The developer of Angry Birds, Rovio Entertainment Ltd, has capitalised on its growing popularity by launching merchandise in various categories. Naz Cuevas, Executive Vice President, Global Consumer Products, Rovio Entertainment Ltd, shares the company’s future plans: How has been your journey in India? Angry Birds is one of the top properties for licensing in India. It has a strong presence, with about 800 SKUs across 14 categories, including plush toys, board games, trading cards, adults and kids’ apparel, accessories, footwear, gifts and stationery, among others. Angry Birds’ retail presence is spread across approximately 1,500 stores in India. The products are available in leading retail chains such as Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons, Crossword, Landmark and online platforms. Who’s your target audience? The target audience covers a large segment allowing us to extend the licensing into demographic niches of kids, pre-schoolers, teenagers, young women, and men simultaneously. How do you choose partners in the India market? We are looking for reputed companies with experience in the local market. We always want to provide a great experience to our fans, and therefore, we emphasise high quality product manufacturing and packaging, and of course, strong distribution channel and marketing capability. We look to build long standing relationships and want our partners to have the same approach with key retailers. We have had great success in the Indian market with our local licensing agent ‘Dream Theatre’. What’s your view about the licensing market in India? The market is predominantly ruled by character and entertainment licensing, which are largely animation-based. Popularity of a character on Indian TV often results in licensing success of a property. Besides, promotions and promotional licensing is also a growing trend in India. How do you deal with piracy? The best way of dealing with piracy is to have a strong and systematic programme of addressing it on a continuous basis, working with local authorities.
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