TÜV Rheinland offers testing and certification of toys through its state-of-the-art labs in India. Charan Singh, Regional Director, Softlines, TUV Rheinland India(a subsidiary of TÜV Rheinland Group, Germany) speaks about how the independent testing and certification of toy material has assumed significantly greater importance and the company’s plans in toy testing and certification.
How toys safety measures are changing the retail scenario in India?
Toys are the basic learning tool for our child when they are growing up. Whether they are playing building a block or a Barbie doll or a plastic car, you need to ensure that these products are not causing any harm to our child’s health. Countries like US, UK, Europe etc. have a strict guideline which guarantees the quality and safety of the toys. However, a majority of the products available in India are not tested to the safety and quality guidelines.
Retail plays a larger role in connecting manufacturers with the consumers so they have a bigger responsibility towards ensuring reliable and safe products.
What are the opportunities in this space?
Government of India is taking some steps towards ensuring safety and quality but the mandate or the reform is yet to come into force. As per reports, Indian Toy Industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20 percent and is expected to reach Rs 248.83 billion by 2020. We believe that the Indian market has ample opportunities but the Government has to come forward and make the manufacturers as well as the consumers aware of the significance of toy safety.
For retail industry, what are the focus areas for TUV Rheinland?
Skill development and vocational training is one of the major agenda for the new government. For the retail industry we do provide retail management course under vocational training in Cairn Center of Excellence, Jodhpur. The course involves training the students in merchandising, retail equipment, awareness of retail industry etc. Apart from training we are providing services to retailers in various categories for testing as well as inspections of their products to ensure quality and safety compliance.
Where does India stand in terms of testing and standardization of material used in toys?
As we mentioned earlier, there are two ways to look at it; one is the foreign brands that have set up their production plant in India and are following standards strictly. The other is Indian toy makers which cater to international as well as domestic markets. International markets like US and Europe take toy safety very seriously. The Indian manufacturers who are exporting toys to these countries take utmost precautions in terms of testing and certifications. With our global expertise, we make manufacturers aware of the standards and help their products certified.
What all technology do you use to ensure toys safety?
In our state-of-the-art laboratories worldwide we can perform mechanical and chemical testing for various types of toys as per European and American standards and provide product certification as well. Our experts undergo rigorous training on these standards in order to ensure they understand the regulations well and can perform the testing and inspection accordingly. Our laboratories are accredited as per ISO17025 to perform toy testing as per International and Indian standards.