Priority for Indian manufacturers is quality and not price

Nearly 300 organised players in India’s toy industry are witnessing a rise in business following a growing awareness of the ill effects of toxic toys , according to industry players .

Multi-national company Mattel Toys, which is a dominant player in India, is seeing its business growing by 50 per cent per year for last two years — despite the general gloom in the domestic economy — as more people are buying safe toys for their children. “We have a subsidiary and also have (contract) manufacturing in India. That happens only in two or three markets in the world.

This speaks of the uniqueness of the opportunities of the Indian market. It is a nascent market but it is an incredible fast growing place in the toys world,” Peter Broegger, Senior Vice-President & General Manager, Asia Pacific, Mattel East Asia Ltd., told The Hindu.

“For the last two years, we have been growing at a rate of 50 per cent,” said Mr. Broegger, who was here to attend Kids India, a toy exhibition in the country.

He said while emerging markets were growing at 12 per cent, the Indian toy industry, estimated to be in the range of $750 million to $1 billion, had been growing at 19 per cent for the past five years.

Mr. Broegger said that company’s strategy of selling Indian toy characters manufactured locally and designing unique toys for Indian children had paid off. “The fast-growing middle class is spending. What worked to our benefit is our strategy to develop products specifically for India to address the income gap opportunities,” he added.

“We are making toys that are relevant for all sections of customers. By working with partners in India, we have made toys affordable. Our motto is to provide safe toys to every child. While our toy range starts from Rs. 60 to Rs. 15,000, we have consumer products that start from Rs. 10. This strategy has translated volume for us. Today when people are talking about tough economic conditions and not having enough growth, ask us. We are growing by 50 per cent,” said Karun Gera, Country Manager, Mattel Toys (India).

According to the All-India Toys Manufacturing Association, Indian toy companies are showing remarkable growth despite tough competition from the global market.

“The Indian market is moving into a mature stage and today the priority of Indian manufacturers is quality and not price. The growing prosperity of Indian population is pushing up sales,” said Vivek Jhangiani, President, All-India Toys Manufacturing Association.

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