Business Today

Time To Play

The Rs 4,500 crore organised toy market in India urgently needs innovations if it is to grow.

It's a Sunday afternoon and five year old Sara is busy building a toy house with her favourite Magna Tiles (3D magnetic building tiles said to be good for developing a child's fine motors skills). "It will take me 10 days to finish building my toy house," she announces, as she tries hard to assemble the tiles. Her mother, Amrita Mishra, a banker by profession, says she got the 200 piece set carted all the way from the US during the last Black Friday sale. "Indian toy stores don't have toys that increase a child's imagination," she says, as she helps Sara put together the floor of the toy house.

Mishra's biggest concern is that at a time when mobile screens are reducing children's attention span, toy manufacturers and retailers aren't doing enough. "First of all there are hardly any toy stores, barring Hamleys. Even there, you find either Barbie or the usual syndicated toys (such as Spider Man or Mickey Mouse). Why should I buy syndicated toys? My child isn't a walking advertisement," she

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