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    Not Just Child’s Play


    The rise in the number of dual income households, increased spending on safe and branded toys, foray of international toy makers into the Indian domain and easy access to affordable imported toys are some of the factors contributing to the growth of the toy industry. About 70 percent of the toy industry is still unorganised and dominated by small and medium-scale manufacturers. Nevertheless, there is a steady increase in the number of organised retailers and even international brands entering the Indian toy market says Jeswant R, Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Funskool India.

    Could you share with us the observations that led to the setting up of Funskool in India? What was the objective?

    The absence of quality toys in India prompted the need for setting up our manufacturing units in India.

    How do you see the market for toys in India growing? How would you peg its growth in India in the next five years?

    The Indian toy market is estimated to be around Rs. 2250 crore, which makes it less than 0.5 percent of the world toy market, estimated to be around US $ 80 Billion.

    How many stores you have in the country and what are your future expansion plans? Who are your target group of customers?
    Our target groups vary from babies or parents of infants and games for preschool girls and boys to puzzle games and board games for adults.

    We have a diverse range of products and target newborn children or infants as well as toddlers and children up to the age of 13 years. We also target tweens and adults for certain board games.

    Please elaborate on the price range of your products? India is a price sensitive market, where customers are very conscious of price when making purchasing decisions. Our pricing is key and we try and make sure that we bring in value for the customer when we price our products. In India, Rs249-349 price band is very popular especially in board games category. Having said that, as incomes have risen over the last decade, and people are spending more and more on toys, we also sell products which are priced over Rs 20,000.

    Which is your best selling category under toys and why?

    LEGO building sets, board games like Monopoly and Othello, the “GIGGLES” Range, Bey Blades, NERF, Transformers are all very popular.

    Use of toxic materials in preparing toys is very prevalent nowadays. How does Funskool as a brand/ retailer manage to keep a quality check of the toys kept at store?

    Funskool has always kept “Safety” in mind. We have just launched our domestic range of Teethers and Rattles under the Giggles brand. All Giggles products have been tested under EN-71 Parts1-3, and comply with the latest international safety standards.

    We try to make sure that all our materials are safe and have been properly tested. We use only virgin plastics and as stated earlier, for our Giggles product range consists of domestically manufactured teethers and rattles and they comply with the latest international safety standards.

    Even Playdoh, our doh range is completely safe; even if a child eats it by mistake, nothing will happen.

    What is your USP?

    Funskool upholds the highest standards of excellence and offers the most exciting brands towards child and family entertainment..

    A well trained staff that brings in the fun element at the store is a key criterion in running a toy store.

    Future plans in the pipeline.

    Funskool is expanding its range of products by tying up with major International companies. In additions to Hasbro, the company has National Distribution Agreements with Lego, Takara Tomy, Ravensburger, SIKU, New Bright etc.. The company has recently tied up with Hornby of UK and has launched their brands “Airfi x”, “Hornby” and “Scalextric” recently in the Indian Market. Many other new tie ups are in the offing.