Reliance Industries (RIL) taking over the legendary Hamleys was big news today. The stock price too reacted accordingly with a jump. But the question is – are they selling as much toys?
The toys market, world over is dominated by only one country – China. 75% of the world toys come from China and in India, it accounts for 90% of the $1.5 billion toy industry. Along with China, the unregulated unorganized sector has left no room to play for bigwig toy makers like Funskool, Lego, Mattel, Hasbro and even Hamleys.
China, like everything else mass produces toys – it has some 10,000 toy makers and there is zero attention given to quality standards. This is why the Chinese are able to see toys at half the price of branded toys in India.
Those in the industry say that the only way this menace of China can be curbed is through imposition of higher import duties and bring in more stricter norms to put a check on illegal imports.
Well, given the power and clout of the Ambani, the taking over of Hamleys (btw, Ambani bought it from a Chinese owner) could bring about a wind of change in Indian toy sector and the most needed curb on Chinese toy imports.
But one question we have – can Ambani promise children toys at rates as cheap as the one at which China gives? Can he do a “Jio” in the Indian toy sector?