Navigating India’s Toy Commerce: TAI’s Vision and Impact

Editor - CyberMedia Research

Editor - CyberMedia Research

– By Tanisha Saxena

The Toy Association of India (TAI) stands as the paramount authority within India’s vibrant toy industry, proudly representing over 5000 dedicated members. This esteemed collective comprises individuals with varying degrees of involvement, from Normal members with limited privileges to esteemed Primary, Patron, and Life members. Within this diverse tapestry, TAI’s membership boasts a rich tapestry of manufacturers, exporters, importers, and traders spanning wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, alongside vital testing units that span the nation’s vast expanse.

Notably, the majority of TAI’s members are cherished Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, reflecting the association’s commitment to supporting and uplifting these vital contributors to India’s economic landscape. TAI’s official recognition is underscored by its registration with The Registrar of Societies under the esteemed Government of Delhi, a validation of its enduring presence since its inception in June 1995.

In an engaging and enlightening conversation, a CMR representative got the privilege of discussing the current state and the promising future of India’s toy market with President (TAI) Mr Ajay Aggarwal and Chairman (TAI) Mr Manu Gupta. Their insights and expertise shed light on the dynamic landscape of the industry, offering a glimpse into the enchanting world of toys and its unfolding narrative in India.

Q1. Could you please provide an overview of the Toy Association of India and outline its primary objectives and mission? 

Ans. Our mission is to foster unity within the Toy Industry, facilitating seamless interaction between manufacturers and traders. We serve as a dedicated voice, articulating the industry’s challenges and needs to the Government of India, with a focus on recommending import/export policies and duties that safeguard the Toy Industry’s interests.

We are committed to establishing a harmonious working relationship between the industry and the government. Our aim is to empower toy manufacturers to upgrade their facilities with cutting-edge plants and machinery to ensure the highest standards of toy quality and safety.

Q2. How does the Toy Association of India actively support and promote the growth of the Indian toy industry?

Ans. We organise nationwide fairs and exhibitions to bring together manufacturers, traders, and end-users, serving as a bridge between importers and exporters. Additionally, we facilitate and coordinate participation in international toy fairs, enhancing global exposure.

Through seminars and workshops, we promote modernization and technical advancement within the industry. Our focus is also on fostering the formation of location-based clusters of small industrial units, enhancing their competitiveness against larger market players.

Furthermore, we advocate for the establishment of centralised designing and testing centres, ensuring the industry’s continued growth and innovation. Our commitment lies in pursuing these objectives with eloquence and precision, striving for a vibrant and flourishing Toy Industry in India.

Q3. Can you give a synopsis of the current status of the toy market in India?

Ans. The Indian toy industry, once a significant importer of toys, has undergone a remarkable transformation. It now proudly stands as a net exporter of toys, radiating economic promise. The government, recognizing its potential, has bestowed the status of a “champion sector” upon it, a distinction shared by only a select few.

Underpinning this burgeoning sector is a meticulously crafted national action plan, orchestrating the harmonious efforts of fourteen ministries, a symphony of collaboration that has been playing for a commendable eighteen months. This journey is further illuminated by the patronage of our honourable Prime Minister, who has passionately championed this industry’s cause.

India, with its claim to fame as the custodian of the world’s largest population of children under the age of fourteen, commands an awe-inspiring potential in the realm of the toy industry. One-third of the globe’s under-fourteen populace resides here, a demographic treasure trove awaiting imaginative playthings.

This ascent is not a solitary endeavour. With over 9,500 individuals registered under the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) banner, and more than 4,500 enlisted with the Department of Commerce (DC) handicrafts, it is a collective voyage towards excellence. Remarkably, there are nine Geographical Indication (GI) tag clusters in the domain of toys, a testament to the industry’s unique identity.

The heartwarming facet of this narrative is the livelihood it bestows, with a staggering 2.5 million souls finding sustenance through the toy industry, and more than half of them are the resilient women who grace this landscape with their talent and dedication. As the sun sets each day, the Indian toy industry takes a step closer to realising its boundless potential, embarking on a journey that promises prosperity, creativity, and joy to both the nation and the world. 

Q4. What is the impact of GST on the industry?

Ans. The exorbitant GST charges imposed on toys within India undeniably pose a substantial hurdle for the thriving toy industry. These divergent tax rates, with non-electronic toys bearing a 12% burden and electronic counterparts subject to a staggering 18%, cast a looming shadow over both manufacturers and consumers alike. Striking an equitable equilibrium between fostering industry growth and safeguarding tax revenues must be the foremost objective for both the sector and the government.

Q5.  Could you provide an overview of the significant changes that have taken place in the toy industry over the past decade?

Ans. The Indian toy industry has witnessed a remarkable transformation, achieving extraordinary export figures of $326.63 million in FY22, a substantial leap from the comparatively modest $96.17 million recorded in FY15. This meteoric rise can be attributed to the visionary policies of the Indian government, which wholeheartedly endorse the “Make in India” ethos.

Within the nation’s borders, the appetite for toys is experiencing an impressive surge, with projections indicating growth rates of 10-15%, far outpacing the global average of a mere 5%. This thriving domestic demand serves as a testament to India’s burgeoning love for playthings, setting the stage for a captivating narrative of industry expansion.

With such fervent demand propelling it forward, the Indian toy sector is poised for a dazzling ascent. It’s a tale of growth and prosperity, underscored by the unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, and, above all, the enduring joy that toys bring to the hearts of children and adults alike. 

Q6. What does the future hold for this industry? 

Ans. The resounding crescendo of optimism resonates within the corridors of the toy industry, courtesy of the government’s unwavering commitment to championing domestic toy production. As the sun rises over the Indian horizon, well-known international toy conglomerates have cast their eager gaze upon this burgeoning manufacturing hub, igniting a beacon of hope.

Throughout the year, monumental strides have been taken to galvanise the toy manufacturing sector in India. Proposals to heighten import duties stand as guardians of the nation’s toy-making prowess, erecting a protective shield around its vibrant craftsmanship. Stringent certification requirements, like the vigilant sentinels of quality, now safeguard foreign toy imports, ensuring that only the finest creations find their way into the Indian landscape.

Amidst this transformative orchestration, the government has judiciously apportioned manufacturing areas and investment zones, akin to a conductor expertly directing each instrument in a symphony. These strategic allocations are poised to crescendo into a harmonious blend of opportunity, where artisans and innovators converge to craft the future of India’s toy industry.