Please give a brief about your licensing achievements in India and abroad?.
We are India’s greatest success story in character licensing. We have more than 100 licenses for our characters, Mighty Raju and Chhota Bheem. We have grown at about 200 per cent, over the last three years.
Our merchandise is shipped abroad via the online portal. We are soon looking at appointing distributors and licensees in the Middle East and Asia, for expanding our merchandise reach to Indians abroad, via retail channels as well.
Our comics, activities and learning books are soon going to be published and distributed in the USA and European markets, in addition to our pan-Asia reach.
How do you view the broader licensing market in India?
Licensing is gaining popularity and we have had great traction in the last two years. Having our shows on air for over six years has helped us tremendously, compared to the ones that are not seen much on Indian TV.
Also, opening retail stores across India has helped us become a more visible brand. Impulse buying is a regular trend in India. Marketing through our yearly movie promotions, events at schools, malls and above-the-line (ATL) activities with TV commercials and brand endorsements, is a fast growing trend amongst kids’ properties.
Which categories work best and why? Animation
India and FMCG (consumer foods) are catching up fast. Entertainment and sports licensing are also seeing steady growth y-o-y due to mega events and emerging celebrities. These categories work because of their heavy usage in day-to-day lives by children and ever growing gifting concept.
Please suggest some best practices on curbing the counterfeit market?
You need to make sure that you have registrations under all possible clauses done for Trademarks and Copyrights for art work/ design and name, done nationally and internationally in countries where your products are manufactured, or where you retail. Especially, registration is a must in China because piracy happens most in the toys’ category there.
The other important aspect is, spreading awareness through newspaper advertisement, caution notices to retail channels and trade associations about ownership of IP and legal violations, if rights are abused.
Besides this, one has to consistently send legal notices to violators, also, conduct time-to-time raids and seriously enforce the applicable law on violation of rights against violators.