The coronavirus pandemic has pummelled almost every sector and company. But one segment has managed to turn this into a growth-seeking pathway.
With people being compelled to stay indoors to ward off the coronavirus threat, the propensity to try different things in the confines of the house has hit a roadblock, thus giving an opportunity for online card-based platforms a massive gateway to acquire new users.
Adda52Rummy, whose parent company Gaussian Networks was acquired by Delta Corp, India’s largest and only listed company engaged in casino gaming, in 2017, has also been able to capitalise on this opportunity, according to Shivanandan Pare, chief executive officer, Adda52Rummy.
“I joined on July 27 and still settling down. Taking charge amidst the pandemic has been a unique experience. Due to the COVID-induced situation, online gaming and OTT platforms have witnessed a great deal of traction, aided by mobile data penetration in the country. What has played out well for us during this period is that since it is a personalised recreational activity, so people used our platform even during small breaks during their work schedules,” he told Moneycontrol.
Rummy and poker have often drawn the ire of authorities and there's a stigma attached to these online card-based games.
He feels that apart from the addiction factor, these games are skill-based and that shouldn’t be lost on the naysayers.
"Addiction to any activity is not good. If somebody is addicted to watching movies or content, that is equally bad as getting addicted to rummy or poker. Rummy is a skill-based game, but addiction to it is not recommended. Rummy helps in improving one’s mental calculation ability and memory," he said.
Ashish Kapadia, managing director, Delta Corp, too emphasised on the skill factor and reiterated that rummy is a family game.
"Rummy has always been a family game that has been played at home for decades. It has always had social acceptance and has no stigma associated with it. Games like Rummy and Poker require skill and professionalism and like any other sport one gets better as you keep playing them. Finally players should have the skill, strategy, intellect and practice to win," he told Moneycontrol.
Before joining Adda52Rummy, Shivanandan had a stint with Aditya Birla Group, where he headed the group’s new digital business.
On the challenge of working from home and not getting to meet his new colleagues, Shivanandan said he has not faced any problem in adjusting to the new environment.
"Every pandemic has given some sectors an opportunity. Just like the SARS outbreak helped propel Alibaba, the current pandemic, a very unfortunate event, has helped the gaming industry in our country log good growth numbers. As professionals, when there is growth in business, we are extremely motivated. I have got great support from my colleagues in coping with this transition," he said.
Shivanandan, however, ruled out any big-bang brand activation measures during this year’s Indian Premier League.