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Exclusive | CNE's Anand Singh on their expansion plans

We are planning to bring international formats of Cartoon Network to India, like the Mr. Bean Café which is there in Singapore, Thailand and China. We intend to bring that format by end of 2015.

In the first in its kind, India’s leading kids’ tablet maker Eddy in partnership with Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE) recently launched the world’s first Creativity Tablet for children. The tablet which comes with pre-loaded activities, apps and videos designed to nurture creativity in children and is indeed a new wave in children’s learning.

Eddy and CNE also announced the launch of Ben 10 tablets in India, designed to provide substantial hours of learning and entertainment for kids. Ben 10, an animated action series, is a Cartoon Network original that has become a global licensing phenomenon and has been one of the network’s biggest franchises since its launch in 2005.

The Creativity Tablet by Eddy features award winning content from Cartoon Network and POGO that will help children discover their interests and unleash their creative streak. The tablet carries more than 180 activities from the very popular kids’ show M.A.D (Music, Art and Dance), presented by celebrity host Rob, and is being aired on POGO channel.

The Creativity and Ben 10 tablets are a responsible and safe technology alternative for introducing kids to the digital age.

In order to know more about this association and their plans in the way forward, Adgully caught up with Anand Singh, Director, Cartoon Network Enterprises, Turner International India Pvt. Ltd.

Speaking about this initiative Singh said, “We have been planning to launch a tablet and have been in discussions for a while now. We felt that there was a need gap that needed to be addressed and hence we decided to come out with a tablet.  Needless to say that Eddy is the best brand to be associated when it comes to kids so there were no two things about it.”

On asking about the need for a product like this in the industry Singh said, “There was a need to come out with such a product. Parents want to keep their gadgets controlled and this gadget has everything for kids. While kids love to have gadgets, tablets are no exception and this tablet will give fun activities and at the same time parents need not worry about controlling them.”

He adds, “This product is in association with Eddy. Eddy has been in the kid’s space for a long time. Segmentation evolves and people find their own niche. It’s a strong property and their configuration looked positive so there was no question of looking at options.”

Singh is of the opinion that this product is another avenue to connect with the kids. He said, “The tablet is another avenue to reach and a touch point to connect with kids. There could have been as many ways as possible and tablets was one way of getting them consuming our content. The tablet has animation content, learning related content to begin with.”

While Eddy will have a robust distribution going forward as it is the first in its kind product. As of now it is available with Amazon.in and not in stores. Singh adds, “The initial response has been good.”

Speaking out the growth so far at Cartoon Network Enterprises Singh said, “The growth has been interesting. Ben 10 is our biggest property. It has been going for about seven years now. The property has 5000 SKU’s and 76 licenses across 40 countries. So that is a strong point for us. We have strong studios associated with us. The market is also evolving and our business is shaping up very well.”

Sharing insights about future plans Singh is all excited with the kind of content and formats they will be bringing to India. He said, “We are planning to launch 52 episodes of the popular Mr. Bean. There has been a gap of about 6-7 years and we intend to bring that back. Apart from that we are planning to bring international formats of Cartoon Network to India, like the Mr. Bean Café which is there in Singapore, Thailand and China. We intend to bring that format by end of 2015. We are still in the planning stage.”

“We are planning to re-launch our classic property Power Puff Girls (PPG) by 2016 which is a Cartoon Network original production. We are working on that front to strengthen our presence among the young girls. Ben 10 has been a boy’s property and we intend to bring back PPG by next year,” he went on to add.

On the merchandises front, Back to School has been one of their best merchandises especially bags and stationery. The four months of Spring/Summer are very crucial for the network. Their apparel merchandises are also doing well.

We all know that every network has some key markets. For CNE, SAARC countries have been their key markets. Nepal and Maldives are small in size but the network has made their presence in those countries as well. Sri Lanka is an existing market with 10 licensees. The network is looking at expansion in a big way in Bangladesh. And lastly, they have a separate team in Pakistan.

On a concluding note Singh adds about the trends that have benefited the network. He said, “Ecommerce has added a lot of buzz to merchandizing and that is a plus point for us. We look forward to more ecommerce associations.” By Archit Ambekar | Twitter: @aambarchit

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