Mr. Lawrence Chan, Chairman at HKTDC (Hong Kong Trade Development Council) Toys Advisory Committee, weighs in on India’s potential of becoming an imminent global manufacturing hub for the toy industry and presents his comprehensively insightful perspective in an exclusive interaction with Mommy & Baby Times.
February 19, 2019
- Toy makers across the world are foraging for viable alternative manufacturing facilities besides China, which is getting expensive and India is certainly in the running to becoming the leading manufacturing hub.
- The scale of manufacturing in India needs to be increased for the offshore manufacturing.
- There should be an implementation of better economic reforms, infrastructure and proper planning to capitalize on the opportunities.
A shift in the toys manufacturing heartland
Cashing in on the advantage of skilled workforce and suitable infrastructure, China has been the largest manufacturer and exporter of toys in the world. It is estimated that more than 70% of toys worldwide is produced in China alone. Mr. Lawrence Chan states “due to the rise in labour costs and US-China trade conflicts, the global toys companies are on a lookout for potential and viable manufacturing locations. India is a top consideration along with a few other Southeastern Asian countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. India is increasingly growing in importance, stature and scope as a manufacturing centre. Such strong growth has been fueled by an escalating demand and a variety of other factors.”
Laying the groundwork in India
Explaining his insights on the manufacturing of toys in India, he opines “it can be said that India is on its way to become a manufacturing hub. However, the baseline that can be used to compare India with China can be how the industries were in a nascent stage in China about two decades ago. In my observation, the local toy businesses and manufacturing in India have grown steadily in the last couple of years while showcasing tremendous opportunities. Yet, it is also true that to become a leading manufacturing hub would take quite a few more years as it is a systematic process.”
“India is increasingly growing in importance, stature and scope as a manufacturing centre. Such strong growth has been fueled by an escalating demand and a variety of other factors.”
Dynamic ecosystem of the toys industry
About the favorable factors associated with India, he says “though the manufacturing facilities and the toy industry in general is actually very sporadic in India, however, there are some great advantages of having a manufacturing base in India. First and foremost is the economical labour cost which is a major advantage and also the age demographics of India is quite favourable as more than 50% of the population is below the age of 25. Apart from these factors, India has also a definite advantage at communication because of having a good command at English language.”
Rising to the challenge
As pointing towards the challenges and the opportunities of growth in the sector, he explains “the toy industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years and it shows immense potential for further proliferation. The toy industry depends heavily on the supply chain management and involves the active streamlining in the manufacturing processes. As from one product to another, there may be different supply chains. Quality control of the toy production should be of prime consideration for all manufacturers as global requirement of toy safety is being emphasized. The logistics in the toy manufacturing is also one of the prominent challenges that influence the growth of the toy industry in India. However, I would like to underline that the toy manufacturing industry in India is at a progressive stage and it shows promising capacity to grow in the coming years.”