Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 4:

Indian toys, with their ‘low price and high quality’, have been overtaking Chinese toys in the global market. In an exclusive interview with The Himalayan Times, representatives of the Toy Association of India (TAI), an association of 700 toy manufacturers, shared their views about the increasing market share of Indian toys in SAARC and other countries. About 800 buyers will be taking part in an exhibition scheduled to be held on July 2, 3 and 4 at Kolkata, which is to propagate the theme ‘Business of Play’ (BoP). The exhibition, however, will not be open for public as it is specially managed for businesspersons with a B2B concept, says Rajesh Arora, chairman at Fairs and Promotional Activities of The Toy Association of India (TAI).

Over 80-toy manufacturing companies are going to exhibit their products in all categories of toy products, informed Sunil Garg, chairman, Newsletter and Public Relations of TAI. Buyers are, according to the organisers, invited from neighbouring SAARC countries, including Nepal and Bangladesh through different chamber of commerce and Indian consulates to publicise the ‘Toy Biz Kolkata’. There is also a subsidy of Rs 250 per day for outstation buyers, other than from Kolkota and 24 Parganas, who confirm their participation latest by 25th June 2004 to the TAI office. Arora said that the fair will be international in nature where businesspersons from around SAARC will be invited to sample products, which are low in price but superior in quality.

Over 2,000 toy products from various categories will be exhibited at the exhibition, he informed. This time, the Kolkota exhibition is focusing on promoting the regional markets, especially SAARC as over 30 per cent of the products will be new ones, the organisers informed. The exhibition is aimed at helping build market linkages for the toy industry. The event, according to organisers, is expected to provide great opportunities for buyers and sellers to promote business. Business card visitors will get free entry to the exhibition. Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) and UNIDO are supporting the event. Talking about competition, Arora said, “China is competiting with us. However, with our fast penetration of the market with high-quality and low-price products, China is falling behind in recent years.”

Indian toys are being exported to Europe, SAARC, South Africa, Australia, USA and other countries. TAI was established about 14 years back and is focusing its activities on the promotion of toy products. Indian toy industry is traditionally labour intensive and its total turnover is estimated to be over $400 million annually. Indian toy industry’s annual growth is 20 per cent. Most of the toys being produced by Indian manufacturers are made of plastic. These include include mechanical and activity toys, plastic and soft dolls, plush/stuff toys, board games/puzzlers, wooden toys, metal/tin toys and electronic and battery operated toys.

Toy export from India is estimated to be over $25 million annually.