India’s online gaming industry is going to get bigger, says Raj Kundra

Debarati Palit Singh
Saturday, 4 April 2020

Entrepreneur Raj Kundra, who has launched a real-money Housie Quiz app, talks about how India is one of the biggest online gaming countries in the world.

Housie is a popular game in India, especially at parties and get-togethers. With smartphones around and 250 gaming companies in India, the online gaming sector is growing. Among online games, real-money gaming has created a buzz. 

Entrepreneur Raj Kundra has launched real money Housie Quiz mobile app for smartphone users. The game has been produced by his company — Viaan Gaming Private Limited.

The intention to launch the app called Housie Quiz Jeeto Dimaag Se was to reach out to the masses and give them something they are familiar with. 

“Online gaming in India is still limited. But housie, as a game, has an emotional connect and is played by all age groups. People enjoy playing it at home,” says Kundra, adding that people can play the game by buying a ticket of Rs 25.

Unlike snooker, poker, rummy, where people feel there’s still a bit of gambling, housie is for pure entertainment. 

“People have really taken to it. A quiz question is asked to players after every number, and if a player answers it right, they get the number, too, if it’s there in the player’s tickets. In case of an incorrect answer, the player’s ticket number becomes red, which means the player can still play for lines and corners but not for the full house. The idea was to bring the entire family together to play,” he says.

The exciting thing about the game is that one gets the opportunity to earn real cash with instant cash-out features. The instant cash out can go up to Rs 9,999 for winners. The app is available on Android and iOS.

Ask him what his team had to consider before developing the game and he replies, “The biggest point while developing online games is falling into the game of skills. Housie on its own is a game of chance, but the moment you add questions, it becomes a skill. 

The first hurdle was that we needed some clients, and that came out well. Next was technology because we have five-six games that happen together and we have a live screening which happens at 8 pm. We meet live at 8 pm and ask players questions.” 

The real money gaming industry is still in its initial phase. How does he see the growth? 

“I just wish there are aligned rules and regulations. One state bans it, and the other state lets it happen. The other problem is GST. The scope for this market is huge, and I think Mukesh Ambani also announced that online gaming is going to be biggest in India,” he says, citing an example of the success of companies like Dream11. 

About the demographics, he says that anyone from 18 to 70 years can play the game. “We are getting feedback from moms and grandmoms and how they love it. As for the poker and rummy, it’s more youth-oriented,” says Kundra.

But is online gaming more popular among the urban crowd? Kundra replies that with data charges reducing and accessibility of 3G and 4G across the country, it’s picking up in smaller cities. 

“That’s why I say it’s going to get bigger and bigger because we are one of the few countries with such a small internet penetration with such huge numbers. Our internet penetration will increase by 15-20 per cent,” he adds. 

Kundra says that he is a massive fan of online gaming and they also have a poker league, which has completed four seasons successfully. 

“We have million-plus poker players in the country, and it is identified as a game because it’s a game of skill,” he adds.

Not just online gaming, Kundra has also been associated with physical sports. The reason he is associated with so many games is that he has grown up in England and has been associated with sports since school.

“I have played football, cricket and rugby. It’s important to give the youth access to sports because it opens up their mind. And online gaming improves your skillset,” he says.

Housie Quiz has partnered with a national broadcaster. It will be airing on national television for snowball Sundays where the prizes will go into lakhs.

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