APN News

  • Sunday, September, 2021| Today's Market | Current Time: 04:18:03
  • By Vick Rana, Group Chairman, Red Ridge Global

    For several years now, multiple central and state governments have placed a lot of emphasis on boosting India’s manufacturing capabilities. This is done with an intention to both cut down the dependency on imports and buttress India’s growing export portfolio. Over the course of the last two decades, along with cutting red tape and easing regulations that often impeded businesses, several government schemes have been launched to aid entrepreneurs who aim to set up manufacturing facilities in the country. The most pertinent schemes in recent times have been initiatives like ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, ’Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’, all of which have in different ways sought to boost manufacturing.

    The drive to aid manufacturing extends to several sectors and industries. Among other things, India imports from China and the rest of the world, almost 80% of toys sold in India are imported from China.

    India is blessed with an abundance of raw materials and land and several experts in the field concur that if local players are encouraged, dedicated parks could be set up in India purely for the manufacturing of toys. A burgeoning industry, there is an ever-growing demand for toys and accessories. As the much-documented ‘young Indian population’ starts to start families, the demand for toys is expected to grow multifold. Such is the demand that as per figures provided by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the annual turnover of the Indian toy industry is pegged at Rs 25,000 crore. However, 65% of this market has been captured by the Chinese toy industry. Hence, setting up commercial manufacturing parks seem a viable proposition to investors and entrepreneurs who have predicted that parks can even reach turnovers of Rs 5,000 crore within a year while creating sustainable employment opportunities for at least 50,000 people.

    The potential for employment generation is understandably huge as toy manufacturing units facilities usually set up infrastructure in the four following processes required — plastic moulding, stamping, building electronic and electric components and aluminium die-casting. Since a lot of these processes require significant amounts of human labour, they are naturally excellent engines of job creation. A secondary impact toy dedicated Indian toy parks can have is how they interface with the existing manufacturing framework. India has for several centuries, been home to highly skilled artisans who have been creating hand-made toys, artefacts and collectables. Not only is this section of the workforce representative of India’s cultural heritage and tradition, but they also possess an extremely rare skill set that is in danger of being lost, if adequate and definitive measures are not taken to protect. For several years now, forced to compete with buck-produced, machine-made toys, these artisans have been on the losing end of a battle where the playing field massively disadvantages them. Developing dedicated toy building facilities will give Indian governments and Indian businesses an opportunity to ensure that these artisans have a protected market for their hand-made toys.

    Excited by opportunities such as these, as per reports, several state governments including those of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan are considering sanctioning the building of dedicated toy parks. In addition, the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) has already been reported to be in the process of organising feasibility studies to understand the needs for such a project. Here’s hoping that other governments and agencies follow suit and these projects see the light of the day sooner than later. It is indeed in India’s interests that every Indian child plays with a toy that is proudly stamped — Made in India!