A melange of characters

Bioworld is a leader in manufacturing and distributing licensed, private label and branded apparel worldwide. They have fully integrated distribution centers in Dallas, TX; Minneapolis, MN; Canada; Europe and India. Pankaj Sikka, Manager- Brand Licensing,
Pankaj Sikka, Manager- Brand Licensing, Bioworld

Bioworld is a leader in manufacturing and distributing licensed, private label and branded apparel worldwide. They have fully integrated distribution centers in Dallas, TX; Minneapolis, MN; Canada; Europe and India. Pankaj Sikka, Manager- Brand Licensing, Bioworld speaks about the opportunity for retailers in brand licensing in India 

Aparna Sharon Isa Dass (ASID): What is the concept behind character licensing?
Pankaj Sikka (PS):
Character licensing is the use of characters on merchandise with logo, picture, punch line or any other recognisable feature of a character on it. It is usually done by a third party using the authorisation of the property copyright owner. This can be real or non-fictional personas or real and fictional characters. We can also have non-human fictional cartoons as characters. For instance human fictional characters like Hanna Montana, James Bond, Charlie Chaplin, Austin Powers, Mr Bean. Human non-fictional like Laloo Prasad, Michael Jackson, Barrack Obama, Harbhajan Singh etc and cartoon fictional character like Mickey Mouse, Harry Potter, Dora the Explorer, Barbie, Superman, Batman, Spiderman etc. 

ASID: What all licensing categories does Bioworld cater to?
PS:
We have different categories of licensing in different geographic regions. For instance,in America and Europe our license categories include music, entertainment, beer / beverage and branded properties. Since we ventured into India quite recently so we have categories like music and entertainment as of now. 

ASID: How did the idea to set up a base in India emerge and why?
PS:
The idea to set up operations in India primarily started off with the increase in visibility of global brands in the Indian market. Global brands are available in Indian markets and with the increase in awareness of Indian consumers have led to the creation of huge demand in character based merchandise.  

ASID: What were the challenges faced while launching Bioworld through retail perspective in India?
PS:
Since retail is still a part of the unorganised market, distribution was a major concern in India. The biggest issue we faced was the abundant availability of bootlegs and fake merchandise which were open in every nook and corner of the country. The lack of support by the Government authority towards elimination of such fake merchandise was a major setback. However we took the initiative of creating our own unique collection and made our presence felt in the market through our original licensed merchandise.  

ASID: What does the future hold for a retailer into Brand/ character licensing in India? 
PS:
Global character and entertainment licensing industry is one of the largest segments of the licensing business, and is highly recognised by the general public. 44 per cent royalties in brand licensing come through Character Based Merchandise (CBM). We understand and envision the same route for the Indian market and thus our flagship has been CBM. Merchandising especially for kids has been our guiding light in India. With the growth of organised retail in the country we envision a direct relational growth in character licensing.
 

Pankaj Sikka, Manager- Brand Licensing, Bioworld
 
 
 
 
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