At a time when kids choose to spend their time on digital devices and screens, C Q Games (CQ stands for creative quotient), a start-up, is trying to shift their focus back to indoor games. The company founded by Shrikrishna Bapat, is now headed by his daughter Suchitra Bapat, director, and Rajvi Dalal, director, marketing. CQ makes games to help children bring out their creativity, not artistic creativity but thinking out of the box.
Bapat, who hails from an IT background, took a break when she had her daughter. It was during this period she realised that there were a lot of gender-specific games out there. Everything was pink or blue instead of being neutral. So by the end of 2014, she and Dalal decided to make some products that they had in mind and put them out in the market. “It was around 2015 that we developed five different games for kids to play instead of being hooked on to mobile phones or laptops,” says Suchitra and further gives us a peek into their startup and the challenges they have faced.
Tell us about your product and how can we bring back kids’ attention to games?
We wanted these games to give the kids some form of learning like strategy, thoughtfulness, thinking a little differently. When kids travel or dine at a restaurant, most of the times you will find them occupied with the mobile phone. We came up with games to entertain the child using the environment of the place they are at. This game is called the ‘housee’ and can be played at the restaurant, airports, weddings and places where children actually have nothing to do. It is an observation-based game and the child has to constantly look around and identify objects which are in their card. There is so much to absorb and imbibe from the environment and the game actually does that.
The second focus area of ours is cyber security. The realms and boundaries of social media are no longer as strong as they used to be. So games like ‘e-trapped’ and ‘webscape’ actually teach children what they should do and shouldn’t when they are online. Another game was about numbers and math. We developed this game to build arithmetics ability as well as strategies. It is not dependent on any language.
What was the process like and the challenges that you faced?
Once we have a concept in mind, we evaluate it for three things — there should be some thought behind the game and it shouldn’t just be based on luck factor. Secondly, it should be based on something that kids can easily identify and associate with, and thirdly to bring a little bit of unpredictability to these games. Once this is done, we make a prototype and then we do the sampling. For evaluation, we approach the parents who play the game with their kids. Then we sell the games at exhibitions. We have also learnt the hard way that packaging is the most crucial thing. The price range for the current games is between Rs 200 and Rs 650. We have tried to make it affordable for all sectors and kids in the age group of 4 to 13 can easily play the games. The deal is that kids usually go for visual stuff, so we have to come up with games which will entice them. The games are available on Amazon, and also at Eduneeds, which is an educational store at Sahakar Nagar, and a few other small stores.
What kind of response have you received so far?
We have reached out to a few schools. We have also visited the international toy fair in Germany and found that the learning process there was on a different scale altogether when compared to India. It was a tremendous learning experience and we understood where we actually need to bring about changes. That said, we have received excellent response and parents are coming back to us to say that the games were fantastic.