Fri 14 Feb 2014
India is a special place. It is hard to properly describe the many paradoxes in effect… Extreme poverty to extravagance. Over-stimulation and chaos versus zenness. Modernity side by side with ancient traditions. And, you experience these clashes at every moment, much of which I got to see first hand in the context of entrepreneurship in India.
I was invited to Delhi to speak on the future of games at the GSF Super Angels Conference. The Canadian High Commission took advantage of the invite, and booked me solid for a week in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore to meet with investors, game developers, universities, incubators, press (BTW, here’s an interview with MCV India), etc. Was a super intense week.
In just that single week I got a real sense of how the entrepreneurial ecosystem is on overdrive: Access to capital, number of startups, volume of engineering grads, number of regional incubators, etc. This is happening in the game sector as well, though perhaps at a more nascent stage, as developers who have historically been geared towards work-for-hire services, now try their hand at creating original IP for digital platforms. Also, from a local market point view, downloads and userbase are obviously massive, but there is still too much friction from a payment point of view (ie, lack of credit cards, greedy carrier billing, etc) for the sector to yet have much weight financially.
Will be interesting to see where the Indian game industry is in two years!
Gate to the Canadian High Commission compound in Delhi.
The palatial Leela Hotel.
View from Leela… Delhi pollution/smog level is crazy bad.
VCs in discussion at the GSF conference.
Outdoor stage on day 2 at GSF conference.
Elephant in the regular flow of traffic!
Hello Mr. Elephant!
Gate to the Taj Mahal.
View of Taj Mahal through the entry gate arch.
The Taj Mahal is truly stunning, made from sparkling marble.
The bench/pool from which the emperor remembered his wife, buried in the Taj.
Nearby Agra Fort.
A little rougher at Agra Fort, but still beautiful.
Rohan Malhotra with inspiring words in the lobby of Investopad.
The India Gate at the tip of the peninsula in Mumbai.
The famous Taj Palace hotel in Mumbai.
Most expensive home in the world! Wow. Look it up…
Shot of the bay in Mumbai.
From the stunning rooftop bar of the Four Seasons hotel in Mumbai.
Breakfast tea and palm trees at the Taj West End hotel in Bangalore.
Wonderful wall art at Tiny Mogul Games.
Throne of Games.
Rajesh Rao proud of Dhruva Interactive, one of the oldest/largest game studios in India.
A new game incubation initiative driven by Rajesh…
Kshiraj Telang (Pencillati) lectures on art bibles at the NASSCOM meetup in Delhi.