Spielwarenmesse: How to enter foreign toy markets: best practice India

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How to enter foreign toy markets: best practice India

from KidsKinder Dreams India Pvt. Ltd.

The toy industry in India has come a long way in the last decade and more. Earlier there was a time when traditional Indian toys would amuse a child for hours. Today, however, the markets are brimming with a variety of imported toys from different brands of international stature. Incorporated in 2012, KidsKinder Dreams India Pvt. Ltd. (the brand is called Kinderdreams) has been making conscious efforts ever since to be at the forefront of this dynamic and positive change.

Kinderdreams is an Indo-German joint venture in the truest sense and their endeavour is to provide access to Indian parents and their children to toys from premium German brands synonymous with highest quality & world-class designs, which hitherto has been an unexplored territory. The German toy brands associated with them are: NICI, Playmobil, HABA, Rebel Kidz, Spiegelburg, Theo Klein, Okiedog.

Why a joint venture is a successful way for foreign brands to enter the Indian toy market

The foremost advantage for a foreign brand to tie-up with a local partner in a joint venture is market know-how that the partner brings to the table. The foreign brand has product competencies to which the local partner provides the wherewithal for market penetration. This amalgamation helps in carving out a good GTM (go-to-market) strategy and provides the right platform for an ideal brand / product launch.

In the context of the Indian toy industry, which is still rather unorganised, teaming up with a local partner helps the foreign brands to leverage on local market knowledge, retail network infrastructure, consumer insights (like demographics, buying patterns, trends etc.), data analytics & research, unique selling proposition (brand / product’s USP to the consumer, either perceived or actual) and last mile connectivity to name a few.

The joint venture route also helps the foreign brands in mitigating the overall investment risk and their cost to market to quite a considerable extent, as partnering always fosters a win-win strategy and a conducive business environment to all the parties involved.

However, the joint venture association should be continuously evolving, whether by learning / unlearning methods or by dynamically changing based on the market scenario, for the venture to be successful, profitable and sustainable in the long run.

The last four years have been an amazing journey for them and quite encouraging as well, with widespread acceptance from Indian consumers. Initially, they started out with just four brands in their portfolio and in the course of time they have doubled the number of brand offerings in their portfolio.

Headquartered in Bangalore, their connection with the urban population in the country has grown far and wide. However, reaching out to the hinterlands, bridging the urban-rural divide and getting the product pricing mix right will continue to be the three key challenges for some more time to come.


We have grown from brand to brand & market to market and needless to say, Spielwarenmesse eG has played a pivotal role in our journey. To organizations like us, they have given a solid platform and an enabler in the form of Kids India, a one of its kind B2B toys fair in India. The stupendous & unrivalled success of all its three editions – Kids India 2013, 2014 & 2015 – is a testimony to the acceptance of the ‘Kids India’ brand as India’s largest B2B exhibition platform for the toy industry.

Mr. S. Sampath Kumar, Founder and Managing Director Kinderdreams

9 important steps to create a joint venture

To explain in very simple terms, a joint venture is like a marriage between two entities sharing the same vision, passion & goal and working together in a focussed manner to achieve them. A few important pointers to formulating a good joint venture partnership are as follows,

  1. Identify the connection between the product and the end consumer – product uniqueness, quality, availability, product need or utility value to the consumer (perceived/actual) etc.
  2. Evaluate product manufacturer’s innovation quotient – product portfolio churning & expansion to retain existing customers and continuously keep adding new customers
  3. Be aware of your local partner’s credentials in being able to reach out to the end consumer – pedigree, dealer / distributor network, number of POS outlets, product promotion & marketing capabilities, offline & online selling inter-operability competencies and capacities etc.
  4. Know the competition
  5. Consider entry barrier possibilities
  6. Sound financial modelling of the joint venture
  7. The partners should be aligned with the business plan, strategy, project roadmap / milestones and execution
  8. The key responsibilities & deliverables for each partner in the joint venture should be detailed, precise, time – bound and unambiguous
  9. Total transparency, complete adherence to ethical values and zero tolerance to non – compliance in business operations & financials

Do businesses in one of the most promising toy markets. The Indian toy fair Kids India in Mumbai offers international toy manufacturers many opportunities for making new contacts and selling toys in the growing market of India. Find out more about Kids India and the World of Toys programme for international exhibitors.


Author of this article:

KidsKinder Dreams India Pvt. Ltd.

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