Exports of toys from India increased 239 per cent over the last eight years to $326 million in 2022-23 from $96 million in 2014-15 while imports declined 52 per cent to $159 million from $332 million in the same period because of a combination of measures including import tariff increase and quality control, per a case study on the ‘success story of made in India toys’ carried out by IIM Lucknow on behalf of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

In the next eight years, around 12 per cent compounded annual growth rate is expected in the toy sector and exports are likely to increase to $3 billion by 2028.

“After the PM’s call (to focus on the toy sector), an inter-ministerial committee chalked out action points for promotion of toys. There were many interventions in toy clusters to improve their manufacturing capacities. Tariff on imported toys were increased from 20 per cent to 60 per cent. To stop dumping of sub-standard products, quality control orders were brought in,” said Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary, DPIIT, at a press briefing on Thursday. In the toy sector we have seen a re-birth or revival, he added.

Efforts of the government enabled creation of a more conducive manufacturing ecosystem for the Indian toy industry, the report pointed out. From 2014 to 2020, these efforts led to doubling of the number of manufacturing units, reduction in dependence on imported inputs from 33 per cent to 12 per cent, increase in gross sales value by a CAGR of 10 per cent, and overall rise in labour productivity, the report added.

As the toy sector got integrated into the global toy value chain, India has also started emerging as a top exporting nation, the report further stated. Zero-duty market access for domestically manufactured toys in countries including UAE and Australia is set to give a further export boost. 

“The report stated that in order to position India as a viable alternative to current toy hubs of the world, including China and Vietnam, consistent collaborative efforts of the toy industry and the government are essential for advancements in technology, embracing e-commerce, encouraging partnerships and exports, investing in brand-building, engaging with educators and parents to communicate with children, valuing cultural diversity and collaborating with regional artisans,” per a statement released by the Commerce & Industry Ministry.