[TechSparks 2020] Gaming can create 10 lakh jobs in India in the next 5 years, says Nazara Technologies’ Manish Agarwal

At TechSparks 2020, Manish Agarwal of Nazara Technologies discussed the future of gaming, adding that the sector can open several job opportunities in India.

While the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted several sectors, it also brought strong tailwinds to the digitisation of SMEs, education, healthtech, and online gaming. 

According to several media reports, the global video gaming market has been forecasted to be worth $159 billion by the end of 2020. This growth was further accelerated in March-April 2020 when the global spending on games rose by 17 percent to $10.5 billion. In India, the online gaming market grew at a CAGR of 21 percent, with a consumer base of 300 million. 

Interestingly, this will surpass the global box office and music industry revenues of 2019. 

Speaking at a fireside chat at Yourstory’s flagship event TechSparks 2020 on the future of gaming, Manish Agarwal, CEO of Nazara Technologies, said, 

“India is a large domestic market, which can grow massively for any global gaming company. While most western markets have plateaued at 10 percent growth rate, India, on the other hand, showed an opportunity to grow at close to 40 percent, doubling every few years. We should be able to create infrastructure, incentives, benefits, and create jobs because of this.” 

According to Manish, the Indian gaming industry can create over 10 lakh jobs in the next five years. 

The Mumbai-based global gaming and sports media company has over 100 million monthly active users, with more than 300 million app downloads across 64 countries. At present, it is aiming for Rs 471 crore in annual revenue by 2021. 

Gaming: a social multiplier 

Manish explained that gaming as a consumer market has exploded due to the pandemic. The opportunity to build in India for India, as well as for the world is big now. In fact, the Indian talent pool is also stepping up to the challenge to avail of this opportunity.

“The current set of entrepreneurs have been an avid consumer of gaming for close to a decade now. They understand the nuances of consumer psychology and leverage its insights into gaming, and how do you ensure retention and engagement. Even the large global players are looking at India as a big market. India and Indian talent can build a global brand. It is a great opportunity to pick up local cultural sensibilities to the gamers in India, and we are looking at the evolution of thinking and opportunity,” Manish said. 

Gamification in every sector 

Manish believes gamification will become an important aspect of most segments. There is a big connection between e-learning and gaming, with almost everyone on screens trying to learn something. And, the easiest way for people to learn is through gamification.

“We see that across healthtech, government scheme implementation, and fintech, where all aspects and principles will create a large pool of jobs,” added Manish.

India can be a great servicing hub for gaming companies globally, as the country can provide localisation, customer support, and payment infrastructure. In fact, it is well endowed to provide an opportunity to build a great e-sports ecosystem — from coaching classes, casters, players, and live streaming ecosystem, among others. 

“We have a development and sports simulation centre in Chennai — where a 90-member team keeps hiring more engineers — working on different sports engines. It is one of the finest sports simulation studios out of India, and we keep hiring more and more people,” said Manish. 

Regulatory push 

With the online gaming sector poised to grow further, it is important to recognise global IPs and build them. 

“Gaming falls under six ministries — who do we talk to? We talk to six people. It would be simpler to have it all streamlined.

“Gaming is a people-oriented industry. There is need on the job exposure part, how do we invite global companies to set up offices in India and hire local talent? How can local talent be exposed to processes mechanisms, training with experienced people? There can be opportunities for investments coming out of India because there is a grey area,” Manish said.

“It’s a long haul. So do your consumer validation as quickly as possible. The beauty of gaming is that the core prototype can get you quick feedback if people find it fun and easy - most important. Be open to feedback. Gaming is creative and science, and don’t fall in love with your own art piece. Keep data as your guiding pole, keep looking at iterating that requires a great amount of tenacity to get your product right. And leverage the global network,” Manish added. 

TechSparks - YourStory's annual flagship event - has been India's largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we've received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020. 

Edited by Suman Singh


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