A rainy evening, a hot cup of tea to with those piping hot pakodas on your grandmother’s porch and a deck of cards, who’s not playing? What began as an activity limited to an evening with friends or family is now a thriving online activity. The online gaming industry in India catapulted to new heights with the increase in smartphones, Internet penetration, income level
of consumer and rising disposable income. The universal appeal and social nature of the gaming industry offered a multitude of opportunities for direct monetization and called for a regulatory framework.
For the purpose of regulating monetary offerings in the gaming industry, Indian laws differentiate between games of skill and games of chance. A ‘game of skill’ is one where success depends principally on the knowledge, training, experience and capabilities of the player and not entirely to chance. With that emerged the rise of the Real Money Gaming
(RMG) online market.
The sector is dominated by Rummy followed by poker and fantasy sports. Given the high growth potential of the sector, several foreign entities set out to explore possibilities to set up operations. Capitalizing on the potential four graduates of Manipal University - Navkiran Singh, Varun Ganjoo, Anirudh Chaudhry and Avneet Rana along with Puneet Singh developed India’s own online poker platform, PokerBaazi.com.
PokerBaazi.com set foot into the industry in October 2014 with a homegrown software, unheard of during this time, to introduce and expose the Indian subcontinent to the skill-based game of poker. “We started this journey with the belief that success in a technology driven industry like online gaming is highly dependent on a stable and scalable product. In order to be at par with international products, building an indigenous product was our biggest challenge,” quotes Navkiran Singh Co-founder and CEO of BaaziGames.
Completely bootstrapped by NavKiran Singh and his brother Puneet Singh, the journey came with its own hurdles. Venturing into a sector governed by taboos around the newly classified game of skill, a change in mind set had to be on the cards. The journey that began with a couple of hundred users culminated in a player base of 5 lakh registered users which stands as a testament to their trust in the brand.
Imbibing a player centric culture in the organization, PokerBaazi.com pioneered technological innovations like the portrait mode that enabled the users to play using just one hand and new formats and structures for the game that changed the way poker is played and perceived by the nation. For the Co-founder and CEO Navkiran Singh, this home-grown brand lived by the philosophy of give and take. BaaziGames follows this ideology and doesn’t hold back when it comes to rewarding the customers. The BaaziRewards and Cashback structure is one that is revered and stands tall in the poker community.
Following it up with a customer support team that works round the clock gave PokerBaazi a standing much needed in the segment and more importantly a place in the heart of its users. The brand is now synonymous with its flagship events like the PokerBaazi Premier League, The GameChanger and The MoneyMaker.
This was just the beginning and with plenty of opportunities in other Real Money Games, Navkiran envisioned a one-stop-shop for gamers of all kinds. Shortly after, BaaziGames spread its wings to take flight with BalleBaazi.com. Launched in January 2018, the platform provides an opportunity for a passive cricket fan to turn into an active one. With 2 out of 3 cricket fans being aware of fantasy sports gaming, BalleBaazi.com created a platform with a unique batting and bowling fantasy league format.
The company also recently signed cricketing legend Yuvraj Singh as their brand ambassador, who has come onboard BalleBaazi.com
and will add tremendous value to the brand. With over a million users today and a regular user base, BalleBaazi.com has grown rapidly. The company witnessed a 300% growth between Indian Premier League seasons 2018 and 2019.
BaaziGames was going to leave no stone unturned; India’s beloved game Rummy was next on the cards. RummyBaazi.com
is a platform that offers Free-Entry Tournaments round the clock and has the most rewarding loyalty program. “We kept in mind the sheer admiration and history of the game and made it a seamless transition to its online avatar”, quotes Navkiran.
Identifying challenges faced by various stakeholders and taking initiatives to overcome them drives the growth of an industry. BaaziGames has adopted a high standard of governance and self-regulation that today reflects why it is India’s most trusted online gaming platform.
“While growth is an important factor in any business, we always strive towards achieving a healthy and parallel growth with the industry and our stakeholders” says Navkiran, “Being a player-centric brand, BaaziGames continues to give its users the best experience and importantly a platform to learn, enjoy and play these booming skill based games.”
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