TOPPS India is a brand that needs no introduction; being the strongest player in our market for trading cards they have held a strong position in the market for over a decade. Post their win as the “Most resilient brand of the year” at the LABLES 2021 virtual awards we had a chance to get a quick interview with Mr Pravin Kalnawat- Head business and operations-Topps India.
It’s been a journey for Topps in India, what makes you stand our even today?
Topps completed its 10 years in India in February 2021 and our USP continues to be trading cards, we are the only ones in the category trying to establish the culture of collecting in India and addressing the needs of fans’ wanting to collect cards of their favourite icons as a hobby.
These cards help bring the fans closer to their icons in a way that is educational, entertaining and engaging as well as very beneficial to licensor giving them access to their fans throughout the year across age groups.
The brands popularity is certainly no secret. It has indeed established itself as one of its kind in the market. What all brands are associated with and do you have some in the pipeline?
In the past decade, we have been associated with some popular brands like IPL, WWE, UEFA, Pokemon, Virat Kohli, Angry Birds, Star Wars, F1, Marvel, etc. and have some big announcements to make this year as well.
What are your views on the growth that has taken place in the licensing industry and its scope in future?
With digital coming on the scene in a big way, there have been humungous new opportunities in the licensing space and every established property wants to take this route to reach even closer to their fans. These opportunities have only grown with the Covid situation due to more content consumption, more and more players opting to go the digital way and the need for creating awareness using alternative means other than traditional. We think there is great growth opportunity with changing user behavior and innovative data means.
2020 were trying times for all, how did you deal with the challenges that came your way? What are your future plans?
2020 has been tough for everyone and we also had to take some difficult calls, as to investing in these expensive licenses and marketing, with most of our distribution channels disturbed during that period.
But considering many of our fans are the collectors who have been collecting these cards since 8-10 years now, we didn’t want to let them down by not launching newer editions this year like any other year. We decided to not hold ourselves and kept the momentum on for them.