Funskool to play with own brands

Funskool to play with own brands

Homegrown toy manufacturing giant Funskool is eyeing a turnover of Rs 180-200 crore this year, with a strong focus on its in-house brands, which it plans to popularise in India and abroad.

The company’s own brands include Giggles, Handycrafts, Play & Learn, and Fun Doh, among others. “We are focusing on our own brands, which we want to take outside the country, as we aim to grow our business. We are expecting a turnover of Rs 180-200 crore this year,” reiterated Funskool India Senior Vice President (Sales and Marketing) R Jeswant.

Apart from developing and promoting its own brands, the toy major — part of the MRF Group — is the distributor for leading global toy and child product brands in India namely, Hasbro, LEGO, Leap Frog, Tomy, Ravensburger, SIKU, Crayola, and Hornby, among others.

The company’s in-house products are currently sold in Turkey, and the UK in Europe, while some products are also sold in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in South Asia, as also in Africa.

It must be noted that while India has a large population with strong purchasing power, its demand for branded toys and games is only just growing. While the world market for toys stands at around $85 billion, India’s toy market stands at a much smaller $400 million.

“India, probably, has one of the lowest per capita consumptions of toys. The problem that persists here is the lack of history in toy purchase and play. When a first generation of parents have exposure to branded toys, the same will trickle down and become popular with their children,” Jeswant told Deccan Herald.

It must be mentioned that though India has a long way to go in terms of toy consumption, it still grows at a steady 10-12 per cent, compared with a global growth of a mere 1-2 per cent.

Explaining the evolution of toys in India, Jeswant said that the relaxation of customs duties over time has helped in making imported toys available in India. “The Indian population (especially in urban areas) is affluent and aware... All toymakers of the world are looking at India,” he added.

Kids! It’s a toy store...

Meanwhile, Funskool recently opened its first exclusive toy store in Bengaluru, which joins ten other stores across India, at Coimbatore, Indore, Kochi, Hyderabad, Udaipur, Ghaziabad, Amritsar, Vijayawada, Chennai, and Madurai. The store brings together Funskool’s own branded products, apart from those it sells in India, under one roof. The company plans to launch at least five more stores by March.

“One of the challenges we face is high mall rentals, in a market that’s just evolving. Also, there is dearth of toy specialists to showcase our range in tier II towns. Stores like these help in providing exposure to parents and children to the most popular range of toys from the world’s leading toy manufacturers,” Jeswant said.

Funskool is a household name in India for board games, having introduced many international bestsellers to the country, among which include ‘Monopoly’, ‘Risk’, and ‘The Game of Life’. Besides, its products have included toys, merchandise, and collectibles associated with TV shows, films, and popular culture.

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