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Dec 1, 2006

Marketing Options for Gaming Companies setting up in India

The gaming market is in infancy but it is growing fast. The companies like Microsoft are aggressively promoting XBox 360 (first of its kind in India) and SONY is also very active with PS3. The telecom companies like Airtel are promoting the Gaming through Internet sites in a big way. Reliance Infocom recently announced for PC gaming facility in their 240 odd webstores. Hutchison-Essar also offers a range of 450 games on their site.
So it is right time to take decisions to enter into India. As per the estimate, the Indian gaming market is currently valued at around $30 million and growing by at least 60-80 per cent annually. According to a Nasscom report, the market for gaming is expected to witness a CAGR of 78 percent and reach $ 300 million by 2009 from $ 30 million in 2005.
The potential customers would be kids and teenager. The adults I doubt would be interested in Gaming. In India retails shopping malls are mushrooming everywhere, most Indians rarely do lots of shopping in malls it is more of a window shopping. However, Indians prefer to eat the food which offers good value of money and other foreign brands are only for taste sometime purpose. Nevertheless, even taste sometime is big business. So one need to decide on pricing strategy he would want to position premium or for masses, off course this will also depend on the cost incurred for the presence in the malls. The advantage of the mall is that you spend less effort in drawing crowd so more visibility, ease of operations and jump start in the business.
Similarly, one may think of tie up with Cinema theaters, in India concept of Multiplex has just started and many theaters are still stand alone. People may like to experiment while waiting for tickets or in intermission. Many multiplex's are now in malls and many malls have gaming corner. Presence in a malls gaming corner is also a good idea.
Another option is start a large outlet, this will act as signature outlet for your brand and create an experience for the user. However, looking at real estates prices in India this would be very costly proposition. But if you pockets are deep this would be good step and great brand experience.
One can also try for partnership with hotels and restaurants, as the children accompanying families like to play games and normally Indian families go outing every weekends. Some foreign owned brands in India are Pizza Hut, Subway. You can also try for the Coffee Shops in India. Barista and Coffee Day are very popular outlet in India. There are many local hotels chains very popular in India like Bangalore it is Nandini
The Biggest market though difficult to enter in Airports and Railway stations. Many people wait and your franchise can be good handout. However, for this permission has to be taken from adequate authorities. For railways it IRCTC and Airports it AAI

One can also tie up small telcom cards retails vendors which are present in every nook and corner.
One notable example for online lottery started by ZEE branded as Playwin, its outlet were very common in Bombay and Bangalore, but it ran into regulation trouble.
You may have to look into legal aspect as there are some limitations in the FDI in retail. I would suggest for a proper due diligence before taking any steps.