How Is Technology Helping In Scaling The Online Gaming Sector?

Due to the Covid outbreak, there has been a significant increase in traffic noticed in categories like gaming since the week of February 24-28, according to the Internet Exchange DE-CIX. For instance, during the period of April 6-10, when the lockdown was in place, gaming traffic in India grew by 109.4 per cent (compared to February 24-28).

While the pandemic has confined people to stay indoors, many are taking to gaming platforms to get rid of their boredom. How are our Indian gaming platforms holding up?

Varun Mahna, Founder & CEO, Poker Dangal, takes us through a tour.

How do you think has the digital ecosystem scaled up over the days?

The scaling of the digital ecosystem has been a massive contributor in the growth of the Indian online gaming sector. Digital payments, data penetration and the increasing use of technology day-by-day are the heart and soul of the real money gaming business and we have seen a steady increase in users preferring digital payments post demonetization. The ease of payments has given the sector an unprecedented push. The accessibility of smartphones coupled with availability of cheap data has made it possible for users to enjoy games even in remote areas of the country and this penetration has made the gaming sector a red hot sector to be in. As per prediction, the sector will double by next year.

Isn’t the Indian gaming sector at a nascent stage? How are you educating users?

Indian gaming market is in a very nascent stage compared to the western markets which are far more evolved in their journey. As a gaming startup in India, the core responsibility is to educate the users about the services we provide. The idea is to make the users more comfortable about playing online and depositing money via digital mediums. The users in the western market are already accustomed to such transactions and hence it is easier to penetrate the market. Also, the guidelines for online gaming are not very well documented in India and hence self-regulation is the key for operators in this domain.

Our players are very happy with the services we provide to them and the feedback has been mostly positive about our product. We take criticism also very positively as it helps us serve our players much better in the future.

Tell us about the functioning of the platform.

We provide an online poker platform available on iOS, Google Play Store and Desktop versions for the users. A user can download our app, create their account, complete their KYC and profile and start playing at a time and place of their convenience. Users can deposit and withdraw money in their bank accounts.

How important do you think is it for people to rely on technology? Are there any major follies per se?

Technology is at the core of every business today and the reliance on technology will only increase in the future. A user/service provider or a manufacturer all have to rely on technology to derive their output. So far we have not faced any major issue with our technology though we have incorporated the feedback we get from our consumers to try and continuously improve our platform.

Give us an insight into the numbers you have cracked so far.

Within 30 months of operations we have a registered user base of more than 3,00,000 players on the platform. We have grown our business 14x over the last 12 months and are on a super high growth trajectory. We are an EBITDA positive company. We have broken into the top 4 real money poker sites in the country and are also about to enter the fantasy/rummy business adding more products for our users to participate in. We intend to be the leading real money gaming platforms in the country in the next 3 years.

Is the hustling part for real?

Every journey has its own struggles and it is important to continue to try and improve each day. Setting small goals is the key to achieving the bigger target. The grind is very much real.

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