Saturday, May 30, 2009

Board games in India

I thought this was interesting, it appears that interest in board games is growing all over. This artile in an Indian online business periodical even mentions Cranium!

An excerpt:

The next time you visit a friend, don’t be surprised if your host asks you what you’d like with your glass of wine — not cheese and olives, but from a collection of board games! Despite stiff competition from the numerous online games and Playstation and Xbox 360, newer, more exciting variants of the good old Ludo and Snakes and Ladders are here. Businesswise, says Satish Sundra, owner, Ram Chander & Sons, India’s oldest toy shop, board games are doing so well that customers are walking into the store with a list of games that they have surfed for on the net. “Families walk into the store and want at least three different versions of Scrabble,” he says. R Jeswant, Funskool’s vice president (sales and marketing), asks, “How can board games make a comeback? They never left us,” he says, adding that the company has recorded a 40 per cent growth in 2008-09 in the board games category alone. It tied up recently with IIT Mumbai to develop a host of homegrown games for Indian consumers. “As part of the industrial design course, students prepared board games and we decided to distribute them,” says Jeswant, explaining that all that these family games require are skill and aptitude.

He’s yet to learn about Funskool’s latest offering but Ajesh Shah, an investment banker in the US, who came back to India two years ago to start “game clubs” for likeminded enthusiasts, is busy firming up plans for the next “board game night” in Mumbai. “I don’t earn the way I used to in the US, but I was burning out and had to do something about it,” he says. Still in his early twenties, Shah started Peacock Projects, a forum for organising cultural festivals while also promoting newer names in the field of music, dance and visual arts. Since he is a board game “freak”, he also started Board Game Bash, a club where members register and meet to play — what else? — board games. The response, says Shah, who owns around 20 board games, has been overwhelming, and there are already 150-160 registered members. The club has already held Poker nights, UNO-card bashes, Scrabble club nights and what have you in members’ residences, but now hopes to host board game parties at pubs too.

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