Indian toy industry on the up

As more toy companies export their products into India, the territory’s steady growth is set to continue. Pritam Sarkar from Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services gives his view
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The Indian toy industry is definitely growing and we are witnessing this phenomenon every day in our testing laboratory in Noida.

The toy industry has experienced steady growth in the last decade and this is reflected in the number of samples received for testing.

Last year alone we have seen a 20 per cent growth in the number of samples submitted.

Indian manufacturers are becoming increasingly more quality conscious and are heavily focused on meeting the safety requirements of their international buyers.

On the domestic market, Indian manufacturers are fighting back imports of cheaper Chinese toys. We are undeniably seeing more and more manufacturers exporting.

It is acknowledged that the Indian toy industry presents many competitive advantages including its skilled and educated workforce, its focus on design and innovation, its production adaptability and the variety of the products on offer.

The main export markets are currently the United States, the UK and Germany. This is reflected in the samples we test in our laboratory.

The main sourcing hubs in India are Mumbai, Noida, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune.

In our laboratory, we receive a large volume of plastic, paper-based, wooden and soft toys.

There are great things happening in the Indian toy industry at the moment and a real buzz was felt at the Toy Biz Fair at the end of July, at which we exhibited.

This year, the event showcased the latest innovations in toys, from infant products to children’s books through to stationery and arts and crafts products.

There was great interest around toy safety and many visitors were asking about compliance strategies for the Indian Standards (IS) and, of course, for the new chemical requirements of the EU Toy Safety Directive (that came into application on July 20th 2013) which are proving to be challenging for the global toy industry as a whole.

Pritam Sarkar is marketing communications manager at Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services. He can be contacted on pritam.sarkar@in.bureauveritas.com.

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