Imagination Is Her Fodder

Consider this. A young girl of 12 was playing with her 5 friends and they landed up playing carom. Since only 4 players could play at a time, the other 2 had to keep waiting for their turns. That’s when the 12 year old designed a hexagonal carom so that all her friends could play together without waiting for turns. The journey of a games & toy designer had started from there. After that she designed some other board games that were successfully launched in the Hong Kong toy fair. This paved the way to her dream run.
After a mechanical engineering, the young girl joined National Institute of Design (NID) and completed her postgraduate in industrial design with specialization in toys and children products. Suhasini Paul founded PinkElephant and became an eminent toy designer and the brain behind many sassy board games. She became the first in the country to have her name printed on board games designed by her, which were launched in Germany Toy Fair in 2009.
Designing toys can be a highly intricate task, considering that children of each age have a varied interest and varied imaginations. Since Suhasini understood that her client target was children she highlighted her own imagination in her designs. She consulted various psychologists; speech therapists and play therapists that helped her understand the children and their psyche even more. Her fearless approach towards her work enabled her to bring originality and creativity in her work. Her love for children further kept the flame of innovation alive.

Monster Hugs collection

For instance, she introduced a range of soft toys called ‘Monster Hugs’ that were made from a non-allergic, washable material. She used natural dies, which were non-toxic for small children. Also she designed them taking inspiration from the drawings of small children. That way, it was easier for the children to relate to the toys since they themselves would draw the shapes as such. This clearly highlights her passion for working in tandem with the imagination of children. Not only that she keeps the safety of the children at a high pedestal when she is designing a toy.

Some toys designed by Suhasini

As a play strategist she ensures that the board games that she designs enable the child to brush up not just their creativity but also help them strategize and improve their social skills. Her developmental toys are a superb medium of educating children of areas which can be quite boring in text, otherwise. All her board games are aimed at encouraging social play. Since she had already featured her designs at the Hong Kong toy fair as a teenager, it was easy for her to promote her designs to corporates who could help her promote her skill. With the experience backing her, it was easier for her to deliver as per expectations.

Some of her designed furniture items

Her business took wings and she soon saw herself visiting different countries for delivering presentations and understanding the requirements of the local market. Besides India her business reached the shores of China, Italy, UK, USA and Germany. And with the help of Internet (Skype) it became easier for her to reach out to her clients for presenting her designs. Slowly from designing soft toys, puzzles, wooden toys and games, she expanded her horizons to other items like lamps, furniture and other infant and child friendly goods that could involve the child in their own world of imagination and exploration. For the last 4 years she has been working as a toy design consultant for KinderJoy as well.

Suhasini Paul

On asking her whether she was ever unsure as to how her business will survive in the limited environment India presents for toy designers, she shrugs her shoulders saying ‘I never doubted’. That is the confidence she presents when she delivers her work.  She simply has a three pence advice for people who would want to explore business avenues in this sector:

  1. Have passion to do what you believe in
  2. Have a plan B and plan C ready in case of an exigency. If required also a plan D 
  3. Always be yourself; Be original

In case you ask her what drives her, she smiles and utters a monosyllable ‘Imagination’.

Image courtesy : Google

This post was written for the Indiblogeshwaris’ Independence Day contest:Ladies Independence Special in association with Women Entrepreneurs in India.


34 thoughts on “Imagination Is Her Fodder

  1. Great blog post, RH. What an inspiring woman Suhasini is! I'm so impressed by her imagination and determination to succeed as a toy and game designer. Can't be an easy field to succeed in. Good for her!

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