Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA
In a face-face interview recently at Potissimus Arrow Shoes in Ranipet, India, Mr. Pandy Velayutham, Managing Director of Arrow Group of Companies highlighted many opportunities for textiles in fashion and high-end shoe sector.
Some of the applications, which Mr. Velayutham highlighted include fabric interliners in shoes, textile shoe uppers, easy care shoe wipes, etc. Interlining fabrics need to be odor proof, water proof, but allow the penetration of vapor to make them breathable. These interlining fabrics are used as reinforcing materials to give body to shoes and to control the extension of leather component so as to provide suitable fit and comfort.
To enable “Make in India,” effort to be successful, research and developmental initiatives are needed. The discussion made clear that the shoe industry is keenly interested in enhancing the comfort of wearers by providing functional and fashionable shoes. Founded in 2002, Arrow Group of companies focuses on research and development activity to take the shoe industry to the next level. It employs over 1100 employees in its three manufacturing units in Ranipet area. It manufactures for reputed brands like Hotter, Kurt Geiger, Gabor, Bugatti, etc. In 2017, Arrow Shoes introduced Gabicci line of products in India with aim to provide highly comfortable men’s products such as shoes, socks, etc., without sacrificing aesthetic aspects.
According to Pandy, “research and development is needed based on regional and cultural necessities, particularly in consumer goods industry like apparel and shoes.” He emphasized that he strongly believes in the fusion of different disciplines to come-up with performance products that can cater to both Indian and international consumers.