You Need Character Co., Ltd signs rep agreement with ‘License India Advisory Private Limited’

You Need Character Co., Ltd (CEO Minsu Song), character creation and animation company has announced that its wholly-developed character, ‘Cricket Pang,’ is entering the Indian market as the first Korean character company.

On January 11th, 2019, You Need Character Co., Ltd signed a representation agreement with ‘License India Advisory Private Limited (Director Gaurav Marya)’, India’s largest brand marketing and character business company, for ‘Cricket Pang’ to penetrate in the Indian market.

With this agreement, License India represents ‘Cricket Pang’ in India, which is currently being developed as TV animation series. It plans to launch ‘Cricket Pang’ in India and increase its awareness by various means such as broadcasting on India’s major television networks, character merchandising licensing and character brand marketing.

This agreement is the outcome of ‘India Licensing Expo 2018’ which was held in Mumbai, India, from August 23rd until 24th, 2018. As the first Korean company, You Need Character Co., Ltd, participated in the event where its ‘Cricket Pang’, wholly planned and developed specifically for Indian market, received a great attention from local buyers. After continuous discussions, this partnership agreement has been signed with ‘License India,’ India’s largest brand marketing and character business company.

You Need Character Co., Ltd was established in 2017 by Minsu Song who has diverse experiences in character and content businesses as he had worked in South Korea’s major animation company, Iconix Entertainment Co., which produced phenomenally successful animation series, “Pororo the Little Penguin”, and also he had worked in South Korea’s largest theme park, “Everland.” It is a start-up character creation and animation company located at Pangyo Gyeonggi Culture Creation Hub and it is expanding its global business with its own character IPs such as Rose Ping, Tomarmon and Cricket Pang.

“Cricket Pang is being developed as animation based on India’s most popular sport, cricket. We expect a big success as a content that will be easy and educational for Indian children and I’m very delighted to sign this partnership agreement and looking forward to our future,” said Gaurav Marya, Director of License India Advisory Private Limited. He also added, “We plan to successfully launch Cricket Pang in India via our various networks while utilizing our marketing capacity to the fullest, and we will develop it as a successful character brand with our outstanding partner agencies.”

In addition, Minsu Song, CEO of You Need Character Co., Ltd, said, “We are producing animation ‘Cricket Pang’ based on India’s most popular sport, cricket, as we saw the expandability of Indian market since it has a population of about 1.3 billion people and will even surpass that of China by 2023. I’m really thrilled to have a partnership with License India to develop ‘Cricket Pang’ even further in Indian market and we will expand our global business aggressively by broadcasting TV animation series in early next year.”

Currently, ‘Cricket Pang’ is being developed as TV animation series and its global business will expand with broadcasting on Indian TV channels in early 2020 and in other cricket playing countries such as UK and Australia.


<Outline of You Need Character>

You Need Character Co., Ltd is a character creation and animation company which was established in 2017 by Minsu Song who previously worked in South Korea’s major animation company, Iconix Entertainment Co. which produced phenomenally successful animation series, “Pororo the Little Penguin.” The company is a global character business by developing character brands and animation based on various concepts.

Get ready for India’s biggest licensing show!

INDIA LICENSING EXPO 2019, is the third edition of country’s largest brand licensing platform that collates opportunities, knowledge, and recognition under one roof. This year the show is scheduled for the 8th & 9th of July.

The show connects global brands, retailers, manufacturers, licensing stalwarts, agents & influencers for two days of relationship building, deal-making and trendSpotting. If you’re in the licensing business or wish to be a part of it, then block off 8th & 9th July in your calendar and book your tickets right away.


Click this link for more details

We will continue to keep you updated in the run-up to the event.

The big daddy of franchising & licensing – Gaurav Marya

Gaurav Marya has been a serial entrepreneur since his college days setting up businesses in mobile phones, restaurants, entertainment, and advisory services. Today he is hailed as the father of Indian franchising.

He runs Franchise India which has become the largest integrated franchise and retail solutions company in Asia, and possibly the world.

Thanks for speaking with

ILP: Tell us about some of the key milestones you accomplished while building your empire.

GM: Today being hailed as the father of Indian franchising, my journey began since my college days when I was a serial entrepreneur setting up businesses in mobile phones, restaurants, entertainment, and advisory services.

Franchise India has grown exponentially since then. With a team of 700+ employees, 40+ offices and outreach in 300 towns and cities, the Group has touched more than five million individual entrepreneurs, impacting more than 2,50,000 businesses. Our media division organizes 300+ conferences and expositions across 100+ cities in India, and in the Middle East and Sri Lanka. We publish 4 magazines, reports and books that have both wide circulation and critical appreciation. Our franchise business website attracts 264,000+ unique hits every month.

ILP: Can you help demystify the difference between franchising and licensing for our readers? How big is the franchising business in India vs the licensing business in your opinion?

GM: Currently India is one of the fastest growing large economies of the world with amongst the youngest populations at an average age of 29 years. With growing affluence, there is tremendous demand for better products & services spread across the country which requires brands to set up stores closer to the customer. This Franchising & Licensing route gives an option of faster roll-out to the brands with a financial commitment from the partner. The brands can focus on-the-business role with marketing & product development being overseen by the brand owner. India is already the second largest franchise market in the world after the US with about 4,600 operating franchisers and 1.5 lakh franchisees. Franchise industry in India is today estimated to be at USD 47-48 billion. This is growing at 30-35 percent year-on-year and a sales turnover of the sector was recently valued at over US$7 billion. Franchising in India is getting to a point where we are witnessing a lot more maturity in the way it is shaping as compared to almost a decade ago. However, this industry has clocked the annual growth rate of 30% with a market size of USD 7.2 billion, the second fastest growing industry.

Brand licensing in India is at a very nascent stage and is set to grow manifold in the foreseeable future with rising brand consciousness among consumers and higher penetration of modern retail and e-commerce. The Indian licensing and merchandising industry is pegged at $1.2 billion and is expected to grow at a fast pace, credits to the influx of global as well as home-grown IPs. While character/entertainment genre dominates the global licensing landscape, it is fashion that rules the L&M scenario in India with a market size of $731 million. The country is growing economically and technologically at a phenomenal rate according to projections by the World Bank and IMF. Licensing can play a key part in partnering with companies and making profits in India.

ILP: Apart from Franchise India your company also organizes one of the largest licensing shows in the country – India Licensing Expo. This year will be its 3rd edition – what are your expectations?

GM: After the successful second edition of India Licensing Expo last year, we are ecstatic to inaugurate our third edition of the event. India Licensing Expo is a dedicated hub for industry business across diverse verticals like cinema, music, corporate, fashion, character, and sports licensing all under one roof. This platform will also bring together voluminous brand opportunities, elaborate knowledge forums, exclusive licensing appreciations, fun character parade and many more. In the scenario, where India is a brand-hungry market, we see a natural inclination towards licensing as an effective retail strategy. Brand licensing has been well accepted as a retail strategy in India, and through ILE 2019, we will bring the universal perception to the Indian landscape. The owners of intellectual properties (IPs) comprising the major character, entertainment, celebrity, and corporate brands are keen to enter the Indian market. Everyone wants to tap the 1.3 billion customer-base that the country has, especially when the consciousness of brands among consumers in 900+ cities are very high.

ILP: When do you think a brand is ‘license ready’?

GM: Licensing is directly proportional to ‘Popularity’ & ‘Aspiration’. For a brand to successfully surf the tide of brand licensing, it is imperative to evaluate the brand on two parameters ‘Is the brand popular enough?’ and ‘Do the target audience aspire to adorn the brand’. We often see, a brand without creating its mark on retail, embark on their licensing journey, this increases the probability of uncertainty, a brand to hit of well through brand licensing should cross the stage of infancy and move to maturity in its product cycle. Licensing a brand is a way to create business growth with relatively low investment – but if you haven’t taken the time and effort to grow a successful business and brand in the core category, it’s too risky to handover a brand to someone else to experiment with.

Also, there are other parameters to be considered while plotting brands future – for example how well protected are you legally and what’s your broader marketing strategy? Once these parameters are taken care of, that’s when the brand can be successfully extended through licensing. However, I truly believe every brand has licensing potential and one doesn’t need to throw a double six to start the game of licensing, just choose the right time to play it.


ILP: Apart from a ChuChu TV or Chota Bheem, very few Indian brands have been able to make a dent on the global stage. Given your global perspective, where have we fallen short?

GM: It’s not fair to blame consumer acceptability or similar factors, I believe the major reason is the balance between good animation quality and merchandise quality, it is of vital importance to maintain quality standards for both. This is where the global properties are moving ahead. Also, a major factor is the lack of investment from licensor’s side.

A good example would be the Yankees, Of course, retailers and manufacturers are happy paying good royalties and having NY on their products but this is possible only because of the kind of marketing spend done by the brand to promote the property. This really marks the success of a brand in the domestic market as well as globally.

ILP: Do you think the licensor-licensee relationship needs further fine tuning especially in a market like India which is rapidly evolving?

GM: I would definitely agree to this, there is a major need for fine tuning between both the parties. India being a unique market, Retail here is dynamic and evolving rapidly with the focus shifting towards organized retail, yet it holds a very small percentage currently.

Unlike in a typical market, where a licensee does not require hand-holding and is well versed with the entire operation of licensing, India is still at a nascent stage where special netting of synergies is required to successfully carry out the program. Here the role of an agent becomes more crucial, where they need to bridge the gap between Licensor & Licensee, as It is just not about milking the brand with a short-term goal in India, but patiently driving towards the goal by both brand owner as well as the Licensee.

ILP: What systemic changes are required to take the licensing business to the next level in India?

GM: Primarily, a cordial relationship between the Licensor & Licensee plays a very important role and lack of alignment often leads to frustrating losses of time and money. Good understanding of each party’s expectations ensures the program gets off on the right foot to achieve the success both that of licensor and licensee as envisioned when they partnered.

Secondly, I would like to stress upon the marketing of the brand, which is more important than it seems. In other developed markets brands are constantly investing backward to promote itself, but somehow when it comes to India, brands are a little apprehensive before investing in this market. It is so important to go full out for a brand in any given territory to make the licensing program successful. I also believe that there is a lack in the ethical practice of brand licensing in India. Of course, due to high unorganized retail, infringement is a point of concern here, but in order to mitigate this, the regulatory body should be formed with stringent rule & regulations. To ensure moral practices are being followed, a regular visit by the brand /body should be planned and right action should be taken against the party in case of infringement. Currently, due to the brand-hungry market, someone’s loss becomes others gain, which creates a grey area. If this can be judicially controlled, the licensing business can surely grow at a much faster pace.

ILP: Which is one of your favorite brands at Bradford License India and one which you would love to represent but haven’t yet had a chance to?

GM: All of our brands in the portfolio are very important and dear to us, so no favorites to call out. To answer the latter half, with the growing Fashion & lifestyle space we would really like to have more Fashion and corporate brands on board with us.

ILP: Bradford License, your brand & licensing agency represents quite a wide array of brands across categories from Character & Entertainment to Sports, Music, Celebrity & Art. Which categories are under-penetrated in the Indian market according to you? 

GM: We feel music & art are definitely two genres that are under-penetrated. To add to it, we feel there is immense potential of this category in India, but because of poor handling of the entire proposition, it is unable to derive the value and novelty it deserves.

ILP: What’s your advice to young aspiring licensing professionals?

GM: Licensing is a great industry to be a part of. As I said, we are still at a nascent stage, indicating the amount of growth opportunity coming our way. Till now we may have only cracked 10% surface of the total industry potential, marking huge space left for exploration. So my advice would be to get your smart caps on and gear up for some big business.

ILP: How does Gaurav Marya keep his finger on the pulse of global franchising and licensing?

GM: Franchising & licensing offers a convenient market entry option to brands with global expansion. A brand can target a market with a sizeable opportunity through these routes even as a brand has a limited market understanding. The financial commitment is considerably reduced when foraying a market through these routes with a strong upside with master fee & royalties.


About Bradford License India Pvt. Ltd.

Bradford License India is a joint venture between Bradford Licensing LLC and Franchise India Group. This venture has marked as India’s first complete licensing solution provider, complete with Franchise India Group’s expertise of 19 years in brand development, opportunity identification, business matching and consulting in India and Bradford Licensing’s 32 years of expertise in the licensing industry. Developing and managing licensing program from over 10 years, Bradford License India currently represents 50+ global brands and enjoys a well-established network in retail. For more information call Shifa Rastogi at +91 9999697442 or email at


About License India:

License India, an exclusive brand licensing media & exhibition vertical of Franchise India Group. India’s first licensing media services company formed with the objective to increase awareness and support the growth of licensing in the country. Alongside media division, License India organizes business-to-business licensing shows encapsulating conferences, workshops, expositions, and awards, under Brand Licensing India, and India Licensing Expo. License India excels in the licensing space with its strategic and knowledge-based verticals. For more information call Shifa Rastogi at +91 9999697442 or email at

Winners crowned at India Licensing Expo!

There were plenty of awards to go around at the gala & glitzy event hosted by License India on the first day of the 2nd edition of The India Licensing Expo. After a hectic day in the exhibition, all and sundry made a beeline for the venue at Bombay Exhibition Centre to calm frayed nerves and network into the wee hours of the morning.

In case you missed it, here’s a quick rundown of the folks who took home the shiny plaques.

Categories Winners
Licensee Of The Year – Apparel Dhananjai Lifestyle Limited
Licensee Of The Year – Fashion Accessories2 Mustang Socks
Licensee Of The Year – Movie Inspired Merchandize3
Licensee Of The Year – Gifts & Novelties The Souled Store
Licensee Of The Year – Back To School My Baby Excel
Licensee Of The Year – Toys & Games Topps India Sports & Entertainment
Licensee Of The Year – Gaming 99 Games
Licensee Of The Year – New Media Take-Two Interactive
Licensee Of The Year – Theme & Amusement Parks Imagica – Adlabs Entertainment Limited
Licensee Of The Year – Food & Beverages Monginis
Licensee Of The Year – Home Décor SPACES By Welspun
Licensee Of The Year – Home Furnishing Jasco Handicrafts Private Limited (Dimpy Stuff)
Licensee Of The Year – Mobile phone Accessories Macmerise
Licensee Of The Year – Electronics Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd.
Licensee Of The Year – Concept Businesses B2C Network LLP
Special Category Award – Indian Licensing Agent of the Year Bradford License India
Special Category Award – IP Firm of the Year Anand & Anand
Special Category Award – Debutant Retailer in Licensing 2018 Toon Mart
Special Category Award – Innovative Brand Licensed Product & Services Asian Paints Ltd.


Special Category Award – Brand Licensing Leader 2018 – Agent20 Nitin Kalra, Director, AI Licensing India Pvt. Ltd.
Special Category Award – Best Marketing Initiative21 Black White Orange
Special Category Award – Brand Licensing Leader 2018 – Licensee Nazara Technologies Ltd.
Best IP Award – Most Innovative Licensing Property Beo n Peno
Best IP Award – Cutting Edge Licensing Property Baby Hazel
Licensee Of The Year – FMCG MTV UP! By New X Global Beverage Pvt. Ltd.
Special Category Award – Honorary Excellence Award – Agency Dream Theatre India Pvt. Ltd.
Best IP Award – Sports Licensing Property WWE
Best IP Award – Entertainment Licensing Property Little Singham
Best IP Award – Leadership in Film Licensing Arka Mediaworks
Licensor Of The Year – Celebrity HRX by Hritik Roshan
Licensor Of The Year – Corporate – Fashion Category Femina Flaunt
Licensor Of The Year – Corporate Eastman Kodak Company
Licensor Of The Year – Entertainment Green Gold Animation
Licensor Of The Year – Bollywood Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd.
Licensor Of The Year – Sports NBA India
Licensor Of The Year – Character Rovio India – Angry Birds
Licensor Of The Year – Music Universal Music
Licensor Of The Year – Art Toki Doki



Leading M&E cos to participate in India Licensing Expo 2018

MUMBAI: Following its debut in 2017, License India is staging the second edition of India Licensing Expo, which will take place from23-24 August at the Bombay Convention And Exhibition Centre, Mumbai.

ILE is a brand licensing show and is supported by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), the leading trade organisation for the global brand licensing industry. The focus of ILE 2018 is to create greater awareness about the benefits of brand licensing to Indian retailers and the business community at large and to promote India as a burgeoning market in the global landscape.

With participation from more than 500 global and domestic brands with players like Viacom18, Green Gold Animation, Adlabs Entertainment, Angry Birds, ChuChu TV, Dream Theatre, Cartoon Network, WWE, Orion, DQ Entertainment and Bradford License India, ILE’18 will showcase the spectrum of licensing with business buyers across categories and territories expected to attend the show over two days.

The conference programme will see participation from executives including:

  • Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association  president Maura Regan
  • Licensing Brands managing partner Pete Canalichio
  • NBA MD  Yannick Colaco
  • Nickelodeon Viacom Consumer Products, VP, Licensing Business Development Dan Frugtniet,
  • Entertainment One senior VP international licensing Ami Dieckman
  • Rovio senior VP brand licensing Simo Hämäläinen
  • Lima India head Jiggy George
  • Celebrities Entertainment MD Ulf Vespermann
  • WWE senior director consumer products Licensing, Retail  Archana Keskar
  • BCCL director, business head brand extension Sandeep Dahiya
  • ALT Balaji CMO Manav Sethi
  • Adlabs Entertainment joint CEO Dhimant Bakshi

The event also includes a master class (for limited 30 delegates) scheduled on 22, 23 August 2018 culminating into India Licensing Awards on 23 August 2018.

The forum highlights the potential of the emerging Indian licensing industry by bringing together the players of this dynamic industry and by creating a platform for education, growth, and networking in the given peripheries.

“We have been successful in portraying India Licensing Expo as a dedicated hub for licensing professionals. Licensing Industry in India is definitely on an upward trajectory and through ILE 2018, we intend to bring the global understanding to Indian landscape, further propagating this business model,” said License India chairman Gaurav Marya.

The show brings together a wide range of intellectual properties comprising characters, entertainment, celebrity, corporate, sports, art with an aim to encourage and enable licensing professionals to network and capitalize on opportunities and structure a concrete licensing program for retailers to leverage on.

“LIMA is committed to the continued growth and expansion of licensing around the world, and we are proud to support this show dedicated to licensing in India. It is important for the advancement of our business to come together in India, make connections and learn about this active market that is poised to achieve great things in the coming years,” said LIMA president Maura Regan.

“India has seen a massive surge in licensing in the last few years – there is consolidation and growth in key categories, the emergence of new genres and greater presence of licensed products at retail. LIMA India continues to bring the fraternity together to boost it further and we are very happy to partner with ILE in this journey as we continue to grow the industry and celebrate its success,” said LIMA India head Jiggy George.

“I attended the inaugural License India Show in August 2017 as an exhibitor as well as a guest speaker. I thoroughly support License India as a well overdue specialised and focused Licensing show for such a dynamic market like India. I firmly believe in the value of annual Licensing shows and attend them all over the World and I will continue to support License India both as a Licensor (Nickelodeon Viacom Consumer Products) and as an attendee in future,” said Viacom Consumer Products Vice President – Licensing & Business Development Dan Frugtniet.

“India Licensing Expo was a great venture initiated in 2017. It’s one of the right paths to evolve brand licensing in India. With the participation of LIMA, top brands and the exchanges of knowledge we can see this platform been built to ensure a bigger identity to the licensing universe and brand capitalization. We look forward to a greater show in 2018,” said Green Gold Animation COO & Exec. Director Samir Jain.

“India is an important market for WWE with a massive fan base that we believe deserves localized product solutions. We were pleased to participate in India’s first Licensing show backed by LIMA, organised by License India. It was a very well put-together event including the master class, seminars and panel discussions that are key to continue the education of global standards & facilitate relevant conversations in the market,” asserted WWE Senior Director – Consumer Products Licensing & Retail (India) Archana Keskar.