Navin Rajendran | Founder and CEO | Gamineazy Entertainment
Playing games together is perhaps the most enjoyable way to bond with family and friends. Gamineazy Entertainment has been a front-runner in helping people from all age groups socialize, using Gaming technology like consoles and virtual reality systems as the means to enhance social engagement in residential and corporate communities. This Bengaluru-based startup has a vision to make high-quality next-gen gaming accessible and affordable in India. It is strongly focused on making the experience casual, fun and inclusive through an innovative lounge/ retail / event-management model.
Navin Rajendran is the Founder and CEO of Gamineazy Entertainment. An avid gamer since his childhood, he has enjoyed playing on platforms ranging from micro-computers to powerful gaming console systems. After playing various roles for over 12 years in the Indian IT industry, he took a break in 2010 to pursue an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad.
While on campus, he became fascinated by the worldwide launch of new motion-gaming systems like PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect. This triggered an idea for a Gaming venture that would utilize this technology to introduce avenues for casual gaming that could appeal to a larger demographic group than just hardcore gamers. He also believed that motion-gaming could be a great way for employees in Corporate organizations to de-stress, unwind, and have fun in the workplace. After a lot of deliberation and planning a viable business model with his long-time friend and fellow-gamer Chirag Gaglani, Gamineazy was founded on 11th April, 2011.
Gaming – Your way! Your time! Your place!
The Gamineazy Store in Bangalore is the flagship store of the company and operates as its central hub. The company aims at providing Gaming as a service and its strength lies in its ability to bring the experience of gaming and virtual reality to the comfort of homes and offices. It does so through its:
Gamineazy Lounges – The lounges have an array of luxurious Gaming rooms and arenas, powered by PS3, PS4 and high-end Virtual Reality systems. Gamineazy associates are available to help customers enjoy services in a warm and family-friendly environment. The lounges also play host to birthday parties, corporate outings and e-sports events.
Gamineazy Retail – Experiential Retail allows customers the opportunity to try out a particular gaming system or game and make an informed buying decision based on their experience. It has a growing catalog of Rental games for customers to enjoy at a fraction of the price they would spend to purchase them. It also offers a range of Console Rental plans for homes, with convenient home delivery, installation and pick-up options.
Gamineazy Events – Gamineazy regularly conducts events at its Entertainment Centers and coordinates gaming zones at offsite locations like corporate campuses, apartment club houses, resorts and hotels. These could be birthday parties, team-outings, e-sports contests or just good clean recreation zone setups at social gatherings or special occasions/ themes like Tech Day, Family Day, etc.
Gamineazy Gameathon – Through this casual games and e-sports format, the company raises awareness about the wonderful benefits of gaming as a potent tool for employee-engagement in a fun, healthy way. Gamineazy has executed several Gameathon events over the years, including multi-location competitions that spanned cities. The company is now gearing up for more large-scale events in the coming months.
Being on Top of the Game
Patience, perseverance and the willingness to adapt to changing customer behavior and needs have been instrumental in shaping Gamineazy’s journey so far. The initial years saw it trying to connect with Corporate organizations and introduce them to the wonderful world of motion gaming. The first challenge came in terms of acceptance and breaking the mindset that gaming was non-productive and a bad use of employees’ time. The second was of not having a place to showcase its service offerings. The third was of high initial capital requirements, investment, suitable location and setup/ infrastructure. With the store-launch came the challenge of raising brand-awareness as well as helping people understand how console-gaming and motion-gaming was very different from the typical arcade experience that people were used to:
Gamineazy has built strong alliances with leading Gaming brands like Sony PlayStation and Game importers/ distributors like E-express Interactive. It has also partnered with diverse organizations like automotive firms, event-planners, marketing agencies and real-estate firms for various Brand-promotion activities and campaigns. Last year, Gamineazy also launched its own Event IP called The Brand Game through which it showcases brands and their products/ services within residential and corporate communities, with gaming as the main attraction. It also provides support services for businesses looking to integrate gaming/recreation zones or gamification elements into their service offerings. For individuals looking to start their own gaming enterprise, it provides franchise consultancy services.
Work is fun @ Gamineazy
Navin says, “We have made PLAY our WORK. But for all the fun and games that our clients and customers enjoy, there’s a lot of hard work and toil that goes on in the back-end. That includes maintenance of the facilities, equipment and of course the people that run the show.” Every team-member is encouraged to identify creative ways to engage and attract customers.
He adds, “We had felt the need for something more in-house to allow a sense of fun and liveliness back into the cubicle world, a place for people to unwind, de-stress and have fun. Gamineazy’s corporate services were created to serve this market. It was inevitable that we apply the same logic in our own workplace and ensure our folks have fun at work.” This healthy work-lifestyle has helped the company:
- Make Technology accessible and affordable by continually introducing new tech into its service portfolio.
- Helping folks rediscover the joy of gaming through gaming technology.
- Curate content and create experiences based on demographics to suit the wide range of its customer-profiles.
Hungry for More!
Navin feels that it has never been a better time to be a gamer, given the incredible power of devices and variety of gaming experiences available on mobile phones, consoles and PC. The Indian digital gaming market, with revenues of $338.4 million in 2017, is estimated to reach $1.1 billion by 2021, says a report by research agency Frost & Sullivan. Entertainment is an under-served market in India and consumers crave for exciting new avenues and experiences that are easily accessible/ affordable. Gaming as a mode of entertainment/ social-engagement is gaining more acceptance among Indians than ever before.
Gamineazy has been striving to stay updated on new tech trends and is keen to explore applications of gaming tech beyond recreation. The company has conducted pilots for VR applications in the fields of education and marketing and continues to be excited about the future. It is also looking to enhance its back-end infrastructure and develop a technology platform to enable it to manage its service portfolios more efficiently and introduce e-commerce and gamification elements to engage its customers.
Gamineazy hopes to grow into a nationwide chain of inter-connected Entertainment hubs, providing high tech entertainment venues with integrated retail and event operations, serving residential, commercial and corporate communities across India. The company is currently looking to raise funding for scaling up operations and expand its footprint across cities and tier 2/3 towns, where it sees tremendous potential.