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The Prime Minister of India pushed for the increased domestic production of toys and increasing India’s share in the global toy market, mentioning about country’s lag in toys manufacturing. Modi’s call for indigenous manufacturing of toys generated a lot of curiosity and garnered support from key decision makers in the industry, bringing toys manufacturing to central stage in the Indian manufacturing sector.
The demand for toys in the Indian market is huge, while the domestic production is very less. Indian toy manufacturing industry is currently valued around Rs. 5000 to 6000 crores, which is less than 1 percent of global toy industry’s value. Indian toy manufacturing industry accounts to only 25 percent of the domestic demand and India mainly imports from China. India is so dependent on China for toys that, if the supply from China is stopped then retailers in India will hardly meet the demands of customers in the country. India has recently witnessed decline in the import of several goods including the toys from China for various reasons such as Covid-19 pandemic, border tensions, increased tariffs on imports, etc. At the same time, the demand for toys in the country increased drastically in the last few months, with children staying at homes due to nation-wide lockdown, making it difficult for retailers to cater to the demand.
Time for Local Manufactures to Capture Huge Domestic Toys Market
Some of the established toy manufacturers in the country have scaled up their manufacturing activities to increase the production. However, this is not enough to meet the demand, considering the huge Indian toy market. Currently there are exists around 3,500 toy manufacturers in the country, out which over 60 percent operate in the unorganized sector. So, now is the time for businesses to enter into toy manufacturing, given the huge demand and low production in the country. This is a great opportunity for MSMEs in the country with government placing emphasis on the toy manufacturing and MSME sector at the same time. This is what Narendra Modi means when he said that the toys market in the country is so vast that it can accommodate cottage industries and MSMEs along with big enterprises. The government has mandated the toy manufacturers and importers to comply with Quality Control obligations of Bureau of Indian Standards in order to meet safety standards of the country. The government has also proposed to raise import duty on toys like dolls, puzzles, tricycles, etc. from 20 to 60 percent. These decisions which will majorly impacts retailers importing toys from China could help to minimize the import of toys and boost local manufacturing.
Karnataka to India’s First Toys Manufacturing Cluster
In line with Narendra Modi’s pitch for toys manufacturing in the country, the Government of Karnataka has announced setting up India’s first toy manufacturing cluster in Koppal, which is famous for Kinhal toys. The cluster with self-sustained ecosystem will act as a one-stop destination for toys manufacturing companies, both large scale businesses and MSMEs, catering to end-to-end requirements of the industry like design, moulding, painting, PCBS, printing and packaging. The cluster will have easy access to sea ports, highways, railways and airports to facilitate the transport of manufactured goods. The toy manufacturing cluster which will be established in an area of 400 acres is expected to commence operations by third-quarter of 2020.
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