India's Toy Factories Benefit From India's Automotive Manufacturing Sector
Many of the established export toy factories in India come from an automotive background. One of the strongest origin stories of Indian toy factories is a company meeting really high standards of engineering and quality to the level required by the automotive industry switching over to manufacturing mass market toys for major toy companies like Hasbro, Spin Master & Mattel.
So many of today's cars have interiors largely made of injection moulded or blow moulded plastic. With India manufacturing around 25 million cars each year there is a very significant domain expertise in plastics in India as well as an existing supply chain.
For toy companies, we can take some comfort from a factory trusted to insert a component into a machine made up of 10,000+ individual components. If a supplier can manufacture high spec components and insert them into a machine of such complexity then they should be able to manufacture toys which are significantly less complicated, albeit with their own special standards and audit requirements.
Beyond the materials, it is the knowledge and engineering capability which brings so much to the toy manufacturing sector in India. Plastic components in automobiles are created using the same CAD skills and software as used in the toy business, except as part of a much bigger system, those CAD engineers who create car components are working in much more complex CAD environments, and as such there is massive proliferation of engineering and product design talent in India.
For this reason, the location of India's established factories offering contract manufacturing of toys tends to be based around clusters of the automotive manufacturing sector. And for the avoidance of doubt, these automotive production hubs are not just producing Indian car brands for the local market, international brands like Volkswagen, Mercedes, Renault, Ford, Nissan, JCB, Toyota and others manufacture in India for both the domestic and international markets. In fact, c. 50% of India's car production is to supply export demand.
Over time, India's toy manufacturing industry will build more specialised expertise and supply chain, but as a start point, the automotive industry has had a huge impact already.