In the recent military escalation, the Indian government slashed china by blocking its websites and apps stating Prejudicial to sovereignty, Integrity and Security in national interests. Also, India is moving towards self-reliance in the manufacturing sector to reduce imports and increase exports. Whatever the reasons, becoming self-reliance in the manufacturing sector will have multiple benefits. Apart from the manufacturing sector as a whole, the toy manufacturing is mostly restricted to traditional & cultural customs only. However, the PM of India addressing the manufacturing of toys will have a significant emphasis in this sector.
China’s share in India’s toy market is almost 85%-90%. An official estimate of toys import to India stands at $1.5 billion or could be more. The main reason is that Chinese toys are cheap and attractive. However, quality standards are seriously questionable. India increased import duty on Chinese toys from 20% to 60%, 200% hike which could shot up prices heavily. Further, all the imported toys should get tested and certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories(NABL).
India’s toy market
The India’s toy market stands at $2.5 billion and the global level, it would $120 billion by 2023. India wants to be a key player in this market. As a first step towards, the Toy city near Greater Noida has been proposed under the National Programme for Development of Toy Industry(NPDTI) which is first of it’s kind. Indigenous toys in India are very rich in culture and traditional values and still use the same methods to craft. Mostly called Handicrafts are still made by hands and wood.
Also there are other unbeatable crafts can’t be made elsewhere in the world except in India. The indigenous wooden crafts adhered only to traditional customs from forefathers. Wooden crafts made in India are world-famous yet, they significantly failed to replace with plastic. Most of the wooden crafts made are used for decorative, gifts, showcasing and only a few were playable. Also the material used wood is becoming scarce since there is no sustainable production culturing or plantation. The artisans in this sector lacked technology and innovation, machinery, financial assistance, marketing and promotion. All these disadvantages were fulfilled by cheap plastic and other circuits being imported from China that flooded the Indian toy market.
The recent trends in toy markets are motivated by digital trends that include movies and video games. Also, considerable parents are showing interests in educational toys for the cognitive development of children. Concentrating on age group based toys, psychometric of children will give insights on necessary toy production. The age group 5-12 years occupy a quarter of the toy market.
However, still, India has great potential in the toy sector. Indian artisans are highly skilled in crafting. All artisans in this sector can be brought under a common platform to start a sustainable production without compromising global quality standards and materials using. All the mini and small manufacturing units can be labelled under the MSME sector so that they can have financial credit by institutions. Introducing technology and machinery in this sector could have a significant impact on production. Further, children and environment safe plastic can be promoted. The children safe toys with natural colours can become a way to learn culture and Heritage. An in-depth study is necessary to have clear informetrics in the toy sector.