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Expansive opportunity for Indian and global companies in Indian toy market: Smriti Zubin Irani

Feb 12, 2021

NEW DELHI, 12 February 2021: Ms Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister for Women & Child Development and Textiles, Govt of India today said that there is expansive opportunity for both Indian as well as global companies to invest in the Indian toy sector.

Addressing the virtual 2nd edition of FICCI Seminar on Value of Play � Toys and Games in the New Normal Scenario, Ms Irani said that we (Government and industry), under the aegis of FICCI Toys Committee, need to articulate incessantly on issues concerning the pedagogical impacts of toys. "One of the biggest challenges for the industry indigenously is the massive influx of toys from overseas. Given the current industry estimates, between $ 1-1.5 billion, to have most of their revenue from imported toys tells us the expansive opportunity that is before us," she added.

Highlighting the impact of digital play during the pandemic, Ms Irani urged the FICCI Toys Committee to help reflect on the digital play impact, especially on the consuming base in the country.

Ms Irani stated that the National Education Policy also speaks about the joy of learning with toys. Children between the age of 3-8 years will learn with toys, transform their educational experiences such that outcomes are strengthened and better, she stated.

India, she said, has a large number of families in the middle-income group as one of the largest consuming sections. We should also explore the price points that can attract these consumers to toys that are Made in India, she added.

Speaking on India Toy Fair 2021, Ms Irani said that over 1000 companies have come on board, including some of the biggest national and international brands. The Ministry of Education is engaging with states, schools, boards, and institutions for enhanced participation from the consumer of toys- parents and children. "Through this platform when a parent or child engages with the company to pick a toy, they will also have access to the map of India that has mapped toy needs and pedagogical impact of that toy, which is locally available from pre-school to higher education. This is first being done in our country," she noted.

Ms Irani further stated that we have had knowledge systems unique to our country that have never been transformed through cultural creatives in the Indian toy industry. "That transformational journey will begin with the India Toy Fair 2021. FICCI's journey that takes pedagogical needs of over 249 million school going children and marries it with the needs of the Indian toy industry, is to be lauded," she added.

Mr Uday Shankar, President, FICCI said that COVID-19 has been a major set-back for this sector and the industry is hoping to see recovery with the measures taken by the Government to revive demand in general in the economy. "FICCI remains committed to providing quality and safe toys to our children. We are happy to bring in world's best experience in the sector for developing a quality and safe ecosystem for the sector in the country and make it Atmanirbhar," he added.

Mr Anil Agrawal, Additional Secretary, DPIIT said that they are looking at supporting toy design based on Indian culture. He urged the industry to look at specific issues of Ease of Doing business impacting the toy industry. Government is also looking at developing toy clusters, he said.

Mr Vivek Jhangiani, Chair, FICCI Toy Sector Committee and Managing Partner, United IC (United Toys) said that we are closely working with DPIIT and have presented a roadmap for scaling up toy manufacturing in the country and encourage both domestic and global manufacturers to make India a sourcing hub. "We, in the toy industry, are extremely grateful to the government for selecting toy sector as one of the champion sectors and providing support at the highest level," he added.

Mr Bhavesh Somaya, Co-Chair, FICCI Toy Sector Committee and GM, Hasbro South Asia said that modern play has become a multi-dimensional and multi-layered experience, where narratives and characters flow easily between different play-spaces.

Mr R Ramanan, Mission Director & Additional Secretary, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog said that the government and the Atal Innovation Mission are focusing on toys and games as a medium of stimulating creativity innovation and capabilities of our young people. The Atal Tinkering Labs are the first step as the National Education Policy rolls out its program of ensuring that toys give simulation, whether it is digital play or physical play.

Ms Alka Nangia Arora, Joint Secretary MSME, shared various schemes of the Ministry to support toy sector and also urged the industry to collaborate with the Technology Centres of MSME Department.

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