We have been associated with leather for over a century and six generations. Witness to the evolution, we have learned to respect the relevance of leather in our civilization. Every pore on a raw hide bears testament to the leather industry’s involvement in the history of mankind; every wrinkle has a story to tell.
During the last century, the first two generations of our family traded in Raw Hides from Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal. In 1912, we migrated to Kanpur, the epicenter of the Freedom Movement for India’s Independence from the British. In the midst of this mayhem, boats ferried Raw Hides over the Ganges into Cawnpore, (the British version of Kanpur) which was gaining recognition as the geographical center of British India. Cawnpore Ordinance factories manufactured saddles, cartridge boxes, ropes and most importantly army boots. Demand lead to growth, the British India Corporation established the once famous Cooper Allen factory for army equipment which helped consolidate the industry. Thus, it was that Cawnpore, leather and ourselves cemented our association for the decades ahead.
The business grew by supplying Raw Hides to the famous Mysore Chrome Tannery owned by the then Maharaja of Mysore, Calcutta’s National Tannery and Cooper Allen. We slowly became the largest suppliers in the region and controlled large volumes of product quotas. By this time, we were purchasing Raw Hides from Lahore in the West, to Calcutta in the East, and from Kashmir in the North to Bombay in the South. Our business flourished through India’s Independence in 1947 and while our principal business remained defense supplies, the birth of a new nation heralded the advent of our exports to England.
The new avenue of exports gave fresh impetuous to the business and with the demand and quality requirements; the need to manufacture ourselves was imminent. It was the right time. Our experience quotient was high, the market was ready, the location ideal. But it was not easy and our first forays into manufacturing were ill-fated coupled with losses of merchandise in the disputed Suez Canal during the 1951 Egypt-Israel conflict and our desire to support the 1962 Indo-China war effort with no profit supplies we stalled our plans, till finally, with orders in hand, we renewed our efforts in 1962.
1964 witnessed the birth of our flagship company, Zaz Tannery. Since then, we have continued to grow and decades later we know that the technical advancement is but a process of evolution, our quality a function of that evolution. Many factories, losses and victories later, we are proud to have been involved and to have made our little contribution to so relevant an ingredient to our civilization.
Iftikhar Husain since 1972 spent 8 years in the family Tanning business and from 1980 has been a manufacturer of Safety Shoes Uppers and Shoes taking care of production and Exports to UK, Europe, USA and Australia. In 2000 established an equestrian division, manufacturing all kinds of Saddles and accessories for the Horse Industry of USA, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia.
Today we have expanded the Zaz Group to include Zaz Tannery, Zazman Exports, Zaz Mustang & Zaz And Zaz Pvt.Ltd. & ZAZ World. All leaders in their own right all independent and equipped, to face the new challenges of the millennium. The size and volume increases, but the fundamental remains.