Having spent a large part of my career in the financial services space driving traditional business growth, using gaming to achieve business goals was not a cause I expected to champion. Gaming was always a personal interest, but the business parallels only became apparent after we started experimenting with service engagements for enterprises. Given that the planet spends 3 billion hours a week playing games, the challenge was really to figure out how learning could fit into that construct.
We formed QuoDeck in 2010 to fuse gaming with learning for enterprises. Having started with some elementary game engines and simulations, we quickly moved to make an omnipotent system built with changing business environments in mind. The platform, as it stands today, caters to enterprise requirements for mobile learning. As a leading player in this category, our advice to new entrants is to stay true to course, understand that the market is huge, and that innovation is the key.
Mobile learning was just appearing on the horizon in India when we entered the market. In fact, it was still at a nascent stage globally as well. While enterprises saw the demographic shift coming, the speed at which the device shift happened took everyone by surprise. Within a period of 3-4 years, millennials had junked tablets and wouldn’t access desktops or laptops for anything but sit-down work. They wanted everything on their mobile, on-demand and anytime, anywhere. A generation bred on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, they want content and technology which is easy-to-use, visually appealing, and in bite-sized pieces.
The learning evolution that needed to happen in enterprises was phenomenal, and existing products were just not prepared for this. Mobility, as a trend, has forced a change in behaviour, technology, content creation, and consumption patterns across all strata of business.
There is always an element of luck in a startup’s success, and we were no different. Perhaps being at the right place at the right time with the right thought process is what it’s all about.
Our personal insight of gaming being a habit-creating behaviour and of long-term associative memories was the inspiration behind the approach we took. We translated countless hours, behaviours, and constructs learned in gaming to address real-world problems with excellent results.
Having played on consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox, we assumed the world was ready to deal with highly complex games. However, working closely with business heads, HR teams, and the Learning & Development functions, we learnt that hyper-casual games create the best impact from a learning perspective. This is because they are somewhat repetitive in nature, with a greater level of participation and addiction to ‘scoring’.
Gaming as a learning solution is so vast in its scope that it can’t be locked with a particular industry or even a clutch of industries. Wherever there is widespread staff or skilling required, gaming solutions can take charge and lead the change. When new players come in, they must remember that competition comes in various guises and is very rarely with another player. You will end up competing for mindshare against the likes of video-on-demand platforms or search engines, where users can find information and content at their fingertips. Knowing what creates pull is perhaps the only challenge you should worry about.
Gamification as an industry has widespread applications, with learning being only one of them. Space was created for us because existing products failed to keep pace with what was required. Overnight, enterprises recognized that resistance against this changing paradigm was futile, and mindsets started changing. Gaming and mobility were no longer bad words.
It would be foolish of us to think that we cannot be on the other side of such a trend. Keeping your offering relevant and cutting-edge requires you to have an innovation engine which stops for nothing. This requires tremendous willpower and a stubborn refusal to settle into a comfortable spot.
Kamalika Bhattacharya is CEO and Co-founder of QuoDeck Technologies.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)