The Toy Industry’s Make in India Moment | Latest Delhi News

Until two years ago, Jitender Singh was one of Delhi’s largest toy traders at Sadar Bazar, importing goods worth 2 crore per month from China.

In January this year, he set up his own toy manufacturing unit in Kundli in Sonepat. Spread over 35,000 square feet over four floors, the factory has a range of machinery, including high capacity injection moulders. It is late afternoon and more than 150 men and women are working on the assembly lines.

“Government policies over the past two years have made it much easier to be a manufacturer than an importer of toys. Previously, 95% of the toys in my store in Sadar Bazar were Chinese; now 100% of them are made here in my own factory,” says Singh, sitting in his factory, which he runs with his daughters Muskan and Jasmita Chug.

“In 8 months, we have already made around fifty different toys. Over the next few weeks, we aim to manufacture over 100 varieties of toys,” says 22-year-old Muskan, showing off a range of toys, including radio-controlled cars, educational keyboards and prancing frogs, produced under the Gooyo brand. Each toy is engraved Made in India and their packaging bears the symbol of the lion Make-in-India.

Singh isn’t the only toy importer to become a manufacturer in the past two years. India’s toy industry, which has been nearly decimated by Chinese imports over the past two decades, is showing signs of recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic. Toy factories in the National Capital Region, some of which were recently launched by importers such as Chug in areas such as Narela, Bawana, Kirti Nagar, Noida and Sahibabad, are as busy as ever, with orders exceeding by far their abilities.

NCR has more than 100 small and medium toy companies. Most of these companies, which were struggling to survive until a few years ago, are now in an expansion phase, and they attribute the turnaround in their situation to a series of government interventions over the past two years, such as a rise in basic prices Customs duties of 20% to 60% and certification of toys by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), among others.

In 2018-2019, India’s toy imports stood at $371 million, which drastically dropped to $110 million in 2021-22 in the aftermath of the pandemic, a drop of over 70, 35%, the Department of Commerce said in a statement last week.

Sabarjeet Singh, who runs Centy Toys, a company that makes scale models of more than 100 Indian transport vehicles, including rickshaws, buses, cars and trains, among others, says his sales have more than quadrupled in the last three years.

“Three years ago it was around 7 crore a year, and we’re about to touch almost 30 crore this year,” says Singh. The company’s office in the industrial area of ​​Kirti Nagar looks like a small transport museum. “We recently started exporting to Australia.”

Singh has increased its manufacturing capacity several times over the past two years, setting up three new manufacturing units in Delhi’s Bawana Industrial Zone and increasing its workforce from 100 to 300. The factory also has a internal laboratory, with equipment for cutting edges. edge test, drop test, torque test and accessibility probes, to perform toy testing in accordance with new government BIS guidelines.

“The government’s decision to make BIS certification mandatory for all manufacturers, including foreign manufacturers, has become a major trade barrier for Chinese toys in India, which helps Indian toy manufacturers a lot,” Singh said.

On February 25, 2020, the Union Government issued a Toys (Quality Control) Ordinance, subjecting toys to mandatory BIS certification from January 1, 2021. As part of BIS product certification, only foreign manufacturers whose manufacturing and testing capability has been assessed as satisfactory by BIS can obtain a BIS license and export toys to India.

“The country aims to be a major producer as well as an exporter of toys due to its huge potential for capturing markets as well as employment. To achieve this, the government made a series of interventions,” said a Commerce Ministry official on condition of anonymity. According to the official, these interventions include the publication of 10 standards by the Bureau of Indian Standards, seven of which are part of its Toy Safety Quality Control Ordinance which came into effect on January 1, 2021. Other interventions include mandatory sample testing of each export shipment as required by the General Directorate of Foreign Trade.

“This created a huge demand for ISI-marked toys. Until a few years ago, Indian toy manufacturers used to go to traders and beg them to sell their toys,” says Naresh Kumar Gautam, Vice President of the Toy Association of India and Founder of Little Genius Toys, one of the largest wooden toy companies, with a manufacturing unit in Toy City in Greater Noida.

“Today, retailers are turning to manufacturers, who are unable to meet the growing demand from retailers and toy brands. Today, almost all manufacturers in the organized sector are booked for at least three months. The change can also be gauged by the fact that at the annual Toy Biz International, a global B2B toy fair organized by our association in 2019, 93 out of 113 exhibitors were foreign companies, but this year at the show, which was completed on July 5, almost all 93 stalls were set up by Indian toy companies,” says Gautam.

Over the past two years, Gautam has worked to expand its manufacturing capacity and last week added a new 14,000 square foot floor to its factory, which now has 51,000 square feet spread over four floors. “Every toymaker is a mode of expansion, and those who had closed their factories in the past two decades are reviving them. About 137 toymakers have purchased land in the upcoming Toy Park along the Yamuna Expressway” Manufacturers say the pandemic, which has led to global supply chain disruptions, has prompted the union government to relaunch its Make in India initiative, with a particular focus on the toy sector “The prime minister’s continued focus on local toy making over the past two years has given us a huge boost,” says Gautam.

Sunny Singh, a toy importer in Sadar Bazar who started manufacturing two years ago, is currently looking for space to start another factory. But for him, the transition from being an importer to that of a toy manufacturer was difficult.

“The new BIS rules for toys have left importers like us no choice but to get into manufacturing,” he says. “While I had been importing for many years, I knew next to nothing about manufacturing. And with so many compliances, I always find that running a factory is so much more difficult than importing,” says Sunny Singh, who runs Awals Creations, previously the name of his toy trading business in Sadar Bazar, but now also the name of its manufacturing unit in Delhi’s Naraina Industrial Zone, where it also does contract manufacturing for other toy manufacturers.

Traders at Sadar Bazar, Delhi’s toy wholesale hub, say Indian manufacturers currently lack the capacity to meet demand. Balkrishan, a toy dealer in the market, says that over the past two years he has had to switch from selling toys made in China to toys made in India.

“Because even foreign manufacturing units need BIS certification, importing toys is nearly impossible at present. Unlike 2020, where 95% of the toys in my shop were imported, now almost 100% are made in India, and quite a significant portion of them are made in factories in Noida and Bawana in Delhi. But my business is down 60% because there are not enough toys from Indian manufacturers,” says Balkrishan, who has a toy store in Sadar Bazar. “Furthermore, very few manufacturers can match the quality of imported toys. They need to improve their game quickly.

Deepak Vats, one of India’s largest makers of pichakari (water guns used on Holi) in Narela, Delhi, says there is a need for research and development in the toy sector in the country. Starting with a squirt gun, over the past two years he has grown to manufacture over 40 different types of toys, including batteries, wheels, ring catchers, six pin bowling sets, baby swings and magic pathways, among others.

Vats, a mechanical engineer, is one of the few toy makers in Delhi who make their own molds. The toy-making process, Vats explains, begins with the creation of molds in the tool room, which has a computer numerical control (CNC) machining center and several hand lathes, drills and milling machines.

The mold is then transported to the injection molding and blow molding machines. Plastic pellets are fed into these machines to be melted. The hot molten plastic is projected by the machine into the mold cavities. Then it cools, hardens, and now a solid object – part of the toy – is ejected.

“It’s the quality of the mould, the quality of the plastic pellets and the machining that determine the fineness of a toy. Most toys in India are made by small and medium industries,” says Vats. “The government should bring together engineering institutes and MSMEs in the toy sector on a common platform for the development of special-purpose machinery to increase the productivity and quality of toys. In addition, we must be self-sufficient in the production of electronic chips and motors for toys, which continue to be imported from China.

Meanwhile, Jitender Singh is already looking for 10 acres of land around Sonepat, Haryana to set up a big factory there. “I am determined to match China’s economy of scale in toys.”

About Lola C. Chapman

Check Also

Orijin Bees is buzzing with success in the toy industry

With close family ties to West Africa – in particular, Cabo Verde and Ghana – …