Government think tank Niti Aayog’s recommendation on setting up a single self-regulatory organisation for the online fantasy sports (OFS) industry will lead to a tectonic shift in the segment, says Sunit Warraich, CEO, RummyBaazi.com.
"We want to urge Niti Aayog to also consider other games of skill such as poker and rummy for a central regulation," he said. Niti Aayog’s recommendations can provide the much-needed blanket legality to the online gaming industry that has grown rapidly in India to become one of the largest in the world, he said.
States such as Assam, Odisha and Telangana have made fantasy sports illegal while others such as Tamil Nadu recently passed an ordinance banning “online gaming", without explicitly mentioning it.
Talking about the overall online gaming industry, Warraich said India is on the cusp of becoming one of the biggest online gaming markets in the world. Ranging from mobile social games to poker, and considering the recent growth, current dynamics, and future innovations, the industry could be worth $ 1.1 billion by 2021, he said while quoting a KPMG report.
“Since the emergence of more platforms in the online real money gaming industry, the market has grown at a rapid rate and is now stated to be worth more than $500 million. Especially, since the onset of the pandemic, it has brought people together to be connected online through various avenues and one of them has been gaming together. Hence, we predict it to grow two-fold in the upcoming year and we hope to capitalise on the same as we look to utilise our recent funding to advance our product enhancements and strengthen our user’s trust through our marketing strategies,” he said.
RummyBaazi to double its adspend in 2021
The platform is planning to increase its marketing budget for the upcoming year to drive growth.
“It was tough to keep pace with the evolving user experience on the platform. 2020 has given us a very fair idea on the true potential of the market and we have been constantly evolving user experience on the platform and with an enhanced product, we will be doing 2x of what we do this year in terms of marketing,” Warraich said.
The brand has focused all its marketing spends on digital. With the use of latest technology, tools and automation to support its data-driven approach, it has been able to target growth marketing and brand positioning.
While its user base has risen to 500K within just a year, it will use 2021 to experiment with its strategies by delving into new channels and expand further with relevant third-party collaborations. Even though its strategy has been to blend the mainstream and off-beat areas for marketing, Warraich intends to take it up a notch with more space to experiment.
Having seen brands and marketers stumbling to survive the unpredictable events that have been unfolding in 2020, he feels digital marketing has been the saving grace for a lot of industries.
“We have been using digital mediums and that has helped us raise the user base to 500K within just a year. We have been able to use AI to our benefit and analyse the available data, track operations, and predict customer behaviour patterns, thus helping in reducing manual work. Also, since we strive towards providing a seamless experience to our consumers, AI aids improving customer satisfaction as it can help in easy reading of what the customers expect,” he explained.
He said video advertising, an age-old trick that has bounced back in 2020, will be one of the top marketing trends in the upcoming year. It can help in creating customer loyalty and reducing the shift between various applications, he said. Short-video formats still continue to be a hit and will continue to be a key area of focus for a lot of brands as video is a better format for step-by-steps.