Franchise trends Aug, 12 2016

Room for Games

Escape games are driven by the MNCs who have made these games a part of their innovative team building activities.

By Utpala Ghosh
Room for Games

Outdoor gaming or recreational activities for adults in India is limited to sports like Golf, Polo etc. which are restricted to a particular section of people. For the middle class, gaming and entertainment is restricted to bowling or watching movies. But given the fact that India is touted to be the fastest growing economies with the largest youth population, the potential for innovative gaming concepts in India is immense.

The concept of escape rooms originated from Japan in 2007 and has emerged to be a well established gaming concept in all over Asia and US. In India, it is one of the fresh concepts that has got good receptivity among adults and young adults. These games involve the participants being trapped in a room along with other participants who have to follow the clues to come out of the room. This is turning out to be real push factor for these games that are opted for family outing, employee engagement activity et al.

Growth Drivers

These games are further driven by the MNCs as they have started breaking away from the usual dinner and lunch parties and started opting for such gaming concepts as an initiative towards innovative team building activities.With a ticket size that ranges from Rs.500-Rs.1500, these games are turning out to be good money spinner.

In Covertastion with Roomraider

An Investment Banker and IIM alumnus who has worked with Deutsche Bank, Vineet Agarwal, the Founder & CEO of Roomraider was joined byhis wife Mohua Roy, Founder & Managing Director to start Roomraider SG in Singapore.

Who is this game designed for?

Vineet:I’d rather use the term edutainment instead of using the word entertainment as it is intellectually very challenging.We target the government agencies, corporate circle, teenagers, college goers and families who comes for birthday parties, proposal dates etc.

What is that one factor that has ensured success in the Singapore market?

Vineet: Roomraider SG in Singapore is strategically located in one of the busiest points – the Orchard Road, right above the metro station ensuring the highest footfall. Location is very important for any brand to succeed. People don’t like to travel much. Hence, you have to be at a location like mall or a central business district where people usually come for either shopping or some professional purpose.

Apart from location, what other factors has ensured consistent growth of the brand?

Mohua: One has to ensure repeat visits to the game. Oncethe customer has played one game; he knows how to crack the code. So how do you ensure he comes back again? The answer to this question is innovation. You have to keep tweaking the rules of the game by introducing new riddles and puzzles to retain the freshness of the concept that would entice the customers to try the game repeatedly.

Why did you opt for franchising?

Vineet: Time is a defining factor in the success of a brand. Franchising will help us to grow much faster than we can ever do on our own. Singapore’s population is only 5.5 millionwhile population of India is 1.25 billion. Hence the magnitude of the opportunity is much bigger in India. We aim to be the biggest Escape games brand in India and that is possible only through franchising.

Elaborate on your expansion plans through franchising?

Mohua: At the very onset of the franchise expansion, we are planning to open 3-4 outlets in the metros and going forward we will expand in the smaller cities and towns. We are clearly looking at 20-30 outlets in India over the next two years. ” The brand is also planning to open doors in other Asian countries. 

Related: The Money Magnet : Roman Island

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