities, Muhammad (sal-am) was destined to be a Messenger of Allah. Allah would not have given this huge responsibility to anyone less worthy.

Prophet Muhammad (sal-am) conveyed the word of Allah to people and lived his entire life in the light of the very principles Islam stands for. He was an inspiring orator, a just leader, an able adviser, and above all a good-natured, faithful, sincere and pious human being. He treated people equally and in spite of this great honour of being the Messenger of Allah, he always considered himself one among the people. The good qualities of our dear Prophet are endless.

The striking quality of the Prophet’s life that impressed us the most is his austere life. He had a very generous heart and always thought about others. He would give whatever he had as charity every day. Thus he never gave Zakath simply because he never had money for one year from which he could give Zakath. On many occasions he had gone to sleep without food. His room only had the basic requirements and he was averse to any kind of adornments. He did not have at any time more than two sets of clothes. He led a very simple, pious and selfless life. When Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) compared this state with the luxurious living of other rulers and protested tearfully, the Prophet queried, “O Ibn-i-Khattab! Do you not desire that they may have the world and we the hereafter?”

In times of difficulties and hardships, the Prophet’s calm would never waver. His trust in Allah always stood firm. He would go about doing his duties in the most efficient manner. He taught people the various qualities and principles which would make them worthy in the eyes of Allah. He asked people to show compassion towards one another, elderly and the needy and help their neighbours in times of distress. He not only preached but also practised. Every act of his was in accordance with the Islamic principles.

In about 23 years of his Prophethood, with the will of Allah he was able to make such a huge difference in the lives of people. No mean feat this considering the various difficulties and hardships he and his followers faced at every stage in their struggle. After his demise, his loyal and truthful companions carried his mantle forward. It is now left up to us to follow the Prophet’s Sunnah and become good human beings. People, who run behind money, success and power without sparing a thought to the sufferings of other people, should learn a lesson or two from the Prophet.

How can our life be complete and how can we ever be happy when there are several people who are in need. We must follow the Prophet’s example and do whatever we can for the betterment of the poor and needy. Allah has created all of us and He has also given us the wisdom to choose what is right for us. I pray that Allah bestow us with right thinking, good principles and habits. In our mad rush to succeed, we should not forget what Allah expects from us.