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NEW DELHI : The Indian toy market, which is currently estimated at $1 billion, has the potential to double itself by 2025, according to a FICCI-KPMG report.

The report ‘State of play: India’s toy story- Unboxing fun and beyond’ said India could also target a 2% share of global exports by 2025. There is high growth potential for India in exports of plastic toys and board games in the US, EU and Middle East among other markets.

The report presents a detailed overview of the Indian toy industry focusing both on demand and supply-side measures needed to make India a global toy manufacturing hub.  

While globalization has expanded market access for raw materials and finished goods, the covid-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of global firms procuring from a single source market, it said. The established need for de-risking supply chains has presented India with another opportunity to embrace its heritage and inherent advantages in skill and technology to become a global player in the industry.

“Toys have been an integral part of Indian culture and heritage. While the desire to play is as unabated today as ever before, the global toy industry has come a long way. The nature and techniques of play are fast evolving, keeping pace with changes in technology and market demands. Toys categories such as Dolls, Soft toys, Baby & Infant and Pre-school are highly labor intensive with good potential for manufacturing capabilities in India and easy to penetrate export market, except for items that require decorations and similar value additions where the productivity levels are significantly lower (30-40%) than China," the report said.

The report observed that digital & technology advancement in toys is leading to rising application of Artificial Intelligence, especially in STEM Toys. “India has limited manufacturing capability in battery operated, electronic and technology-based toys but can be scaled up in medium to long-term period. Labor intensive sub-segments constituting 50-60% of toys market can scale up immediately in India, giving an indigenization push to these segments which could, therefore, provide enormous impetus to job creation. There is also a significant scope for growth in gross value addition with inclusion of unregistered units in India," it said.

While states across the country are spearheading initiatives to nurture toy manufacturing ecosystems as well as developing and marketing new toy clusters, heralding a significant change in domestic toy manufacturing, the desired model for India is to incentivize global as well as domestic players to build end-to-end, integrated manufacturing facilities, the report said.

The report suggested a phased manufacturing programme for making India self-relliant; strategic tie-ups with global players to leverage science, technology, engineering, art, and math toys; creation and implementation of a dedicated toy policy; setting up of a nodal agency like “National Creative Hub (C-Hub)"; and increasing testing and certification facilities.

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