Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for toy manufacturing in the country under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative, Karnataka has invited global toymakers to its toy manufacturing cluster. The State government, to attract investments, held a webinar-cum-panel discussion with leading toys manufacturers on “Establishing India as a Global Toy Manufacturing Hub – Global prospects and Karnataka opportunities” on Monday. “Karnataka is poised to emerge as a leading toy-making cluster in the country due to the robust ecosystem the state has created to support toy making industries,” said Gaurav Gupta, Karnataka Principal Secretary, Commerce & Industries Department. To achieve it, the government has supported and nurtured the setting up of Tool Manufacturing & Precision Engineering (TMTP), polymers manufacturing clusters – Bengaluru, Dharwad, Tumkuru and Mysuru, robust design capacity and testing certification agencies in Bengaluru, Dharwad and Koppal and GTTC (Government Tool Room & Training Centre). With such a dedicated push by the government, the State’s toy industry has grown at a CAGR of 18 per cent (2010-17) and is expected to reach $310 million by 2023. “Karnataka has a legacy of toy making. The State is focusing on building a strong toy manufacturing industry by providing all the required ingredients. We have also identified Koppal as the first toy manufacturing cluster in India, and the State is making sure that we build a world-class cluster for all investors,” pointed out Gaurav Gupta. As a part of the State government’s endeavour to establish Karnataka as a toy manufacturing hub of India and to give a fillip to the toy sector, Product Specific Industrial Cluster Development (PSICD) Programme has been developed. Gupta said, “This objective of the cluster is to increase the share of manufacturing in state GDP, develop state of the art infrastructure meeting industry needs, improve Need-Based Skill Development assistance and bring a balanced socio-economic development and attract $700 million investment for this cluster.” “Karnataka offers world-class machine tools infrastructure and favourable labour laws for toy manufacturers in the state. We are also working towards building a sustainable toy manufacturing ecosystem by introducing massive fiscal and non-fiscal subsidies to facilitate investments into the State,” said Gunjan Krishna, Karnataka Commissioner for Industrial Development. Koppal toy cluster will be a one-stop-destination facilitating globally competitive and reliable manufacturing solutions with co-located facilities. It is an internationally competitive self-sustained ecosystem catering to all infrastructure requirements of the toy industry. With access to the highways, ports, airports and major cities, the cluster will provide an efficient network of connectivity. The webinar was attended by leading global toymakers such as Aravind Melligeri, Chairman & CEO, Aequs; Mike Burrows, VP, Contract Manufacturing, Mattel Asia Pacific; Sanjiv Khullar, MD, India & South East Asia, Hasbro Far East Ltd; Jayadev VN, Director, India Operations, Spin Master; Vivek Jhangiani, Chair Toy Sector Committee FICCI; Member – ICTI (International Council of Toy Industries) Manish Kukreja, President, TAITMA.