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Funskool seriously looking to develop India’s traditional games: CEO

Toy major Funskool India Limited was seriously looking at developing the country’s traditional games as part of strengthening its operations in the country, a top company official has said.

The company was also looking at ‘substantially’ expanding its distribution network in rural areas, Funskool India chief executive officer, R Jeswant said.

“We intend to widen our domestic offerings and will target to introduce well over 100 products over the next one year. We expect several policy initiatives promoting local manufacturing to come from the government in the next few months,” he told PTI.

On future plans, he said: “We are also seriously looking at developing some of India’s traditional games and have plans to work closely with manufacturers of traditional Indian toys and artisans.”

The initiative would also help artisans to improve the quality of their products and also help scale up in manufacturing, he added.

On the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in its operations, he said April and May were very big months for toy business (in terms of sales) but both months ended in a ‘total wash out’.

“All our three factories were closed for almost all of April and all stores remained closed,” he said. With domestic demand picking up, he said: “We are back on track.”

On those measures taken by the company to tide over the impact caused by the pandemic, he said, Funskool focused on exports business and the company grew in shipping its products between April and August.

“This helped in absorbing the fall in demand on the domestic front. July and August have been exceptional for exports. With demand picking up in domestic sales, particularly in e-commerce, we are well on the way to recovery,” he said.

On the Prime Minister’s recent comments on the toy industry during his ‘Mann ki baat’, Jeswant said, the toy industry was huge globally at $90 billion but the Indian market was meager 0.5 percent. “Clearly the market is evolving and we really needed the attention which our PM’s comments brought to the industry,” he said.

To a query, he said following the spurt in demand in domestic business the company was ‘scaling up’ production at all its facilities.