We organized the first Kids India fair out of Germany in 2013 and it was the beginning of a sustainable success story. In order to develop Kids India further and to take adequate account of the growing Indian market, Spielwarenmesse eG founded a wholly owned subsidiary in 2016.Spielwarenmesse India Private Limited is now a important stakeholder of the Indian toy industry, with its focus on staging Kids India in Mumbai and supporting Indian toy companies to participate at Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg.
ES. Spielwarenmesse is the leading exhibition organizer and marketing service provider for the Toy industry. Please tell us marketing service provider strategies which you use for the industry.
Katharina. We have been passionate about trade fairs for 70 years. We connect toy markets worldwide, with our headquarters in Germany and international subsidiaries in China, India and Russia. Our offering is based on knowledge, trends and contacts. Within our trade fair programme, we give our customers and partners the chance to experience markets and industries. Programmes of presentations impart practical knowledge. We go the extra mile with numerous newsletters, industry expertise and new formats such as our magazines ‚Kids India’ and ‚Spirit of Play’, complementing our trade fair service with an information platform. We systematically promote trends and innovations. With our international experts, we keep our finger firmly on the pulse of the markets and make each of our trade fairs a trend barometer.
ES. Please tell about The Spielwarenmesse. How massive is this show and what are its highlights? Do you also take Indian companies to this show?
Katharina. As the largest and most important event world-wide, Spielwarenmesse brings together 2,900 exhibitors from 70 countries, including more than 800 companies not being present at any other fair. 67,000 trade visitors from 132 countries attended the fair this year. At Spielwarenmesse 1 million products are presented and 120,000 new products are launched. Well-known brands, trendy start-ups, buyers from major chains, independent retailers and large numbers of media representatives combine to make the Spielwarenmesse® a unique event for all players in the toys and games market.
The participation from India has been steadily growing over the last few years. About 50 Indian companies participated at Spielwarenmesse 2019 and already now it is obvious that the number will further increase in 2020. Since many years our partner SGEPC Sports Goods Export Promotion Council is organizing an official Indian Pavilion where Indian companies can benefit from financial and organizational support.
ES. Key factors for the growth of toy industry are the growing middle class with rising income promises, the decline in the average number of children per family and increased attention to quality and premium toys. Please reflect on this observation.
Katharina. These facts along with the number of children are definitely the driving forces for the growth of the Indian toy market. But there is also an increased interest from international toy manufacturers in India as a production location which will give a boost to the sector. The Indian toy industry is gaining more and more momentum every year. We see a continuous rise of international attention at Kids India. With the increase in the manufacturing of quality products, India is on its way to be the next manufacturing hub. As an industry’s stakeholder we will undertake every effort to support the industry on their successful future by providing different platforms.
ES. Value of Play is an initiative of Spielwarenmesse India Pvt. Ltd. to create awareness on the importance of play in India and make opportunities to play for underprivileged children possible. What is your view on toys mend for indoor games and the toys mend for outdoor games with more physical activity? Do you think children are getting restricted to homes?
Katharina. Playing is essential for the healthy development of a child. While playing, children develop their cognitive, social and physical skills. The value of play has not yet been adequately recognized, playing is rather considered as a pass time in India. Indoor and outdoor playing is equally important for children and it is the parents’ responsibility to enable and encourage their children to play. But here also educational institutions can play a vital role.
ES. When did you enter in India and how has been your organization’s growth story so far?
Katharina. We organized the first Kids India fair out of Germany in 2013 and it was the beginning of a sustainable success story. In order to develop Kids India further and to take adequate account of the growing Indian market, Spielwarenmesse eG founded a wholly owned subsidiary in 2016. Spielwarenmesse India Private Limited is now a stakeholder of the Indian toy industry, with its focus on staging Kids India in Mumbai and supporting Indian toy companies to participate at Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg.
ES. Please tell us about yourself in detail and when did you come to India and with what mission?
Katharina. Before I took over the position as Managing Director of Spielwarenmesse India in 2016, I have been a member of the Management Team of Spielwarenmesse eG in Nuremberg for 8 years. During that time I have played a vital role in the initiation of Kids India. I am very glad that I can exploit my long-time professional expertise in the international exhibition business to achieve sustainable success of Spielwarenmesse in India.
ES. Please share your personal journey in exhibition industry. How has the journey been, what have been major milestone and accomplishments, what have been the major challenges and how did you overcome them?
Katharina. The international exhibition business has been the red thread through my professional life. I started my career at Deutsche Messe AG, one of the leading international exhibition companies in Germany. My responsibilities comprised the organization of trade fairs in Europe, Latin America and Asia with a strong focus on China. A milestone in my early business career was a longer-term delegation to Hong Kong to establish a cooperation with a local partner. This provided rigorous training and taught me at the highest level. But I learned my lessons and expanded my knowledge quickly. Another milestone was when I moved to India to set up Spielwarenmesse India Private Limited in Delhi. It is challenging to deal with the standards for creating, founding, steering and controlling the business which are completely different from those I used to work with in Germany. But I like these challenges and enjoy my role as a facilitator between the Indian and the German mindset. My long-year experience in diversified fields is a solid foundation to find suitable solutions and to run the business successfully.
ES. Tell us something about Kids India. What other shows do you organize?
Katharina. Kids India has marked its position as a benchmark for quality exhibition service in India. The fair embraces a great mix of products presented by exhibitors from all over the country and even from around the world, from big brands who set industry standards with revolutionary products to young brands with innovative ideas. The World of Toys Pavilion brings out exhibitors from all over the world. It is the variety which makes Kids India so unique: Every buyer has a specific requirement. At Kids India, a buyer is guaranteed to get the right solution.
In addition to Kids India we are staging industry-related events for networking and knowledge transfer all over India throughout the year.
ES. What differences do see between shows organized in India and Abroad?
Katharina. Decisions are taken on a much shorter time line. As a consequence the time period for the preparation of the show is shorter and demands more flexibility from all parties concerned.
ES. How do you see Indian exhibition Industry?
Katharina. Along with the growth of the Indian economy the exhibition business is in the uptrend. It is overdue that the exhibition industry is granted an industry status and is valued as a significant economic factor for the different regions but also for India as a whole. The industry generates new highly-qualified jobs with most different requirements to fulfill the demand for international standards by national and international participants.
ES. What is your view about toys manufactured in China and India? If you would have to change the standard of the Indian toy manufacturers what changes would you adopt and implement for them?
Katharina. China has a very long tradition and expertise in the manufacturing of toys. In fact most of the toys manufactured world-wide are made in China. But the Indian toy industry has the potential to become a toy manufacturing hub for the international markets in the near future.
ES. What kind of business was generated in previous edition of Kids India?
Katharina. The high quality of trade visitors are a guarantee for successful business at Kids India: 94 % of the visitors influence the purchase decisions in their companies. 84% of the exhibitors reported, that they had on the spot successful sales talks during Kids India 2019.
ES. As an organizer of industry’s leading event, what objectives do you assign for yourself to achieve through exhibitions?
Katharina. Our events bring together the best from the industry. Our endeavour is to strengthen the fair by further advancing the high quality standards not only with regard to exhibitors and visitors but also to services. As an industry’s stakeholder we will undertake every effort to support the industry on their successful future by providing different platforms.
ES. How do you ensure visitor’s satisfaction at your shows?
Katharina. Good business thrives on personal contact. That is why we maintain close cooperation with industry, trade and associations. Through this, our events create meeting points for industries and their players, offering them a convenient way to maintain existing contacts and meet new business partners.
ES. What innovations do you put in practice to ensure exhibitor and visitor pleasure?
Katharina. First of all we aim to provide a first-class service based on the latest technologies, which delivers sustainable benefits to the visitors starting from the preparation of their visit through their stay at the fair. And in order to make the visit an individual experience and to add an emotional touch we create special areas where visitors can explore products. One of these areas is the SportsArena at Kids India where visitors can try out the sport articles. Another one, the CreativeArena is a special activity zone for creative activities to complement the Back To School Pavilion.
In order to continue the success story of Kids India, we are constantly upgrading the event by launching new features which add to the unique character of Kids India and make it a ‘must-attend’ for all industry partners.
ES. What are the major markets for Indian Toy manufacturers and what are the recent trends in Toy industry?
Katharina. Due to the diversity of Indian toys any country in the world is a potential market for them. The latest international toy trends which were presented at Spielwarenmesse® 2019 in Nuremberg are:
1. The “Ready, Steady, Play!” trend combines movement with heaps of fun – both indoors and outdoors – encouraging kids to leave their smartphones in a corner and forget about them. This trend gives children improved body awareness, reducing the risk of injury.
2. The trend known as “The WOW Effect” encompasses products that intensify the fun factor with surprising gimmicks or whose true content is only revealed once the product has been unpacked.
3. The “Toys 4 Kidults” trend targets anyone and everyone who wishes to keep their childhood memories alive, to “play away” the stresses of working life or to collect play-driven, design-led products.
At the TrendingNow area at Kids India we will feature these international trends and also what is trending in India now.
Quick Rapid fire
ES. Recent Book you read.
Katharina. Becoming. Michelle Obama
ES. Your Favourite Cuisine when you travel.
ES. Your Favourite “GharkaKhana”
ES. Your Favourite Holiday Destination
Janotta. The Alps
ES. Your Favourite Quote.
Katharina. The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein.
ES. Inspiration in your Life.
Katharina. Exploring different countries and cultures
ES. Your kind of Music.
Katharina. Chill out