Skoodle is on a mission to make eco-friendly art and play a lifestyle: Shobhit Singh

Shobhit Singh, Director of Stone Sapphire India Private Limited (parent company of toy brand Skoodle), talks of the brand’s sustainability agenda and being a part of the ‘Make in India’ toyconomy

Srabana LahiriUpdated: Monday, October 03, 2022, 09:43 AM IST
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Skoodle, launched by Stone Sapphire India Private Limited in 2018, is a toy and stationery brand that started its operations by marketing children’s art and craft material. They soon added new stationery and toys to their offerings by acquiring renowned licenses like Disney Junior, Mickey and Friends, Frozen, Marvel Avengers, Spiderman, Barbie, Fisher-Price, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig as exclusive India licenses.

Skoodle is a contributor to the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ push for the toy industry, and has adopted sustainability as its top agenda.

What did you set out to do with Brand Skoodle and what has been the experience in the last five years of its operations?

Skoodle, which was conceptualised on World Environment Day, started with stationery and within a span of five years, has grown into a toy manufacturing and distribution company. The growth seen today is tremendous in the domestic as well as the export markets. Presently, the volume of toys that Skoodle manufactures every calendar year is close to 1,920,000 pieces. This growth is majorly due to a policy boost by the Government and production-linked incentive schemes for toys. Our country now needs to upgrade its toy production scale and invest in quality checks and stringent compliance controls so that our quality is no different from that of international brands.

Skoodle will continue to strive for ways to disrupt the ever-growing world of fun, learning and play through offerings like school supplies, art essentials, activities and toys. We want to be known as a brand creating exciting and innovative quality products at honest consumer prices, with great support from our channel partners and a most professional marketing team. It is our mission to make art and play a lifestyle, and the love and acceptance that we have received along the way for Skoodle is just the beginning.

What is the USP of your product portfolio when compared to established market players like Funskool, Lego, Mattel, etc., as well as Indian toy-makers like Kreeda?

Skoodle believes that high-quality art supplies can go a long way to inspire young minds. Since eco-friendly stationery products have a very bright future, the brand’s goal is to start teaching kids from an early age, so that they grow with the culture to save the environment. Most products manufactured by Skoodle are made from recycled material. We practise sustainability so that consumers in India can buy the same quality products as their US counterparts, but at a comparatively affordable price, as they are manufactured in India.

What is the distribution network of Skoodle like? Which are your preferred trade channels?

Today, the brand has entered all trade channels like general trade, modern retail, export and institutional sales and made big strides in just three years. Skoodle enjoys a full-fledged e-commerce presence with brand stores on marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa Home, Myntra Home, Meesho and First Cry. The brand also has its own e-commerce website known as skoodleplay.com.

The Skoodle Toy lab, started during the pandemic, is the in-house toy design and concept research arm with students from design, mentors from institutes and pre-school teachers curating and exploring fresh ideas and play value of articles. Also, the brand’s new manufacturing and distribution facility in Vadodara takes toys and stationery pan-India and will serve as a hub for meeting demand in the Indian as well as international markets. The stand-alone factory has one of Asia’s largest manufacturing capacities of dough and clay, and through it, we aim to extend the contribution of Vadodara city to the Government’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

What are your new product launch and expansion plans, going forward? What are your priorities in the next one year?

Skoodle has always strived for ways to bring about a sustainable revolution in the country by abiding with the highest ethical standards. The five production lines, apart from our massive range of recycled paper started this year, include an entire range of board games, colours, clay and doughs, sand and slime and ride-ons and scooters.

The value of the Indian toy sector annually accounts for approximately $ 1.5 billion, which comes to less than 1% of global toy market-share. Overall, we expect to grow to $ 2-3 billion approximately by next year. About 80% of this market is unorganized, and fragmented region-wise with the channel partners setting the trade practice.

Skoodle ventured into export during COVID, and garnered opportunities for ride-ons and other products. In the coming years, we aim to stand out in the market and continue to transform the ever-growing world of fun, learn and play through our vast product line.

Through our new manufacturing facility in Gujarat, we will focus on bringing to market state-of-the-art, value-added and superior quality products at an affordable price point. Our revolutionary production unit will serve as a growth engine for the Indian and global markets.

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