If there is willpower and determination to do something, a lot can be achieved. The country’s toy industry is a living example of this. It seems like just yesterday when India used to import toys worth Rs. 20 thousand crores from China alone. Due to the changed circumstances after Corona, the countries of the world became disillusioned with China and after that the situation became such that the countries of the world started looking at China and its policies with contempt. The government also took it seriously and as a result of a call and positive policies of the government, the toy industry gained momentum in the country. It is the result of rapid change in the situation that today the toy industry has started flourishing rapidly in India.
While the demand for indigenous toys has increased in the domestic market, the demand for Indian toys has also increased rapidly in the foreign market. There is no doubt that the main reason for this was the incentive policies for the toy industry. Along with increasing the import duty, the government implemented the Production Link Incentive Scheme which helped in the development of the industry. Today the toy industry is growing with a growth rate of 12 percent and that too is a compound growth rate. This can only be considered a good sign for the Indian toy industry.
If we look at it, China has had a monopoly on the toy industry. China has about 80 percent of the market. In such a situation, challenging China’s toy industry has been a very difficult task. But one call changed everything. Due to the coordinated efforts of the Central and State Governments, the toy industry has gained momentum in the country. There was a time when India used to import toys worth Rs 20 thousand crores from China and today the situation has become such that the domestic market of toys in India has become worth Rs 124.73 billion. There has also been a significant increase in the export of toys from India. Toys worth 16.81 crore were exported in 2018-19, this has increased to 27.08 billion dollars in 2022-23. It is believed that by 2028 the toy industry in India will cross Rs 249.47 billion. One reason behind this is that the result of the environment that was created was that Indian toys have become the first choice of children.
Today 4000 MSMEs are participating in the toy industry. One of the most important things is that MSME industry is the growth engine of the country. While MSME industries generate more employment opportunities, employment is also available at the local level. What happens is that there are employment opportunities only to a limited extent in big industries because there is more use of technology, on the other hand, more employment opportunities in MSME industries give a new direction to the economic system. Opportunities are easily available from local level to export.
As far as toys are concerned, remains of human and animal figures have been found in the remains of Sumerian civilization dating back to 2600 BC, which are believed to be the remains of toys of that time. 500 BC Remains of toys have been seen in early Greek ruins. As far as our country is concerned, there is proper discussion of games and toys in Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas. Today is the era of plastic so most of the toys are being made of plastic only. We produce toys made from clay, metal, terracotta, cloth, wood, horn, gems etc. The demand for toys has also changed with time. There was a time and even today the demand for Barbie is seen the highest. After this, Cubic also saw the highest demand. Ball, gun, ship, car, train, dumdami, musical instruments, city and similar toys ranging from normal to automatic, key operated and today even cell and solar operated toys have started coming in the market. In fact, toys are not only a means of entertainment for children but are also informative and helpful in developing the mentality of children. The trend of learning in sports has been through toys. Toys have also been an important medium for mental development.
In fact, the government has given a boost to the industry by increasing the import duty on toys from 20 to 70 percent, easy availability of raw materials, easy establishment of industries under Ease of Doing and also PLI i.e. Production Link Incentive. Along with this, by making exports easy and accessible to common entrepreneurs by the government, it has become easier to get domestic and foreign markets. Necessary support is also being provided by the Handicrafts Export Promotion Council of the country. Along with this, the state governments have also come forward and this is the reason that in a very short time the toy industry of the country has made its mark in the country and abroad.
Finally, one more thing, if we want to remain competitive abroad, we will have to promote innovation and research along with quality and price competition. A strong R&D team will have to be formed and along with this the market demand will also have to be understood. It also has to be kept in mind that the target group of the toy industry is children, in such a situation only such raw materials will have to be used which are not harmful for children. Children’s health will also have to be taken care of. The government will also have to play a supporting role in this direction and will have to play the role of technical, financial and guidance.
-Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sharma