Market overview India

The Indian subcontinent covers an area of almost 3.3 million square kilometres. A population of over 1.3 billion inhabit especially the conurbation areas around the metropolises of Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta. This makes India the second most populated country in the world. Its annual growth in population reaches approximately 1.15 %. A high birth rate of 19 children per 1,000 people makes India an attractive market for toys.

India’s dynamic economy

In 2016/2017, India’s economy grew by 7.1 %, with a gross domestic product of around US$ 2,600 billion. The future continues to look bright. The share of the working population (15-59 years) according to Foreign Office forecasts is set to increase by up to 70 % by 2026. And even trade is becoming more and more important for India. Between 2000 and 2017, exports tripled to reach US$ 256 billion. As one of the BRIC countries, India’s economy is amongst those recording the strongest expansion in the world.

India’s consumerism is growing 

Despite a wide-reaching income gap, India is developing a solid middle class thanks to income levels that are rising, albeit at a slow rate. This has made the country a relevant sales market for many consumer goods. Because of the size of the population, the collective buying power is quite impressive. In 2016/17, consumer expenditure totalled US$ 1.3 trillion, making India one of the largest consumer goods markets worldwide. As the Indian market has not yet reached full saturation, it offers exciting entry opportunities for foreign companies.

India’s toy market

India’s population includes an above-average number of young people. The share of children aged 0-14 is over 27 %. The high birth rate has an additional positive impact on sales in the Toys & Baby segment which currently generates around US$ 1,045 million. Experts anticipate further growth for the Indian toy market. Imports are thus also becoming more and more relevant. Most products are imported from China, USA and Great Britain. Especially toy imports from China are on the rise due to low purchasing prices there.

Trends in the Indian toy market

Toy trends in India are influenced by the growing level of education. More and more parents give preference to educational toys in order to promote learning by playing for their children. Also, traditional toys like building blocks or dolls are very popular and record constant growth rates. High-priced toys like robots and drones, on the other hand, remain underrepresented because of strict legal regulations.

Intensive advertising for the launch of new products has led to greater brand awareness over the past years. In line with this the demand for branded toys amongst Indians has been growing. Especially international players are in demand. Next to international brands, licenced products from abroad are an important factor in the Indian toy sector. Licenced toys that enjoy major popularity include action figures and accessories.

Sales in the brick-and-mortar retail trade

The most important sales channel for toys in India is the brick-and-mortar retail trade. Roughly 98.3 % of sales are made here. With over 90 % the principal share of these sales falls on the non-food retail trade which tends to comprise small shops specialised in certain product groups. Only few Indians rely on e-commerce to buy children’s toys on the Internet. The country’s growing economic and infrastructural development paves the way for a future change of the retail structures towards an organised retail trade.