Export Hopes

Large brands aren’t complaining. Funskool, India’s biggest toymaker, has certified its two units — in Goa and Ranipet, Tamil Nadu. The company is part of the MRF Group.

“As the new norms will come into play from Jan. 1, it will boost domestic manufacturing of toys,” R Jeswant, chief executive officer at Funskool India, told BloombergQuint over the phone. “We have lined up 100 new launches for 2021, higher than the 60-70 we launch every year.”

The company plans to expand its Ranipet unit expecting higher demand in India. Jeswant didn’t share timelines.

Manish Kukreja, chief executive officer at MIN (Made in India) Toy Pvt. Ltd., a maker of toy cars, has expanded capacity from 85,000 units a month to 100,000 at his factory in Silvasa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Kukreja, with a yearly sales of Rs 10 crore, is automating production to increase efficiency and output.

He plans to set up another unit and is waiting to see which state offers the best incentives. Kukreja is optimistic that BIS standardisation will make Indian toy manufacturers export-compliant.

Queries emailed to Mattel India remained unanswered.

Yearend Import Rush

India increased import duty on toys from 20% to 60% in this year’s budget. That reduced volumes. Total imports have fallen from Rs 2,101 crore in 2019 to Rs 775.4 crore this year.

While most toys are imported from China, BIS authorities will be unable to travel to India’s neighbour to the east to certify suppliers during the pandemic. Sensing disruption, many importers rushed to bring in shipments before the new norms kick in.

Funskool’s Jeswant, however, said this stock will dry up by the summer. His company, however, will also face disruption, at least temporarily, as it also sources some products from China and elsewhere.

“Factories from where we import are ready to be certified but due to travel restrictions we will have to wait,” said Jeswant. The current capacity, he said, will be able to take on additional demand as imports fall.

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