Updated: July 5, 2021 10:11:23 am
Playshifu, the Indian brand known for making tech-based education toys, is planning to boost manufacturing capacity in the country, with a focus on in-house consumption and exports. The company also plans to bring its latest ‘Tacto’ toy product to the Indian market by the next quarter. The product was launched in April 2021 in the US.
“Tacto launched in April in the US with a lot of fanfare. Our existing loyal base of customers chose to buy that too. We are currently working with a couple of manufacturers beyond the prototype and prototyping stage and should start production in not more than a month. We’re looking at launching Tacto in India in a quarter from now,” Dinesh Advani, Co-founder, PlayShifu told indianexpress.com.
The company also plans to ramp up capacity for its Orboot and Plugo toys which are currently sold in the Indian market. Unlike PlayShifu’s Orboot globe, which is an AR-driven experience, Tacto focuses on bringing board games to life using the power of touchscreens.
“We all love board games; kids and adults alike. Now imagine replacing that static board with a sensory-rich interactive pad, which is your iPad or your tablet and those figurines with interactive figurines. That’s exactly what we do with Tacto,” Advani explained. With Tacto, the figurines are special conductive figurines with a unique pattern at the bottom. For example, the king in a chess version of Tacto has a unique pattern. When a user moves this king piece, the board, which is the iPad in this case, knows that the king has been moved.
“And the entire figurine is conductive, which is when that is the figurine on the board, the conductive charge flows from the user’s body to the figurine’s legs, which then communicates with the iPad or tablet,” he pointed out.
Regarding manufacturing capabilities in India, he admitted that while there are challenges, the company is already working with four contract manufacturers in the country.
“There are manufacturers excited about the ‘Make in India’ program, and they are working to improve the capability. Now we have a very strong engineering team. And what we do is we work very closely with our manufacturers and help them grow and solve that particular problem from a manufacturing standpoint,” he said.
PlayShifu’s products are sold in nearly 35+ geographies across the world, including US, Europe, Japan and other markets. Currently 90 per cent of the company’s sales come from outside India, and according to Advani, they have seen steady growth despite the pandemic.
“We’ve been fortunate enough that we are in an industry, which has been positively impacted due to COVID with millions of kids at home and parents looking at engaging them meaningfully. Parents are very conscious about how kids spend their time on screen or any other time; they want them to be really productive,” he said. The company claims to have doubled in growth compared to previous years thanks to the strong demand and saw more demand from existing geographies.
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