Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Flipkart and toy manufacturers will discuss toy sourcing strategies

Senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Walmart group’s Flipkart and domestic toy makers will on Thursday discuss ways to increase supply and immediately onboard manufacturers on the e-commerce platform, an industry official said.

The official said that to make India a global toy manufacturing hub, the government has taken several initiatives and in this context, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade in collaboration with Flipkart is organizing this workshop to enhance India’s position and capabilities in the global toy supply chain.

“This will help in upskilling/reskilling the domestic workforce to produce innovative, high-quality toys,” the official added.

US retail giant Walmart wants to source toys from Indian suppliers as it aims to increase exports from India to $10 billion a year by 2027.

Last year, the company informed toy manufacturers about their requirements and expected quality standards as it works directly with domestic toy manufacturers on sourcing.

“The aim of the workshop or hackathon is to help domestic players increase their presence on the Flipkart platform and export from the country,” the official noted.

Key points that may come out of the workshop include information on toy categories; details of the latest trends in the toy market; experience of existing manufacturers with Flipkart; details of central support for handling the Flipkart toy team, new account registration and onboarding of Indian manufacturers.

When asked about the hackathon, Flipkart Group Chief Corporate Officer Rajneesh Kumar said that through the Flipkart platform, the company has been able to provide local toy manufacturers with a platform to reach customers across India, thereby supporting their growth.

“We are pleased to support the efforts of DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce, to strengthen the toy industry in India and accelerate India’s development as a global toy manufacturing and export hub. This workshop and hackathon will help all participating stakeholders identify opportunities to achieve this goal of the government,” Kumar added.

Another industry official said that e-commerce platforms are revolutionizing the toy trade in India as they offer a wider selection of toys compared to offline stores, making them a one-stop shop for parents.

These online platforms provide greater access to a much wider customer base across India, significantly increasing their market reach.

E-commerce eliminates the need for brick-and-mortar stores, reducing operating costs. It also provides valuable brand exposure to a wide audience. In addition, e-commerce platforms offer data on consumers’ shopping habits and preferences, enabling manufacturers to develop products that meet market demands.

According to a report by economic think tank GTRI, India’s toy exports declined slightly to $152.34 million in 2023-24 from $153.89 million in the previous financial year.

The Global Trade Research Initiative found that Indian toy exports did not benefit much from mandatory quality control orders.

Meanwhile, India’s share in the global toy export market is minimal at $167 million, which is just 0.3% of global exports, ranking India 27th, according to the GTRI report.

India increased import duties on toys from February 2020. The basic duty was increased from 20% to 60% and then to 70% in July 2021.

Read also: The Ministry of Commerce provides more funds for start-ups in the budget