Gridlogic’s Pariekshit Maadishetti on Taj Rummy, India’s regulated gaming market, real money gaming legislation

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The Gridlogic Group has grown from strength to strength in the online gaming space over the past decade. Helmed ably by Founder and Managing Director Pariekshit Maadishetti, the company is among the most active players in India’s online gaming push.

Notably, Gridlogic operates an online gaming platform called Taj Rummy, which is a B2C platform and also offers B2B white label services to various clients through the Taj Network. Having spent almost a decade in the online gaming space, Gridlogic recently forayed into Fantasy Sports.

In the latest episode of G2G News’ flagship video series Game On With Jay Sayta, Pariekshit Maadishetti touched upon several key themes like operating in India’s unregulated gaming landscape, real money online gaming legislation, Gridlogic’s

Gridlogic’s Group Portfolio

Pariekshit recounts that their journey started as an IT services software development firm in 2008 when they had only two clients. He shares, “At that point of time, we had two clients, one, a Swedish client and a UK client, which was developing casino and I had quite a bit of experience in developing platforms at that point of time. So, we started off as an IT services software development firm and two years later, we landed ourselves as an operator in the UK with our own license to launch our own Bingo and Casino brand.”

While in India and Asia at large, they mainly are invested in Rummy, Fantasy, Poker, and Platform; in the UK market, Gridlogic is known for offering high-quality casino services.

ALSO READ: Soumitra Bose on issues facing India’s real money online gaming industry and the road ahead for operators, governments

Sharing as to how operating in a regulated market like the UK is different from India where laws are still being framed for the online gaming space, he shares, “I would say we come from a background which actually talks CPA, LTV, gaming, payback time and profit-on-players; that terminology was the same but operationally, India is way different from how it is in other places and just to say that people come for entertainment overseas and they try our games, and if they win, they are lucky and in India, people want to win at any cost.”

He notes that there is a huge difference where players were playing against the company versus where players are actually playing amongst themselves. “So, we had to build a lot of anti-fraud systems, monitoring systems that we had to change our platform in such a way that we are attuned to India and Asia. But I agree from a UK point of view, it’s very organized. You have a license and everything is listed very clearly and now it’s a saturated market, but we enjoy operating there,” he adds.

Journey of Taj Rummy

He shares that Taj Rummy is a product of an accident as they had originally built the software for one of their close friends who was looking for a rummy brand to operate in the Indian space.

He recounts, “They wanted to actually launch a rummy brand in the Indian market. In the final stages when we were about to go live, they backed out and we had to end up with this brand called Taj Rummy. So it was completely an accident that we moved from software development to an operator again. It’s just felt like history repeated because that’s what happened to us in the UK market and similarly when we wanted to actually look at this space, we entered as an operator instead of a software developer.”

Currently, he informs that out of the many brands they host, there are about 6 noted brands. “We have Nazara’s HalaPlay on our platform, which is actually using our rummy. We have Rummy Dangal and Dangal Games which are actually from the house of Dangal,” he enlists.

Apart from that, there are also international Brands like Tiger Palace; which is a silver heritage group platform. He reveals that they have two new clients who are joining them. One of which includes the famous Playboy brand, popularly known for magazines and clubs.

Market Share and Competition

Speaking about how they distinguish themselves in the ever-growing market, he shares, “I would actually look at it from a B2C point of view. We don’t give any bonus. We don’t give any joining bonus. We don’t give any refer-a-friend bonus. So ideally, for a player to come and play a cash game, he has to deposit and play. So looking at it, from a CAC to LTV standard point of view, we are a negative CAC; that means a player has to actually deposit money and play. So I don’t do any marketing as of now. So from a B2C point of view, whatever we get is a bonus and it’s kind of a showcase platform for us.”

According to him, getting players by word of mouth generates more revenue. Whilst for B2B, he informs that they have an established set of clients whose needs continue to grow.

“Over 80 percent of our workforce is focused towards giving them a great solution and will continue to do so and we’ve been actually onboarding a client or two per quarter and we are proud to say that next two years, our pipeline is full.” He strongly believes that in order to turn a business into a global empire, all one needs is a great platform.

The Uncertainty of Regulation

With a host of southern states in India taking harsh measures to combat the excesses of online gaming that involve monetary stakes, their question arises as to whether investors will be willing to continue funding the operators. He shares that they will only operate in the states which are legal and this is going to be the terrain for the next 10 years. He hopes that India too will be regulated one day.

”If not tomorrow. there will be one day where India will be regulated and we will be one of the very first companies who want to be regulated and get that license. I would say it if not 15 years, at least five years. Everything should be settled, but I’m happy to spend a decade and retire are in this industry and provide great entertainment for all my players and partners,” he envisages.

Managing Investors Amid Uncertainty

Giving the western example, he informs that in Silicon Valley, the VC Investments have actually moved away from 5 years to 10 years to 30 years.

He shares, “You can’t build an Uber today is like 5 or 10 years. It’s going to take some time. And if you have a long-term investor who has the patience to invest in your company, then there are investors in that segment who can actually cater to your needs. It takes time for any large company, to become famous; Dream 11 is Dream 11 because it takes about a decade or 15 years to actually be there.”

According to him, India is an investment-friendly country and there’s a lot of scope despite the said uncertainties. In his view, the real money gaming industry doesn’t need marketing.

“So we are in one of the industries which actually don’t need marketing. And I say that, because if you see tobacco, liquor, pesticides or chemicals, or you see any other businesses which have this kind of social taboo, don’t need marketing is my personal view,” he asserts.

While many market players are going the IPO route and raising millions of dollars, he is choosing to stay bootstrapped and private. He explains, “So we won’t go IPO route. We want to be the blue whale in the ocean, which is actually not coming out and we want to actually build that enterprise or an institution like that. We are nowhere close to becoming that blue whale at this moment, but I see that at the end of my career or my tenure with Gridlogic, I will actually make sure that we are building that behemoth in gaming.”

For him, the long-term goal is to always stay profitable. Through various efforts in his business, he wants to create employment and build the next global company from India.

“I don’t want to say; a SaaS (Software as a Service) product, but we want to be that gaming company from India which goes global, empowering all the global brands,” he concludes.