The brand licensing industry, in its ‘nascent stage’ in India as of now, is already on a growth trajectory in the foreseeable future, given the rising brand consciousness and higher penetration of modern retail and eCommerce, voiced the industry experts during the India Licensing Expo (ILE) 2017.
An exclusive b2b event, ILE witnessed participation from close to 150 brands portraying numerous business opportunities and the industry stalwarts joining under one roof to strategize the next course of action for the L&M industry. Supported by International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA), the show boasted of a two day exposition, awards night, and knowledge forum including conference and licensing Masterclass.
Viacom 18, Marie Claire, Universal Music, Mondo TV, JCB, Polaroid, NBA, Sesame Street, Authentic Brands Group were a few amongst list of top brands participating. Speaker Conference was concluded by sessions from prominent leaders like Dan Frugtniet, VP – Licensing & Business Development, Nickelodeon Viacom Consumer Products; Maura Regan- Executive Vice President, LIMA; Anurag Sachdeva- Director (India & South East Asia), Rovio; Chris Evans, MD, Oxford Ltd.; Yannick Colaco, Managing Director at NBA India, Jason Sutton, VP-Licensing, Polaroid, Ishmeet Singh, Country Manager, Mattel Toys (India), Archana Keskar, Senior Director – Retail & Business Development, WWE. Further, taking ahead the legacy of ‘Common Man’ by RK Laxman, his granddaughter Rimanika Laxman created “Common Woman”, which was launched at the Expo by Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu.
Brand licensing industry sees opportunity for growth in India From the times when one store in Mumbai – Shoppers Stop was touted to be mecca of retail to now when 70 global brands forayed in India in 2016, Indian L&M industry has travelled a long distance. "The owners of intellectual properties (IPs), including major cartoon, entertainment and corporate brands, are keen to enter the Indian market. Everybody wants to tap the 1.3 billion customer-base that the country has, especially when awareness of brands among consumers in 900 cities is very high," asserted License India Chairman Gaurav Marya during the event. "According to the latest Global Licensing Industry Survey, 2017, India currently ranks 20 with $1,396 million retail sale of licensed merchandise in 2016.
The country's rank in the global scenario is expected to improve as it has huge opportunity and there is global optimism for India," said Maura Regan, Executive Vice President of LIMA. According to LIMA's Global Licensing Industry Survey, 2017, the market size is $262.9 billion with a 4.4 per cent growth over the previous year.
John Erlandson, EVP Business Development and Co-Chief Business Officer, Authentic Brands Group, that boasts of a vast portfolio of brands including Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson (managed brand), Juicy Couture, Judith Leiber and so on, said, "India has a huge English-speaking population and they can go online and explain the brand story globally while many of the Chinese don't have that skill-set. Thus marketing of the brands can be done much more rapidly." Marya said, "About 460 foreign brands confirmed their entry in the consumer space either through licensing or franchise model".
In words of Jiggy George, Founder & CEO of Dream Theatre and Head of LIMA India, “There are brands initiating from grass root level. All building traction from brand’s perspective as a result of which the extension has become much easier.” The two day Licensing Expo offered an opportunity to unlock lot of domestic intellectual properties or brands for the international markets. The knowledge forums also voiced about the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). As per the experts, GST will enable brand licensing industry to grow in India and also allow retail industry to start respecting intellectual property rights.