Bhavin Pandya, CEO and founder of Games24x7
Games24x7 is a prominent skill gaming company which runs platforms like My11Circle and RummyCircle. Recently, the company announced a three-year title sponsorship deal with IPL team Lucknow Super Giants for its brand My11Circle. It followed the recent news of the flagship platform – RummyCircle—roping in actor Hrithik Roshan as its new brand ambassador. As part of the partnership, Roshan will be seen in multimedia campaigns by RummyCircle, spanning across TV, digital and social media platforms. The campaign highlights real-life scenarios where Roshan demonstrates mental dexterity to find a way out of unforeseen situations.
caught up with Bhavin Pandya, CEO and founder of Games24x7, to talk about these developments, the potential of Animation, Visual effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) sector and FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement during the recent budget speech
about setting up a task force with all stakeholders.
Q. You recently signed up Hrithik Roshan as brand ambassador for RummyCircle. Tell us more about this association and how will it pan out in the coming days?
We are really excited to partner with Hrithik Roshan. He is one of India’s biggest stars and he will feature in our campaign #RahoEkKadamAage. It is our biggest campaign till date which is going to see heavy investments from our end. The campaign is focused on the Hindi speaking markets but will reach out to people all over the country. It is a year-long association and the next six to eight weeks will see visibility across GEC channels focused on Hindi speaking markets, OTT platforms
, and digital performance media marketing platforms both native and programmatic, along with short video platforms like Moj, Sharechat
and other social media as well. We are positive that the campaign will be able to reaffirm RummyCircle as a platform which is the perfect combination of entertainment and skill. #RahoEkKadamAage is a campaign where you have to make sure that you are always ahead of the game.
Q. The Finance Minister during her Union Budget speech said that the AVGC sector offers immense potential to employ youth. An AVGC promotion task force with all stakeholders will be set up to recommend ways to realise this and build domestic capacity for serving our markets and the global demand. Can you tell us what can be achieved through this kind of boost and recognition from the government?
It is really the first step towards formalisation of the industry. Giving it regulatory clarity, for the gaming sector what is allowed and what is not, will ensure startups in this sector face less obstacles. There are many challenges for startups anyway. But this will result in startups becoming successful. ‘AVGC task force’ can provide long-term policy impetus for various stakeholders who can turbo charge the vibrant ecosystem in gaming and animation. It is a step in the right direction where once and for all we will not see issues that are coming in from various states. There will be central clarity and that’s what we are looking forward to.
Q. It is one thing to set up a task force but what will it take to get the sector and your business to the new level of performance in the coming days?
The general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, which is an American professional basketball team in the NBA, once said, “The only thing differentiating us from the rest of the people is key insights into data”. This means really understanding data well and getting insights that other teams don’t have. Otherwise everything is equal – we are on a level-playing field. That can’t be truer in this day and age because everyone has the infrastructure and a common ground. But how you leverage data and understand your users better is what will help take the performance of any gaming company to the next level. Leveraging behavioural science, data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more is going to play a role in determining the future of any company.
Q. Rising penetration of the internet, coming in of 5G and performance-driven affordable smartphones is stimulating the growth of the Indian gaming market. How is your sector equipped to meet the demand?
The 5G network
is going to be rolled out in the next fiscal year and that single development is going to be a game-changer. Until now, people have had to download a lot of content, because when Internet speeds are slightly slower, you don’t get the same kind of performance and efficiency in games. But with the 5G roll out there is a lot of scope for things to happen very quickly.
Q. Recently your company announced a three-year title sponsorship deal with Lucknow Super Giants for My11Circle. Last year you roped in Ranveer Singh as an ambassador. Considering the fantasy sports market is very crowded, how are you carving your niche in this market?
While the fantasy sports market is crowded and we are amongst the new entrants with our entry in 2019, we have only been able to take the second position in the market because of our investment in understanding our players and really giving them exactly what they want. That has helped us distinguish ourselves. Through that, we have obviously seen a 100 percent growth year-after-year. We will continue to do that.