Buoyed by the Prime Minister’s (PM) call for developing innovative ‘toys and games’ in India for making the country a global toy hub, a leading toy manufacturer said that it saw a bright future for the sector.“The PM’s speech focussed more on the Indian toy sector and this will give a fillip to domestic toy manufacturing companies,” R. Jeswant, CEO, Funskool (India) Ltd. told The Hindu. “We see a bright future for the Indian toy manufacturing firms and the country can be a hub for the industry as a lot of initiatives are set to follow the PM’s speech,” he added.Since April, Funskool exports had grown exponentially following a surge in sourcing by international majors. However, the domestic volume was impacted by the pandemic. Currently, the company exports about 60% of its production. Going forward, it would strive to keep it 50:50 (domestic production and exports). Funskool has has three units — one in Goa and two in Ranipet in Tamil Nadu. Each year, Funskool develops about 60-70 products comprising plastic-moulded toys, board games, puzzles and wooden toys, among others. This year, the number could go up to 120 following the recent hike in duty on imported toys and the company’s focus on the domestic market.“We have a two-pronged strategy,” said Mr. Jeswant. “First, to build a strong base in the domestic market through our own brands and secondly, to serve as a sourcing point for major international brands.”“For this, we have set up a full-fledged design and development centre. The second unit in Ranipet caters mainly to exports. If there is demand, we will certainly look at expanding it,” he said.To a question on digital games, he said they might look at the possibility of entering the segment, if they sensed an opportunity. “The world toy market is estimated to be $90 billion, and we have a share of 0.5%. There is enough scope for exports. With good support, we can grow by leaps and bounds in the future,” said Mr. Jeswant.
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