Economy

‘Toy Fair will showcase India as a manufacturing and sourcing hub’

NARAYANAN V Chennai | Updated on February 24, 2021

India’s first ever Toy Fair will be held virtually between February 27 and March 2

India’s first Toy Fair will not just offer a platform for the domestic toy manufacturers to display their range to the global audience, but will also provide an opportunity to showcase India as a major sourcing hub for global brands, say leading players in the Indian industry.

“The Toy Fair can serve the purpose of showcasing our capabilities to the global toy manufacturers and becoming a bigger destination to source toys from,” R Jeswant, CEO of Funskool, told BusinessLine.

“There can also be distribution opportunities to cater to the domestic markets and identify partners to manufacture global toy brands in India,” he added.

One of India's leading toy manufacturing company, promoted by the MRF Group, Funskool sells a whole range of international toys from Hasbro, LeapFrog, Tomy, Ravensburger and Siku besides housing licensed products from Disney, Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon etc. Funskool also has a range of own brands like Giggles, Fun Dough and Handycrafts .

Government support

Last week, the Government of India had announced that the country’s first ever Toy Fair will be held virtually between February 27 and March 2. The fair, aimed at promoting the domestic toy industry under the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign, will include a virtual exhibition of over 1,000 stalls, knowledge sessions and webinars on diverse topics such as toy-based learning, craft demonstrations, competitions and product launches.

 

Shobhit Singh, Director of Gujarat-based Stone Sapphire India, believes that such toy fairs, with active government participation, will also help global toy brands to consider shifting their manufacturing base to India. Stone Sapphire manufactures and distributes arts, craft and stationery kits for children under the brand ‘Skoodle’.

“ There is a genuine interest and policy focus on creating awareness about our manufacturing capabilities as a nation by the Government of India,” Singh said, adding, “The platform looks promising for B2B connections and trade talks amongst all big and small ventures.”

Funskool’s Jeswant said that the government has been quite active in promoting the domestic toy industry through various means such as regular seminars and webinars, duty hike on imported toys and creation of several toy manufacturing clusters to boost India's traditional toy industry among other measures.

In Budget 2020, the government increased the import duty on toys (including surcharge and cess) to 66 per cent (from 22 per cent). It also brought in Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) regulation for imports, which requires importers to certify the factories from where the products are sourced.

According to estimates, 65-70 per cent of all toys that come into India are imported and a majority of them are from China. While the global toy industry is estimated to be around $90 billion, Indian toy market, at retail value, is only about $450 million.

“China is the biggest manufacturer of toys in the world, and they address the global market. But when we talk about Indian toy manufacturers, it’s a fledgling industry and we are just coming up,” Jeswant said, adding, “We just scratched the surface and the market for Indian traditional toys will grow in double-digit CAGR over the next few years.”

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Published on February 24, 2021
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