Aatmanirbhar bharat in toy making

Source: The Hindu

Gs3: Changes in Industrial Policy and their Effects on Industrial Growth

Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants India to attain ‘aatmanirbhar’ in Toy manufacturing sector and called upon the country to become a global toy hub.

Need:

  • High Domestic demand: India is home to 25 per cent of world’s children aged between 0 and 12 years.
  • Inherent capacity: India possess a rich history and culture in the field of toy making.
  • Economic value: India’s share in the global toy is just 0.5 per cent ($500 million) whereas real market, estimation stood at $90 billion.
  • Reduce import dependence: 80 per cent of the toys sold in India are imported from China.
  • Labour intensive:It offers large-scale employment to semi-skilled/unskilled workers and, especially, women.

Challenges in Toy making Industry

  • Seasonal: Shelf life of a toy is limited. For example, a Transformer Toy sells good during the movie releases and slows down soon thereafter.
  • Inflexible Labour laws: Indian laws do not permit recruitment or retrenchment based on demand thereby reducing the potential of the firms to grow big.
  • Small firms: Hamper the advantage of economies of scale make it less attractive in market.
  • Shying away by big players: Unfriendly business laws prevented large corporate player to emerge in the sector.
  • Inefficient supply chain: Owing to fragmented nature of the sector.
  • Input Dependence:Every time a new toy is to be made it needs different tooling but tooling in India is costly leading to over dependence on China.

Way forward:

  • Flexible labour laws: Government should allow companies to hire and retrench employees based on demand and to protect workers the government can fix minimum wages.
  • Labour pooling:It can allow women to work at night with adequate safeguards.
  • Leveraging technology: The domestic toy sector needs to tap into India’s expertise in information technology to offer games that capture the imagination of the children.
  • Ensure quality: A large-scale skilling programme is key to ensure of global quality
  • Branding:Producing toys in an eco-friendly manner will help Indian toy making industries to command a premium for their toys

The ₹5,000-crore toy cluster at Koppal in Karnataka is a step in the right direction. For India to become a toy hub, the government needs to create large scale special economic zones focussed on toys with plug-and-play infrastructure.

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