Contests2win to revamp, Games2win to go universal

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | October 03, 2007
Alok Kejriwal talks about the evolution of user-generated contests on Contests2win and how Games2win is attracting an international audience

Contests2win, one & #BANNER1 & # of the earliest entrepreneurial ventures on the Internet in India, is in for another revamp. In a conversation with agencyfaqs!, founder Alok Kejriwal says the company is planning "a complete re-launch of the site focused on the consumer rather than the brand". This includes making the site more consumer-friendly rather than just a showcase for brands. Kejriwal adds that the site's focus will now be completely on the consumer.

Talking about how online contests will evolve, he said, "So far, consumers have been at the receiving end and brands have been creating contests. Now, consumers will start creating contests." The site is slated to be relaunched some time next month and Kejriwal promises that a "lot of stuff is going to happen".

Alok Kejriwal
Founded in 1998, Contests2win became a first-of-its kind online contest site in India. It survived the tumultuous dotcom bust and continues to revamp itself at regular intervals. In 2006, Kejriwal quit as CEO of Contests2win and decided to play a leading role at his latest venture, Games2win, which received funding of $5 million in March. Talking about the move, Kejriwal says, "Games2win is a very new business and requires entrepreneurial experience and building a team from scratch."

Games2win, which has been known for its India-based games, is now going to cater to a more universal audience. The company has been promoting itself on message boards and social media sites and has realised the site is attracting significant traffic from international gamers. "As we stand today, Games2win is five times more popular abroad than it is in India. This has just happened over the last three or four months and it has caught us totally by surprise," reveals Kejriwal. He adds that gamers from about 180 countries visit the site daily and this includes traffic from the Americas, Europe, China, Korea and Japan.

Kejriwal and his team feel gamers want Indian themes with a universal play. "The Indian consumer is not that crazy about Indian content. He likes a touch of India, but it's not like everything has to be dipped in Indian oil." So, Games2win will now concentrate on "universal game ideas with an Indian touch, so that our (Indian) identity is preserved".

Games2win is also acquiring licenses for MMOGs, or massively multiplayer online games. MMOGs are virtual worlds where a game is played by thousands of gamers on the Internet at the same time. MMOGs are very popular in the US and South Korea. Kejriwal thinks the gaming market in India (IAMAI and IMRB puts its size at Rs 21 crore) could get a boost through MMOGs.

While Contests2win is largely built on brand promotions, Kejriwal thinks that in-game advertising is still not acceptable to most gamers in India. Citing his experiments with in-game advertising, Kejriwal says that the ads put gamers off. "I believe in-game advertising in India will take at least a few months to evolve because the consumer has to appreciate that the content is coming free to him because of the advertising," says Kejriwal.

Apart from Contests2win and Games2win, Alok Kejriwal is also the founder of mobile agency Mobile2win and interactive agency Media2win.

Read the full interview here.