Mumbai-headquartered Skillmatics develops innovative educational products and games designed to enable children develop core skills that integrate the concepts from math and language to science and logic, through systematic play. Started in 2016, the company has its presence in the international market across more than 20 countries around the world. Mommy & Baby Times (MBT) had a detailed chat with Dhvanil Sheth, Founder & CEO at Skillmatics- Grasper Global Pvt. Ltd., in which he divulges details about how he came up with the idea to start Skillmatics, the product range, the approach to marketing and the global market presence of the company.
September 17, 2019
MBT: Kindly take us through the story behind the inception of Skillmatics.
Dhvanil Sheth: Skillmatics was born out of a personal experience I had with my nephew. I witnessed him attempt to “swipe” a book as he was so used to using a mobile phone. The real trigger however was the way my sister reacted to this – she was very visibly disturbed by his addiction to technology at such an early age. When I dug deeper, I found that most parents today are actively choosing to move kids away from mindless screen time, towards educational products that are more engaging and activity-oriented. I realized that this problem was not limited to India and that there was a global need for innovative new products that build core skills and drive up social interaction through active play. Thus, Skillmatics was started in October, 2016 with the vision to bring educational products which can aid in developing skills in children which encourages creativity, logic, problem solving, and other skills that are essential in all types of learning.
MBT: Describe the product range covered at the company.
DS: Skillmatics develops innovative educational products that build core skills in children – all through the joy of play! The first product category we launched was “Write and Wipe Activity Mats”. The key differentiators of this product are the highly innovative content which makes learning truly enjoyable and the unique “Write & Wipe” format which allows children to learn and practice – again and again!
After receiving global success with our first product line, we ventured into designing Educational Games which reinforce key learning concepts through systematic play. Our “SQUIK” and “Guess in 10” games which we have recently launched have received a fantastic response from customers worldwide.
MBT: Please share some details about the current market presence of Skillmatics.
DS: Skillmatics has sold over 2 million products across over 20 countries around the world. We have a presence in more than 200 educational institutions and in over 5000 retail stores, also through our own website, various e-commerce market spaces with a primary focus on the Indian and the North American market.
MBT: What are the different marketing and distribution strategies of the company?
DS: Our distribution strategies are based entirely on the nature of the market we are in. For example, in a fragmented market like India, we have an Omni-channel distribution network which allows us to sell our products across general trade, modern trade, online and schools. Whereas in some of the more developed countries, we have an online-first approach to distribution.
Our marketing is primarily through online platforms and is focused on educating customers about the enormous value that Skillmatics products offer to their children. We don’t adopt “discount led” marketing strategies like other brands.
“Skillmatics has sold over 2 million products across over 20 countries around the world. We have a presence in more than 200 educational institutions and in over 5000 retail stores”
MBT: Are there any plans to innovate or diversify your product segment line in the near future?
DS: We truly believe that we must constantly innovate and introduce new product offerings that delight our customers in order build a beloved global brand. Our team of educationalists and design experts are working on several exciting new product categories which we will be launching in the coming months.
MBT: Kindly elaborate a bit on the acceptance Skillmatics has received in the Indian market.
DS: Skillmatics has received an overwhelming response in India in a very short time. Some of our key milestones are mentioned below:
• We have sold over 1 million products to consumers in India. This makes us the largest educational product brand in the country.
• Skillmatics is the first ever Indian brand to retail globally with Hamleys
• Skillmatics is ranked as the number 1 educational product on Amazon
• We have built a distribution presence of over 1500+ retail touch points
• Skillmatics has been successfully integrated into the curriculum in over 100+ schools
“the STEM/Educational Toys segment is one of the largest product categories in the USD 100 billion Toy & Game Industry… parents worldwide are looking for products that offer educational value and help build foundational skills in their children.”
MBT: Share some specifics on the designing and the manufacturing of the products.
DS: All our products are developed after extensive research by our team of Educationalists and Design Experts. We always start with identifying a pain point parents face and then design a product that will truly help parents while adding enormous educational value to their children. We ensure that every product must fulfill 3 key criteria –
1. It must offer tangible educational value and build core cognitive skills in the child
2. It must offer repeat utility. We avoid designing products which are a “one-time use”
3. It must be of international quality standards, however yet be affordable for parents worldwide
Our strength is that we have in-house manufacturing facilities. This allows us to transform an idea and concept of a product into a high-quality end product in a very short span of time.
MBT: What is the current market growth in the STEM/educational toys market? How do you foresee the growth and evolution of this particular market segment?
DS: Globally, the STEM/Educational Toys segment is one of the largest product categories in the USD 100 billion Toy & Game Industry. This category is witnessing rapid growth as parents worldwide are looking for products that offer educational value and help build foundational skills in their children in their formative years. Parents are looking for engaging alternatives that limit screen time and drive up social interaction through systematic play. We strongly believe in the potential of this category and hope to create a leading global brand in this space over the coming years.