Tuesday, August 3, 2010




Ambur Trade Centre (ATC)- a three storey architecturally well designed and fully air-conditioned structure constructed with contributions from the Government of India and the industry was opened and “Ambur Open” (a two day Exhibition of Footwear Components, Accessories & Finished Leather) organized by the Ambur Economic Development Organisation Ltd (AEDOL) along with the Indian Shoe Federation (ISF) and the Indian Footwear Components Manufacturers Association (IFCOMA) was inaugurated by Mr. K. Alauddin, Principal Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu on Saturday, 24th July 2010 in a well organized and well attended glittering function held at the ATC in Ambur. It was presided over by Mr. M. Mohamed Hashim, Chairman, Indian Leather Industry Foundation.

Mr. Durai Murugan, Hon’bale Minister for Law, Courts and Prison, Government of Tamil Nadu, who was to declare open the ATC and inaugurate the exhibition, could not come as he was indisposed. He sent his good wishes for the success of the function to the organizers.

Mr. K. Alauddin in his speech asked the industry to utilize the ATC for many useful purposes for its maintenance, development of backward areas, total eradication of pollution etc. and said that “ the Government of Tamil Nadu is always ready to help it “.

As regards the demand made for an airport at Vellore, he said that “the main problem is the distance as one can come from Chennai to Vellore by car or bus in 2 hours. The flying time is half an hour but passengers have to come to the airport one hour before the flight departure time. The common man cannot afford it. The government is willing to have airports in all district headquarters, but the viability is the main problem. If the civil aviation department is willing to consider it, the government will see that the land is available for it as in other airport expansion projects “.


Earlier Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, AEDOL welcomed the gathering explaining the importance of the leather and leather products industry and the role the new Centre constructed at the cost of Rs.11.5 crore is to play for its development.

He said that there is an urgent need for the leather clusters to upgrade the existing inadequate infrastructure facility in waste water disposal/sludge disposal which are the major problems confronted by the industry here (as everywhere in the country) to maintain its pre-eminence as the largest producer of leather goods and products and to emerge as an international destination for leather industry and to achieve the norms prescribed by the pollution control authorities of the State and the Centre. This was the reason why both the Amburtec and the Vanitec joined together and formed the Ambur Economic Development Organisation Ltd. (AEDOL) to take advantage of the Government schemes to achieve the aim of zero discharge by recycling the treated water and attain all other existing environment standards including sludge disposal by secure land fill, a system patented by the Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai. The Government of India sanctioned an estimate of Rs.67.33 crore with its subsidy of Rs.43.93 crore.

He further revealed that the Vellore district leather clusters manufacture a wide range of leather and leather products in accordance with International Standards providing direct employment to more than 60,000 people and indirect employment to another 30,000 people mostly from the economically weaker sections of the rural society and export to the tune of Rs.3500 crore annually and also meet a sizeable domestic demand of the country. According to him, Ambur, one of the major leather clusters in Tamil Nadu which has been recognized as “ Town of Export Excellence “ for leather products will get additional focus support and incentives for the development of the industry and infrastructure facilities for the cluster and achieve the target of doubling the current annual export of Rs.1800 crore by 2014.

As regards the Ambur Trade Centre, Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed said that the AEDOL constructed it with an estimate of Rs.11.5 crore with the government subsidy of Rs.5.9 crore to provide a world class multi purpose trade centre for the leather industry. It has got ground plus three floors in addition to an A/c shed with a total capacity of 40,000 sq.ft. and has facilities like exhibition hall, convention centre, conference hall, training and testing centre, e-readiness centre and guest rooms for the visiting entrepreneurs and overseas customers. It will provide a platform for holding international exhibitions, conferences, workshops and also testing and training services to the leather industry in the region. He thanked the State and Union governments for the huge financial support and pragmatic advice so willingly extended to all the above projects. He also thanked the CLRI and others for their unstinted co-operation and assistance.

He further pointed out, “the Ambur Open is the biggest congregation of businessmen, technocrats, entrepreneurs in the specialized leather sector as well as of a large number of participants. This event of international class in its appeal and material content provides a platform for exhibiting the capabilities of Indian leather and leather products sector and showcase its developments to the world.”

Mr. M. Mohamed Hashim delivered his presidential address praising the AEDOL Chairman for his excellent initiative and untiring endeavours in achieving the Ambur Trade Centre for the development of the industry.

Mr. Habib Hussain, Chairman, Council for Leather Exports, Mr. B.D. Bhaiya, President, IFCOMA, Mr. R.V. Gopalakrishna, President, ISF, Mr. Abdur Rahman, M.P., Mr. Gandhi, M.L.A., Mr. Basith, M.L.A and others also spoke. Mr. N. Mohamed Sayeed proposed the vote of thanks.


The first ever “ Ambur Open “ exhibition attracted 120 exhibitors from different categories such as Finished Leather, Machinery Spares, Sole, Insole, Syn.Linings, Leather Soles, Software, Testing etc. ISF and IFCOMA partnered AEDOL by conducting the 5th edition of the exhibition of Footwear Components, Accessories & Finished Leather in the Ambur Open exhibition. It was highly successful.

While Mr. P.V. Gopalakrishna, President, ISF was extremely happy that there was an overwhelming support to the fair to the extent that they could not accommodate many people by saying that that their commitment to quality, service and delivery had endeared them to the participants who, he was confident, would take part in their future fairs also as it brings good returns to participants in a very pleasant atmosphere, Mr. B.D. Bhaiya, President, IFCOMA stated that they wanted to achieve the avowed goal of firmly establishing India as the world’s most preferred destination for sourcing of leather and leather products by harnessing collective efforts by all towards this goal. He considered the Ambur Open as a right step in the direction and hoped that it would be very successful in generating genuine business interest among the national and international visitors.

Mr. C. Rajendran, IAS, Collector, Vellore district, released the book titled “History of Leather Industry in Vellore District”. He spoke about the tanneries and shoe factories in the Vellore district and stressed the need for the Zero discharge pollution control system.


4 (four) seminars conducted on 1) Water Based Adhesives 2) New Developments from BASF for Leather Industry 3) Footprints in Leather and 4) Workshop on “ Building Business values with key customers” and “ Presentation on Skill Development “ were the highlights of the Ambur Open and useful to the people, particularly technicians and entrepreneurs, connected with the industry


Hotel Coffee Café was there but the absence of a good vegetarian restaurant and two or three tea/coffee kiosks was regretted by many visitors as well as participants who had bought the stalls in the fair. It is hoped that the organizers will look into this matter and do the needful during the fair next year.


The exhibitors were happy to take part in the fair at the Ambur Trade Centre which is surrounded by about 250 tanneries and shoe factories and has easy access to bus terminus and railway station.

Congratulations to Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, the active and powerful Chairman of AEDOL and those who assisted him in establishing the Ambur Trade Centre and starting the Ambur Open exhibition in association with the ISF and the IFCOMA within a short span of time and conducting it successfully to the delight of one and all.

(VMK in Indian Leather August 2010 issue)

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