Festive season a great opportunity for indigenous toy brands: Funskool’s Jeswant R
The brand is hopeful of touching pre-Covid numbers in sales for the quarter, growing 50% over the 2020 numbers
While the ongoing pandemic and the government regulations around necessary BIS certifications for toys being made and imported in the country has left the industry in turmoil, affecting sales numbers exponentially, Indian toymaker Funskool is looking forward to an exciting festive season performance and touching pre-Covid sales numbers.
Funskool India CEO Jeswant R, in a telephonic conversation with exchange4media.com, highlighted that the relaxing Covid norms and the government support for indigenous, high-quality, and BIS-certified toys are helping the brand to grow.
He shared, “The financial year, for the Indian toys market, has been quite a rollercoaster. While some months have been bad, some have indicated signs of a good recovery, as Covid restrictions in the country eased. And because of the new BIS norms, which were made effective in January, 80% of the imports have been impacted, affecting at least 65% of the sales for players who mostly import their products. But, the latter has come up as a big opportunity for brands like ours, which is not only creating a large chunk of its inventory in Indian factories that are BIS certified but is also exporting high-quality toys to other countries.”
Jeswant highlighted that the company is currently exporting its toys to 30 countries overseas, including in the US, the UK, the Middle East, and Africa. Some of the top international brands importing from Funskool India include Spinmaster, ELC, and Hasbro.
The positive trend of the market and the opportunities that the new rules have opened for Indian players have been gearing Funskool for an exciting festive season, he further emphasised.
“As I said, this year has been quite different for the industry, including us. The market showed signs of picking up during the beginning of the year, but the second wave of Covid coincided with what is considered the best time for our category: the new school year and the summer holidays. However, as the second wave started dying down, the market picked up around July and August-September has been great for us. Now, with the festivities, we are hoping to touch pre-Covid numbers in sales, and 50% up from 2020. Yes, some parts of the business will remain impacted because of the import restrictions, but our homegrown ranges are going to perform well, both here and abroad, I am sure,” he noted.
Therefore, the brand has geared up with exciting new launches to make the most of the season. “We had planned a number of interesting launches for this year but the second wave of the Covid derailed those plans for a while. However, we launched some new products in the last month and you will see a few more coming up in October-November, including some innovative propositions in our clay and wood portfolio.”
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