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Oct, 08 2013

Let profits entertain you

Biggest players in the sector of entertainment parks and gaming, including Universal Studios, Disney, Sony and Ripley Entertainment, are among the global leaders that thrust over investments of billions of dollars to establish themselves. So are their cou

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy,” well this proverb fits in the lives of many. Playing can not only lead one with good health and mind but the industry of gaming and entertainment has opened several avenues for entrepreneurs who wish to make fast bucks while playing their favourite console game, watching high definition cinemas or strolling on the roller coaster ride at an amusement park.

The entertainment and media industry of India is very promising and has a lot to offer potential investors. However, the government of India has taken several initiatives to attract foreign investments in India. Not only foreign establishments but also entrepreneurs from India can reap the benefits of the growing Indian market.

Burgeoning market

In India, the gaming industry is still at a very nascent stage but is poised for steep growth in the future. The segment currently contributes a small portion to the size of the Indian Media and Entertainment sector.

According to the Skill Gap Analysis Report for Media and Entertainment Industry by National Skill Development Corporation, the console games are primarily imported in India which attract a duty of 54% and retail at prices of Rs 1,500 or above. The console makers drive to indigenise the gaming content that would lead to the growth in console gaming industry in India.

The FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry report of 2013 indicates that the Indian gaming industry is valued at Rs 15.3 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.4% to Rs 42.1 billion by 2017. Of this market, console gaming has a CAGR of 19% with a huge scope or growth.

As per Insight alpha, a proprietory business intelligence for India & S.E Asia investors, the Indian Amusement Park Industry is about two decades old and is relatively new when compared to its origin in USA & Europe. This industry found its roots in India during mid and late 1980s when a few innovative entrepreneurs took challenge of pioneering few amusement parks in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. This industry witnessed growth in the last decade of the past century.

Upcoming opportunities

Currently, the trend of gaming parlours,  5D cinemas and amusement theme parks in India is at an emerging stage with more and more developments happening in this industry all across the country. This indicates that the growth potential of Indian gaming and the entertainment industry is substantial.

Beyond Boundaries Pvt. Ltd. , an operator of entertainment concept XD Cinemas, is among those brands that follow franchise model to offer opportunity to prospective franchisees to become a part of the growing gaming and entertainment industry. Their model specifically caters to malls where XD Cinemas will be present. However going forward, the brand will also be looking at other feasible locations.

A  Bengaluru-based entertainment hotspot, Snakes & Ladders owned by SARAGA is the go-to fun zone for children and schools. Being unique and niche in its own field, the brand has grown to become the only indoor play zone in Bengaluru covering the biggest floor area for children entertainment. En-route, Snakes & Ladders introduced the various revenue generation techniques into its business.  “Snakes & Ladders caters to the individuals aspiring to start their own business in this sector and benefit from the vast economical potential in the country. It offers every franchisee the first mover advantage with benefit of a tremendous growth potential in the area of business. As an organization, we have designed the most lucrative business model for our franchisees to maximise the revenues and profits with low capital and operational costs not only tier-I & II cities, but in large towns also,” says Dhatri, Founder, Snakes & Ladders.

Gamineazy Entertainment, another dynamic Bengaluru-based startup founded in 2011 was started with the vision to make high-quality, next-gen gaming accessible and affordable, through an innovative lounge/retail/event-management model. Apart from these Amigos, Jammin, Prakash Amusement Theme Park, Bonzai, and KidZania are amongst the leading players in the Indian gaming and entertainment industry.

Initial hiccups

Raising brand awareness was one of the biggest challenges for Gamineazy in its initial years. The brand had to help people understand how console-gaming and motion-gaming was very different than what they have been used to for so many years in the form of PC/ arcade gaming.  “Our strong association with global brands like PlayStation/ Xbox, great relationships with the leading Game importers/distributors in India and our emphasis on knowledgeable, courteous staff and the creation of a world-class ambience for family-friendly entertainment have helped raise Gamineazy's brand recall and visibility, creating a favourable brand association in the minds of our customers. Our kiosk model with its unique quick-play and easy-on-the-pocket concept has enabled us to attract a lot of customers,” says Navin Rajendran (CEO) and Chirag Gaglani (COO), Gamineazy.

“Repeat clients is a big challenge for us. We have strongly addressed the same with the large movie library. We keep rotating the movie every week so that the repeat clients have a different experience everytime and they come back to XD Cinemas,” says owner,  Ravi Shanker, XD Cinemas.

Growing together

Considering the increase in disposable income and awareness of people for alternate entertainment, the  franchise model of XD Cinemas is feasible for both company and the franchisee. The brand has by now achieved tremendous responses and success in the last one  year since its inception. “We feel that operating via franchise model, we can replicate the same success across India as we offer  attractive payback period and RoI along with the breakeven of less than 2.5 years,” adds Shanker.

Also Rajendran of Gamineazy asserts: “Our franchise partners are now in a great position to leverage our learnings, experience and expertise in the creation of a unique gaming entertainment zone as a profitable enterprise in their home-town.”

Boulevard to profits

Currently, XD Cinemas is operational via three COCO outlets but mulls on expanding majorly in metros such as Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.  Investors with a keenness to invest in this space and looking to tie up with mall operators wanting to offer an entertainment zone are invited as potential franchisees.

Gamineazy is also looking at associating with partners who are passionate about entertaining people and providing them an opportunity to smile and have fun. The brand welcomes first-time entrepreneurs as well as seasoned business men and women from tier I, II and III cities across India to partner with Gamineazy for expansion.  Presently, the chain has three company owned outlets in Bengaluru and one franchise outlet in Jaipur.

Snakes & Ladders also aims to expand pan India. The brand is looking for franchisees that have the zeal to start their own business and can spare 1-2 hours a day to take care of the operations.

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