The Gaining Importance of Licensing in India highlights Panel Discussion Kids India

The fourth edition of Kids India highlighted the importance of licensing for brands and the problems faced by licensees and licensors in the industry

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Kids India, India’s biggest B2B fair for products related to children held the exhibition for three days at Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre in Mumbai. The event saw the key players from the industry participate with many young and innovative companies.

The exhibition held panel discussion on ‘Licensing in India’ on Friday focusing on the growth of licensing industry in India and how it is evolving through licensees and licensors. The issues faced by licensees and the steps which are required to take before licensing a product for good business was also highlighted in the discussion.

The panel included VivekJhangiani, President, The All India Toy Manufacturer’s Association (TAITMA); RutikaMalaviya, Indian Representative, Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA); S. Nagarajan, Managing Partner of En Theos Consulting, former head of Disney India and Warner Bros; and Ishmeet Singh, Country Head, Mattel Toys India Pvt. Ltd.

The discussion centered on the Licensing Industry in India and things that may hinder it and the solutions to how licensees can overcome it for better businesses. Under that umbrella of licensing each panelist talked about how licensing industry is at a nascent stage but is evolving at good rate in India.

From the licensor perspective Ishmeet Singh, Country Head, Mattel Toys India, said, “The reason for licensor to give licensee out for IP or brand is an evolving space with short term objectives. Now licensors understand the role of each category as a licensees and how important their role in it is. Depending upon the product category whether it is complementing their brand or portfolio or is relevant to the audience needs to be checked on.”

“Understanding the objective of the licensees plays a role in terms of how the industry is shaping and as licensors we look out to brands which complement and enhances it,” added Singh.

Speaking about the growth potential of the Indian Licensing Industry RutikaMalaviya,Indian Representative, Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), stated, “The retail sales merchandising industry currently is $1263m which in the previous year was $1023 m. As far as India is concerned, India is at the 20th place and that is indeed a good indicator for Indian Licensing Industry as compared to last year where we stood at 21st place.”

“The toy category is one of the major categories when it comes to licensing industry and stands at second place in terms of global retailing and India stands at 12th place  out of all the categories like apparels, fashion, character licensing, etc. ”addedMalaviya.

In regards to how to a licensee should choose a licensor, Malaviya said, “We need to understand about what the product is about and what are the objectives and then accordingly select the licensor and which thereby would enhance the growth in the industry. Relatability is another major factor to keep in mind by the licensee for better growth. ”

The panelist also talked about the IP laws and its relevance in the licensing industry and how each of the licensing property is needs to be protected by laws. Licensed property awareness and propensity of a category is something which needs to be checked before taking huge decisions.

“In India, the licensing industry needs to grow with the support of both – licensees and licensors and LIMA as an association is always there to support the licensing industry and help the parties in need to be connected to each other through a proper platform, ” said Malaviya about the need for support and growth of Licensing Industry in India.

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