Bhavin Pandya, Co-Founder and CEO of Play Games 24 X 7 feels any campaign which is made should carry an USP with that. His flagship brand, RummyCircle is also entering rigorously in the cricket space. All apps put together, the company has over 40 million downloads. The cash games include RummyCircle that has over 10 million registered players and now the latest cricketing game My11Circle has 70 Thousand players so far. In an exclusive chat with MediaNews4U, Bhavin speaks on the various applications and downloads in various parts of India. Edited excerpts.
Your apps have maximum reach in Southern part of India. Can you please throw light on that in terms of trends and numbers?
Yes, southern geographies have a higher reach because rummy as a game is a part of the family/ popular culture there. Families get together and play rummy on a regular basis. Rummy has been played in north and west also in the past, but not as much as the southern geos. States like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu account for a majority of our players, but we are constantly striving to make rummy popular in other states also and the game is receiving a good traction in at least 12 states now.
South is a market that has different culture, mindset and acceptance. What are the key campaigns which you had done to attract the target audience?
We always do very targeted and customized region specific campaigns. We look into the regional cultures and try to integrate our communication with the same. We also run almost all our campaigns in vernacular languages in the south which we believe people relate to more. Many of our ads work for the southern audience, a few examples are:
- We are Rummy ad:
Rummy man ad:
You have various brands. So far, RummyCircle.com has been marketed wdely. What are the plans for promoting other brands too?
Every game has a different market, reach, revenues and marketing budgets. RummyCircle is our flagship game and is marketed the most, but there is a lot of focus on other games which we have like UTP: Ultimate Teen Patti, which continues to be one of the most popular Play Store game in India and the most recently launched fantasy game, My11Circle.
What format of media has worked well for you?
Though we have tried all formats and still keep trying and learning, we have a very strong engine to run our digital campaigns that enables us to acquire more new customers on a regular basis with a lot of profitability. We have run ads on TV, done BTL campaigns and all of them have helped us increase our reach.
Even today, the traditional approach towards online gaming is categorized as ‘gambling’. Despite legalizing, are you planning for campaigns like mutual funds?
We plan to do responsible campaigns. This is a skill gaming industry and we would continue making our efforts in promoting responsible game playing. TRF (The Rummy Federation) is also working towards putting a structure to the skill gaming industry and all the Rummy companies in the industry are supporting the same.
With more than 5 millions, you have become a media yourself. Are you planning for any co-branding or ad options? Please explain the same.
We only invest in opportunities that will eventually lead to enhancing the experience of our players. Any ad opportunities we have explored so far have come with a deteriorating customer experience, which is non-negotiable to us. So, the decision has been to let go of that revenue opportunity, if it comes at a cost of deteriorating customer experience.
You had been spending big time in digital campaigns. Way ahead, how much are you planning to spend?
Our spends have been increasing over time, but the focus is on getting customers into our system while we maintain our levels of profitability. We are happy to spend more till the time our bottom line and margin percentages don’t get impacted. With a very strong digital engine, we plan to take our spends much higher over the coming years while we maintain our margins.
What are your expansion plans?
The expansion plans are to make rummy a popular game pan India. Once we are able to successfully do it, we will be 5x our current size. We are just starting with My11Circle and plan to take it to every city of the country.