Celebrating Culture: Hasbro's Vibrant Growth in India
Celebrating Culture: Hasbro's Vibrant Growth in India

From Monopoly to Peppa Pig, Hasbro is expanding its footprint in India with innovative strategies. With the "Made in India" concept, the American multinational conglomerate has also launched version of Monopoly in regional languages to enhance the fan experience. In the coming months, Hasbro will launch the iconic Tonka brand with a new toy line for kids in India, adhering to required quality standards.

A recent Euromonitor report revealed that Hasbro continues to be the top company with leading brands in the Indian market. Brands like Nerf, Monopoly, and Play-Doh are dominant leaders in their categories, and market share is on the rise. My Little Pony remains the only branded Pony/Unicorn in the market, attracting a strong following among girls.

According to Hasbro Inc's financial reports for Q1 2024, net revenue was $757.3 million as of March 31, 2024, compared to $1,001 million on April 2, 2023. Hasbro’s revenue from Consumer Products stood at $413 million in Q1 2024. Royalties paid amounted to $50.9 million as of March 31, 2024, compared to $69 million by April 2, 2023. Globally, the Arts and Crafts and Games segments have shown growth compared to consumer products and other revenue streams.

Growing Journey

In an interview with IndianRetailer.com, Hemang Vasani, Head of Licensed Consumer Products for India, MENA, and North Asia, spoke in-depth about Hasbro’s growing licensing and merchandising deals and the brand’s innovative strategy to expand its footprint in India.

Discussing the brand’s journey in India, Vasani said, “While we started marketing our brands ourselves in 2017, our brands have been present in the market forever. We meet many consumers who have fond memories of playing classic games like Monopoly, Game of Life, Connect4, and Battleship or have seen their kids create magic with Play-Doh.”

Vasani added, “We see strong fandom for Transformers toys and movies alike. Our presence has only strengthened since 2017, allowing consumers to experience the entire Hasbro offering and create memories with friends and family. In recent years, we also added top preschool brands like Peppa Pig and PJ Masks to our portfolio.”

He continued, “These brands are not only strong in categories like fashion, toys, and back-to-school products, but they are also favorites among kids across platforms. We are proud to offer parent-approved content, as kids learn a lot through Peppa Pig.”

Peppa Pig Celebrates Diwali and Holi

Hasbro International acquired the Peppa Pig TV series and associated merchandising rights in a $3.8 billion deal in 2019. Peppa Pig has been exported to 180 countries and has theme parks in the UK, USA, and China.

Discussing innovative collaborations and localization strategies, Vasani said, “Hasbro strongly believes in bringing our brands closer to consumers, communicating with them in their own language, and incorporating relevant cultural elements. We learn from our global innovations, like the Monopoly Chinese New Year edition and Transformers Nezha for China, which have been very successful.”

He continued, “In India, localization has yielded wonderful results. Our Peppa Pig Hindi YouTube channel has tremendous viewership. Peppa Pig is also one of the strongest IPs for children’s books, and we’ve had fantastic launches like Peppa’s Holi, Peppa’s Diwali, and Peppa’s Rakhi. We engage locally through campaigns like Peppa loves Cricket in India, which is now an annual campaign.”

Regarding product localization, Vasani said, “We are probably the only major brand to localize games to reach the heartland of India in their languages. We launched the Monopoly classic board game, card game, and Game of Life in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam. These versions allow players to purchase local cities from their state on the board. Hasbro’s Creative Edge enables our partners to localize and innovate, and we appreciate it.”

Hasbro’s L&M Strategy

Hasbro is very optimistic about expanding its brand footprints in India via its licensing model. Peppa Pig, which also dominates the preschool segment, is present in multiple categories like figures, playsets, plush toys, games, books, and more. Recently, the brand has also grown its presence in the audio space. While Hasbro’s Nerf and Play-Doh have become categories in themselves.

In the recent past, Hasbro launched a Peppa Pig toy line with Karma Solutions for Made in India products. In fashion, The Souled Store has launched appealing lines for Peppa Pig and Transformers. They have also launched a dedicated line for gaming IPs such as Monopoly and Dungeons & Dragons for the first time in India. Additionally, Hasbro partnered with two licensees in the audio space – SuperBuddy and Vobble – offering hours of screen-free learning and entertainment.

Discussing Hasbro’s L&M strategy for India, Vasani said, “Our Licensing business is the fastest growing and most promising aspect of our presence in India. It has significantly increased our brand’s touchpoints and surprised everyone with innovative products and offerings from our licensees. Peppa Pig has been a clear favorite in multiple categories catering to preschoolers.”

He continued, “The rich repository of creatives and popular characters have made Peppa Pig a sought-after IP in categories like apparel, back-to-school products, toys, and publishing. We regularly host Peppa Musical shows across cities, and both kids and parents flock to these shows to cheer for every character.”

Vasani added, “For boys and girls above 4-5 years old, Transformers and My Little Pony offer something unique. Transformers gives boys two of their favorite things – robots and cars. Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, and Megatron have become iconic characters, loved by fans and kids alike. My Little Pony lets girls enjoy the magical world of friendship. Licensed merchandise for both these brands has grown exponentially across core categories in the last couple of years.”

Comparing India, MENA, and North Asia Region

According to Licensing International’s Global Licensing Industry report, Global sales of licensed merchandise and services reached a groundbreaking $340.8 billion in 2022, compared to an uptick of 8% compared to 2021. 

Comparing Indian market with MENA and North Asia regions, Vasani said, “The nature of these markets is completely different. India is a growing economy, and customers are happy to spend on products with good price-value offerings. With the world's largest population in the working and kids age groups, India is a focus market for growth potential for most companies.”

He added, “In contrast, North Asia is a strong market for collectibles and adult games, stemming from the aging population in Japan and Korea. With the influence of manga and Japanese content, anime-inspired products are growing across categories. MENA is a region of multiple countries, each offering unique growth opportunities. In the last 5-10 years, most countries have encouraged and welcomed brands to grow their markets. The high spending power in MENA makes it attractive for premium brands to offer unique solutions to customers.”

Expansion Plans for Hasbro in India

According to IMARC Report, the Indian toys market size reached US$ 1.7 Billion in 2023. The estimated market growth is US$ 4.4 Billion by 2032, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6% during 2024-2032.

Vasani elaborated on growth and expansion plans, “We have amazing plans to grow our brand footprint in India through licensing. We are strategically partnering with category leaders to follow the fewer, bigger, and better strategy. We are proud to launch the iconic Tonka brand. Our partner Centy Toys will launch the construction vehicles toy line in the coming months, the toy line will be launched with required quality standards for kids in India.”

He added, “We have a two-pronged strategy: improving the footprint of our strong brands like Peppa Pig, Transformers, My Little Pony, Monopoly, and Play-Doh across categories, and growing and nurturing newly launched brands.”

Stay on top – Get the daily news from Indian Retailer in your inbox
Also Worth Reading