The corporate world has big plans to enter the Indian market for kids' products - worth an estimated Rs.200 billion (over $4 billion).
In its first initiative of this kind, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized here a three-day exhibition-cum-conference, Kidex 2006. The event attracted over 60,000 children and parents. More than 80 companies seized the opportunity to showcase their products.
"As many as 85 percent parents are accompanied by children when they go shopping and it is kids' choices that dominate shopping lists," points out P.K. Mahapatro, the CII coordinator for the Kidex event.
"The objective of Kidex 2006 was to develop an ethical standard of marketing to kids, provide market linkages for corporates and to educate kids on the latest technologies and branded products available to promote an inclusive growth", CII said. For the exhibitors, the event, which ended Sunday, provided an ideal platform to gain better insights into "kidsfluencing".
According to market estimates, children between 8 and 12 years spent $1.18 trillion worldwide last year. Experts say the games market is worth Rs.1.5 billion, the gizmos market worth Rs.46 billion and the CDs/DVDs market another Rs.600 million.
The media and entertainment market for children is worth Rs.1.5 billion, the books and comics market Rs.800 million, and the pens, pencils, notebooks market nearing a whopping Rs.50 billion. The most exciting of them all is the clothes market for kids - estimated to be of Rs.70 billion.
Moreover, apart from products and services targeted at them, children also constitute a large segment for several general products. In the country's Rs.9.90 billion toothpaste market, for example, kids' shares - and choices - account for a 65 percent share.
No wonder many companies are firming up plans with an eye on the Indian kid. Walt Disney Company (India) is launching Disney jeans while Hucke AG of Germany, partnering with Novotex Exim India, is soon launching Whoopi, its brand of kidswear in India.
Italian brand Mona Lisa is entering a tie up with Kads Fashion India to target youngsters up to 15. Mother Care, specialising in childcare and associated products, has tied up with retail chain Shoppers' stop.
ICICI Bank has tied up with Cartoon Network channel to promote Young Stars Saving account scheme with Tom & Jerry as brand ambassadors. ITC is targeting school kids with its Classmate brand of stationery. Cartoon Network has tied up with Safal for juice promos. As the CII put it, children of economic liberalisation have come to make their claim on the market.