Mattel, a multinational toy manufacturer that for decades inspired the wonder of childhood across the globe, has identified Sri Lanka as a key market for growth.
In a recent presentation to Mattel’s local partners, at Cinnamon Lakeside, Ishmeet Singh, Country Manager – South Asia, outlined the toy company’s vision for Sri Lanka.
Citing the burgeoning middle class, growth in GDP in recent years and the large population of children, which is currently pegged at approximately 5.5 million, he affirmed that the Sri Lankan toy industry, which is still in its nascent stages, is on the cusp of major growth.
Mattel highlighted its commitment to developing and growing the toy market in Sri Lanka that would ensure the availability of quality, safe toys that aid early childhood learning and development as well as help address the threat of counterfeit and unsafe toys that have seen a recent influx in the country.
“Sri Lanka has all the necessary factors for growth and is only in need of focused investment and development to reach its full potential. We see Sri Lanka as an important market in our growth plan. Towards this end, we are working with our partners on the ground on creating demand utilizing local insights. This means getting the product line architecture right, in terms of design, accessibility and affordability,” said Singh.
Recent studies have reiterated the critical role that toys play in the overall growth and development of children, beyond providing entertainment. “Playing with toys is invaluable to the early development of children, and in later stages, toys have been found to also drive creativity and innovation. Most importantly aiding early development in children today will help create a new generation of entrepreneurs, leaders and builders of tomorrow,” stressed Singh.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, playing with toys is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth. Play also offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children.
Speaking on Mattel’s vision for Sri Lanka Nabhan Akeel, Managing Director of KTI, said, “We look forward to working closely with Ishmeet and his team on developing the local industry. He outlined some important strategic points that we believe will help us take advantage of the current economic situation. We, too, feel the time is right for such a move and expect our relationship with Mattel to grow stronger as we set out on this journey together.”
Mattel will launch key properties in Sri Lanka beginning with The Hot Wheels Make It Epic initiative in Q2 of 2017, followed by promotions for Barbie in Q4.
Mattel is a Fortune 500 American toy manufacturer founded in 1945. The company’s range of brands such as Barbie, Hot Wheels and Masters of the Universe have become household names over the years. Kiddies & Toys International (KTI) Pvt. Limited is the exclusive agent for Mattel toys in Sri Lanka.