A survey of SMEs in the leather industry, conducted by IndiaMART Knowledge Services (IKS), revealed that 61.9 per cent of the respondents said the market for leather products had picked up in 2010 vis-a-vis 2009, while 19.05 per cent replied that it had declined. A similar number of respondents (19.05 per cent) reported no change.
According to the survey, overall sales growth was far better than export growth in 2010, compared to 2009. While 42.86 per cent of respondents said their sales grew by more than 20 per cent in 2010 compared to 2009, only 33.33 per cent said their exports increased by more than 20 per cent in 2010.
Similarly, 47.62 per cent of respondents said their sales grew in the 0-20 per cent range, while 38.10 per cent reported that their export growth was 0-20 per cent.
Customer sentiment also showed signs of improvement. A majority of the respondents (57.14 per cent) reported that they witnessed an average improvement in consumer sentiment in 2010 as against 2009, while 23.81 per cent said consumer sentiment showed a negative trend, and only 19.05 per cent said that the improvement surpassed their expectations.
The survey further revealed that 61.90 per cent of respondents felt that the main challenge facing them was the liquidity crunch, while 33.33 per cent felt that their main challenge was poor consumer response. Only 4.76 per cent listed lack of infrastructure as their main challenge. A majority of those surveyed (57.14 per cent) said that liquidity needs to be eased.