Indian toy industry needs PLI key to become a toymaker for the world

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai, Sep 8 (IANS): With increasing exports, growing domestic market, near absence of imports from China, emergence of mega toy cluster, Indian toy industry is poised to become the toy maker world, said industry experts.

According to them, a small boost from central government in the form of a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) program is the need of the hour that would have a multiplier effect.

“We ship toys for global majors. Global toy majors now see India as a stable supply point outside of China. India is a huge country and not limited by space or men unlike many other small countries,” said Chief Rajeev Kaul. The operating officer and managing director of Aequs Private Ltd told IANS.

“Global toy companies have increased their sourcing from India. Our exports are growing exponentially. We manufacture toys for overseas gamers and also ship our own branded toys,” Funskool India CEO R. Jeswant told IANS. .

Revenue of Rs 231 crore Funskool earned Rs 145 crore from exports and Rs 86 crore from domestic sales.

“For the current year, we hope to earn Rs 175 crore from exports on a targeted turnover of Rs 275 crore,” Jeswant added.

With increasing demand – both export and domestic, Funskool is expanding its production facilities in Ranipet. The company also has a large factory in Goa.

“We export to over 30 countries, including the United States and Europe. Ten more overseas markets will be added soon,” Jeswant said.

Similarly, Micro Plastics India has announced a new toy factory in Hosur in Tamil Nadu at an outlay of Rs 500 crore.

Aequs, meanwhile, is also setting up a huge facility in Koppal to make toys for the domestic market — for its own brands and to make toys for others, officials said.

Jeswant said BJP government initiatives such as raising import duty to 66%, mandatory BIS certification of overseas toy manufacturing units to supply India have given much needed boost to Indian manufacturers.

“It all started with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s radio show ‘Maan ki Baat’ in 2020, where he expressed his desire to make India a global toy hub,” Jeswant said.

Industry officials like Kaul and Jeswant said that once volumes resume, most raw materials – paints, plastics and resins – will be available domestically, while some are now imported.

Aequs started digitally printing/painting dolls, which increases the production collector while reducing waste.

“For the past five years, we have focused on contract manufacturing for global toy manufacturers,” Kaul said.

Aequs makes toys for global majors like Hasbro and others.

The group has a toy production factory of around 4.5 lakh square feet in its Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Belagavi in ​​Karnataka.

Aequs Group is developing a 450 acre toy mega cluster – 60% SEZ and 40% Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) – in Koppal – the area known for Kinnal toys – in Karnataka.

Officials told IANS that the group will have about 6 lakh toy manufacturing facilities in Koppal – 1.4 lakh square feet for DTA and about 4.6 lakh square feet in SEZ.

According to Aequs officials, the group offers plug-and-play facilities for toymakers. Facilities are designed to suit customers.

“If necessary, the group also provides the units with the necessary manpower,” an Aequs official said.

The toy cluster also has a 60,000 square foot incubation center for startups.

“The Koppal toy cluster may have around 100 units and provide direct employment for 25,000 people,” an Aequs official told IANS.

The toy cluster has already attracted component manufacturer Viscon Polymers.

Apart from toymakers, the central government should also include infrastructure developers under the PLI scheme, an Aequs official added.

In addition to offering manufacturing facilities, the Koppal Toy Cluster will also offer accommodation facilities for workers and office staff.

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