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Swedish furniture major IKEA is aiming to tie up with some potential suppliers to increase toy sourcing from India for its operations here.

The move comes in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking toy makers to innovate at the inauguration of the 2021 India Toy Fair.

Modi had asked toy makers to use less plastic and more eco-friendly material and regretted that about 85 percent of the toys sold in the country are imported.

As of now, the children’s range contributes around 6-8 per cent with over 1,000 products on its shelves and it aims to scale it up to 10-12 per cent in the near future.

“We want to increase sourcing of toys from India and that is the reason why we are participating in the toys fair. As a big buyer we feel that there is a great chance for us to associate with some potential suppliers as part of the player,” IKEA India Country Commercial Manager Kavitha Rao said.

She said the India Toy Fair would help the firm to tie up with new partners and understand the ecosystem.

“IKEA has a fairly large range of over 1,000 products as part of its children”s range, which contributes around 6-8 per cent currently, and we aim to reach 10-12 per cent in the near future,” Kavitha said.

For the past 35 years, the firm has been sourcing from as many as 60 suppliers for its international operations. It opened its second store in Mumbai last December. Currently, it is working on its net store in Bengaluru.

The firm, which sources only cotton-made toys from India, is planning to expand in many other categories including wooden, she added.

Kavitha added that the eight toy clusters the Indian government has set up with significant investments will give IKEA the opportunity to procure toys within India.

The company is also working on textiles category in which India is traditionally strong.

Part of Ingka Group, IKEA India opened its first retail store in Hyderabad in August 2018, followed by online stores in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.

Source

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