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Interview 1: Shop Owner

Date: 8th November 2011; Time: 4:15 pm Name: Mr. Pandey Age: 58 years Profession: Owner of toy & game store called Grand Prix Grand Prix is a nearby store, where I used to go to purchase my toys & games as a kid. In the past 4-5 years, it has expanded to almost triple its size and from a small toy store 4 years back, it has changed and looks like an expensive ‘gaming & fitness’ store now. After noticing this interesting change, I decided to interview the owner about how the evolution happened, and how the user preferences have changed. Me: Sir, I ll just take 10 minutes of your precious time. Mr. Pandey: Please try and finish it in 5 minutes Me: Ok, sir. I ll try. So since how many years are you into the business of toys & games? Mr. Pandey: 17 years Me: So in these 17 years, what all has changed in the market? Mr. Pandey: A lot. Demand for board games have drastically decreased, electronic media has come up: PSP, PS2, XBOX etc for 6 to 12 years. 13 years onwards is youth thesedays. They do not play games any more. Me: How many board games do you sell in a week? Mr. Pandey: About 70 pieces on an average; 250 per month Me: The top selling board games? Mr. Pandey: Fun Skool tops the list, followed by Creative Educational & then comes Dr. Wood Puzzles. Me: Generally, when a customer enters your store, does he have a clear idea about what exactly he wants or does he figure it out here? Mr. Pandey: Depends.. sometimes customers have a fixed mindset of buying one particular game – Guess Who, Scotland Yard etc but some come with a slight idea, and we try to show them as much variety in that genre. Madam, actually there is a major change- computer games are mostly popular with kids today. There is a reason behind it. Reading habit has decreased because of technology and action games are becoming very popular because of media. For eg.- Ra one (one of the latest Bollywood movies) has spent 50 crores on its promo and are selling tiffins, bottles, stationary, computer games etc. Me: That’s great insight sir. And what about other influencers – what else influences the choice of kids ? Mr. Pandey: See, the mother of the child plays a vital role- especially for selecting a board gamethey would prefer educational games whereas child would prefer something more fun. Other than that, I feel kids today do not listen to anyone- they buy what they want to. They are extremely brand conscious and parents cannot push them. Me: Sir, and what do you feel about games? Which ones would you recommend and are personally your favourite?

Mr. Pandey: Personally I have never played with toys and games. That is why I have opened a game store ! Me: Wow. That’s interesting! And sir, just a few more questions. Where do you buy from- I mean how does distribution happen? Mr. Pandey: There are 2 ways of distribution- one is directly from the company, and one is through distributors – There are 5 distributors in Delhi- North, South, East, West and Central. We do both – get toys from distributor, cycles from company and also get some through importer. We have also got the distributorship for Cosco in East Delhi and for Yonex. Me: Sir, I don’t know whether you recognized me. But I was also one of the kids coming to your shop about 8-9 years back. I see a huge change in the shop- you ve expanded quite a lot. It’s great. So do you think thesedays parents are ready to spend much more than earlier for the kids’ games? Mr. Pandey: See, price consciousness is still there among people here in East delhi. It is like a person gets off a Mercedes and asks for a discount. The mentality of some people, especially in this area hasn’t changed. Though mostly, in South Delhi and all it is changing because of education, awareness and also availability of a range of games & toys Though you are right. Things have really changed. 7 years back, board games were very popular. But now, mostly 3 to 5 years old go for board games. Me: And as I see it, the focus is now more on sports & fitness? Mr. Pandey: No, actually I have divided the shop into 4 parts- Fitness, Toys, Sports & Mixture (tricycles, school bags, water bottles, stationary, pram, return gifts etc). If you don’t mind, I would like to ask you a question- why did you choose this field when your parents are doctors? Me: Cuz I wanted to get into the creative line. I wasn’t interested in medicine at all. Mr. Pandey: See! This is what I meant. When I was young, I told my father I wanted to do hotel management and he asked me very rudely why I would want to be a waiter! I struggled with science for many years but eventually opened this shop. In our days, there was no awareness and kids would follow what the parents wanted them to do. Now things have changed. But I think its great that people do what they want to- this way they do their best. Me: Thank you sir, it was great talking to you.

Key Insights:
About the person: Likes freedom & individualism Seems very diplomatic Opportunist Open to new ideas

About user preferences & Indian market in context with the shop: Major influence of the media – macho, action games are hotsellers among the boys Board game market taken over by Funskool and Creative Education The buying decision is ultimately taken by the kid. The money is paid by the parents, but they can hardly influence the choice Brand consciousness is very high among kids and youth in general Computer games, and hand held device games have taken over the Indian gaming market

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Price consciousness is still important to people in East Delhi when it comes to buying decisions The only board games that sell well are either classics or educational. Board games are mainly selling for very young age group: below 6 years. Distribution: through dealers or directly with company The shop sells about 250 board games a month East Delhi, (where majority of the population belongs to business class ,do not have a strong educational background and are not much exposed) , there are still orthodox perceptions among buyers relating gender and games.

Interview 2: Salesperson at Game shop
Date: 8th November 2011; Time: 4:45 pm Name: Mr. Sharma Age: 65 years Profession: Salesperson at toy & game store called Grand Prix An experienced toy & game salesmen, I assumed that talking to him would give me a better insight about user preferences since he handles the customers directly. Me: Sharmaji, for how many years are you working here? Mr. Sharma: I have been working in Grand Prix for 15 years but have been in the game market for 25 years now. Me: Wow! That’s a lot of time! So what changes have you seen in the market during this large time span? Mr. Sharma: A lot has changes. Ealier, people preferred manual toys – eg. Wind up type. But now, toys that are battery operated, have some musical output sell well. Board games have decreased because CD games and hand held devices games have come up. Me: So how do you decide what to show to a customer if he just comes to the shop with no idea what he wants Mr. Sharma: According to the age group. We show blocks/ mechanix . For younger kids, we show Fischer Price- Toxic free toys as they are safe. For older kids, we show educational board games. Me: What about gender? What is the difference between what girls are interested in and boys ? Mr. Sharma: For girls, we show Disney character toys, kitchen sets, games involving doll activities, Cinderella story, fairy tale story games, creative games- involving flower making, jewellery makingThese are for 5 to 15 years old girls.For boys, we generally show mechanix, remote controlled cars, electronic circuit games, strategic games, detective- like Scotland Yard. Me: What about games like Chess? Mr. Sharma: Chess, Tambola and Ludo are universal games- These still sell the maximum and can never be discontinued. Me: What about board games- which board games sell the most?

Mr. Sharma: Actually board games have trends. Funskool, which was started in 1987 and distributes Life, Scotland Yard, etc – has much more demand NOW than was when it started. Funskool actually has a collaboration with Hasbro. It is actually the MRF Tyre Company. Me: So when a person comes to the shop, do you guide him to what he should buy or does he mostly have a clear idea about what he wants ? Mr. Sharma: Sometimes, they come with a clear mind, ask for something- we show them that and some more alternatives. They end up buying something else. Also, we tell them the way of playing. Me: So do you play games? How do you get to know the way of playing? Mr. Sharma: I sometimes play ludo and all with my kids. But generally we read the rules and find out. Me: Your personal favourite game? Mr. Sharma: Scrabble & Connect 4. Me: What do you think about the influence that others have on the buyers today? Mr. Sharma: Kids today are extremely stubborn. After a lot of arguments with their parents, they end up buying what they want. Me: Which are the games that sell really well across age groups? Mr. Sharma: Pictionary, Game of Life, Scrabble, Chess Me: What is the average price of a board game that you sell? Approximate range Mr. Sharma: Cant say. There is a vast range- from Rs. 200 to Rs. 1500 Me: Lastly, about the distribution- where do you buy your games from? Mr. Sharma: We used to earlier buy through company but now we have started buying from distributor. Me: Doesn’t the distributor charge an extra commission ? Mr. Sharma: No. It doesn’t make much difference- just 1 % approximately.

Key Insights:
About the person: Experienced & updated Believes in educational games Confident Introvert Culturally conservative Understands customers’ preferences very well Favourite Games: Scrabble & Connect 4 : Likes a new game each time, something that stimulates the mind

About user preferences & Indian market in context with the shop: Availability & variety influences buyer’s choice: They may want something but end up buying something else. The salesmen’s belief and perception in the game can greatly make a difference in the sales. So it is important that the rules of the game are understood well by the salesperson. A general perception that strategic games are meant for boys and creative games for girls Classic Best sellers in Indian market: Tambola, Chess, Ludo, Scrabble, Life, Scotland Yard, Pictionary: overall, a trend of lifestyle games

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Range of board games: Rs. 200 to 1500 Kids today are not influenced by the parents’ choices at all : individualism Computer games have replaced the board games these days.

Interview 3: Salesperson
Date: 10th November 2011; Time: 7:00 pm Name: Mr. Kishan Age: 32 years Profession: Salesperson at Sports & Gift Emporium Sports & Gift Emporium is a toy and game store in Khan Market, one of the most porschest markets in Delhi. The market is visited by upper middle and high class people. This particular shop looks old and ancient from outside. As I entered, I noticed that the shop only keeps toys and board games- no electronic games. I decided to interview the most experienced salesperson present there. Me: Since how many years does this shop exist? Mr. Kishan: 50 years Me: And since how many years have you been working here? Mr. Kishan: 10 years Me: So what all do you keep in this shop? Mr. Kishan: Only toys & games. Me: No CDs or PSP etc? Mr. Kishan: No, we don’t have any space for all that! Me: How many board games do you sell in a week? Mr. Kishan: 25-30 Me: So Mr. Kishan, in these 10 years of your experience, how has the market evolved? Do you see any changes in the preferences etc? Mr. Kishan: Nothing much has changed. We still sell the same no. of games as we used to. Me: Do kids still like the same kind of games they used to? Do parents still influence them in their buying decision? Mr. Kishan: No no. Nowadays kids are not in parents control.They buy what they want to. And parents are ready to spend anything – not like before. Me: Do most people come with a clear idea in mind about what they want? Mr. Kishan: Ya. They do. If we don’t have that particular game, they mostly go to look for it somewhere else. Me: Do you think brands are more important or the game and its way of playing? Mr. Kishan: Brands is what people ask for. If it is not branded, they don’t buy it. Me: Do brands give some kind of warrantee? Mr. Kishan: No. Me: Ok, which are the most hot selling games? Mr. Kishan: Havent paid much attention to that. But games like Monopoly, Scrabble etc sell really well even now. Company wise, Funskool and Mettel sell the best Me: Ok, if I asked you an approximate age group for Taboo and Risk, what would you say?

Mr. Kishan: Taboo is for 10 years + and Risk for 15 + Me: What about gender preferences? Mr. Kishan: Girls like crafty games but some of them also like board games. Boys like board games, football, sports, cars, helicopters. Though there isn’t much difference now. Both girls and boys can like similar stuff Me: What about strategic games? Like risk/ Scotland yard/ chess? Mr. Kishan: They all are displayed here – you can see (He didn’t seem to have much idea about them) Me: Overall, can you define an age group for board games? Mr. Kishan : Very tough to say. Actually all age groups come to buy board games. Me: Ok. And Mr. Kishan, where do you buy the games from- directly from company? Mr. Kishan: No. We buy it from the distributors. Me: Do you yourself play games Mr. Kishan? Mr. Kishan: No no. I only sell Me: How do you brief the customers about the game then? Mr. Kishan: We read the rules, so get an approximate idea. Me: Any time of the year when the games sell really well? Mr. Kishan: Christmas and Diwali

Key Insights:
About the person: Shy & Timid Not so curious

About user preferences & Indian market in context with the shop: Khan Market (where most of the crowd belongs to upper middle or high class) has some very different preferences Board Games are spread out across all age groups All board games are considered unisex, with very few exceptions Strategic games sell for 15+ age group Kids have strong individual choices, which is not easily influenced and it is only a few times that they end up buying the alternatives: They are very sure and clear about what they want. Opportunity to make the salespeople aware about the game since it is one of the most important touchpoint The no. of board games sold is still the same : which means since the gaming market is expanding drastically, the market share of board games has really reduced. Brand plays a very important role: Funskool games sell better than any other. Parents are not price conscious at all. They buy whatever the kid likes Peak Season: Christmas & Diwali They sell about 25-30 board games a week; 120 board games a month

Interview 4: Shop Owner
Date: 10th November 2011; Time: 7:30 pm Name: Mr. Gupta Age: 58 years Profession: Owner of Gift Palace (Khan Market) Gift Palace is a toy and game store in Khan Market, one of the most porschest markets in Delhi. The market is visited by upper middle and high class people. This particular shop is the most popular and keeps a vast range of toys, board games and electronic games. As I started the interview, I started speaking to Vikrant, one of the most experienced employees in the store. But since there were lots of customers in the shop, he could not complete the interview. So I continued to talk to the owner, Mr. Gupta. Me: Since how many years does this shop exist? Vikrant: 40 years Me: And since how many years have you been working here? Vikrant: 15 years Me: So what all do you keep in this shop? Vikrant: Games, Toys, Sports, Electronic games Me: In these 15 years, how has the market changed? Do you see an increase in demand in one of the items and decrease in another? Vikrant: Demand for electronic games, CD games have gone up and board games has remained the same. Me: Which are the most popular board games ? Vikrant: Monopoly, Life, Risk Me: Can you give me a range of the prices of board games that are sold? Vikrant: Rs. 150- 2000 Me: Your favourite board games? Vikrant: Scrabble, Pictionary, & Ludo After this, I had to continue the interview with the owner, Mr. Gupta as Mr. Vikrant got busy with the customers. Me: Talking about Risk, who generally comes to buy risk and who plays it? Mr. Gupta: Generally, 15 + age group is interested in risk. Me: and do boys play it or girls? Mr. Gupta: both. Its unisex Me: Do people generally purchase games for their own self or for others? Mr. Gupta: Generally 60% is for gifting, 40% for personal use. Me: What about age groups? Can you define an age group for board gamers? Mr. Gupta: Board games are generally played by all age groups. Depends on the kind of game it is. Though children are losing interest in board games now. They are more interested in electronic gizmos and gadgets

Me: And what about buyers? Do they come with a clear ide about what they want? Mr. Gupta: Some are clear. But people who want to gift are not clear. They come and explore options here. Me: What do you think are the factors that influence buying decisions? Mr. Gupta: Salespeople- 35-50 % , and Media- 25 % Me: So do salespeople inform the customers about rules of the games? How do they get to know? Mr. Gupta: Yes. They do. The company guys inform the salespeople- but not too properly. Though they should Me: And what about parents? Do they influence their children’s buying decisions? Mr. Gupta: Not much. They have some say till the kids are 8. After that, especially 12 + have their own say. Me: Where do you buy your games from? Mr. Gupta: Through distributor and some importers Me: How many board games do you sell in a day? Mr. Gupta: About 8 to 10 pieces Me: Out of your entire revenue, how much percentage would board games constitute? Mr. Gupta: Not more than 5-7 % . The demand for board game is decreasing actually. Me: Mr. Gupta, are you a gamer yourself? Which is your favourite game? Mr. Gupta: Yes, Call of duty. I play with my son- he loves these games Me: Any other genre in board games that s gaining popularity? Mr. Gupta: Yes, educational board games. They are in demand but hardly available.

Key Insights:
About the person (Mr. Gupta): Aware & Informed Experienced in the field Courteous

About user preferences & Indian market in context with the shop: Khan Market (where most of the crowd belongs to upper middle or high class) has some very different preferences Board Games are not limited to any particular age group or gender Strategic games like Risk sell for 15+ age group 8 + Kids have strong individual choices; Influences include media (25%) and salesperson (3550%) Salespeople are not informed properly by the company about the game: Big opportunity as it is one of the most important touchpoint and they Vast price range of board games: Rs. 150-2000 They sell about 8-10 pieces of board games a day; 56-70 pcs a week; 240 + board games a month The demand for board games has remained the same even when the gaming industry is on a boom.

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They revenue share of board games is only 5-7 % People buying board games are buying it 60% for gifting and 40% for personal use. Educational board games are in demand but hardly available.

Interview 5: Salesperson
Date: 12th November 2011; Time: 1:00 pm Name: Mr. Sudhir Age: 62 years Profession: Salesperson at Maya Toys (Aurobindo Market) Maya Toys is one of the most popular toy and game stores, located in Aurobindo market. It is one of the porsche markets in Delhi. The market is visited by upper middle and high class people. This particular shop is the most popular and keeps a vast range of toys and board games. As I asked the owner for 10 minutes of interview, he refused and told me to come on a weekday afternoon. But I managed to speak to the most experienced employee. Me: Since how many years does this shop exist? Sudhir: Don’t know for sure. Atleast 20 years Me: And since how many years have you been working here? Sudhir: 10 years Me: So what all do you keep in this shop? Sudhir: Games, Toys, Sports, and Electronic games Me: In these 10 years, how has the market changed? Do you see an increase in demand in one of the items and decrease in another? Sudhir: This is very tough to say Me: Which are the most popular board games ? Sudhir: Hasbro and Mettel games sell well . See Hasbro is an international company, which has tied up with Funskool. Mettel makes Pictionary, Uno etc . Other than that, a lot of people have come to ask for Settlers of Catan also. Me: But its not ventured into India yet. Sudhir: Ya but atleast 50 % people have been around the world! That’s why they ask for it Me: Can you give me a range of age groups you guys cater to ? Sudhir: All age groups : from 0 to 108 He then showed me a game called Quart where the stated age group was 8 to 108 years Me: So when a person comes to buy the game, do you tell him about the rules of the game to help him take the buying decision? Sudhir: How can we know all the rules! People do come with an idea-they check online. They come for imported games. Me: What about pricing? Has that amount people spend on games changed over the years? O Sudhir: Value of money has changed. Monopoly is now for Rs. 399, earlier I used to sell it for Rs. 68! Now business is for Rs. 200.

Me: Great Insight sir. And what about risk? Sudhir: Risk is an adult game. Its meant for 12-25 years. But who plays games after 20! Me: What about distribution? How do you buy your games? Sudhir: We have distributors. They are company wise – Mettel, Funskool. And there are loads of local distrubutors in Sadar Bazaar for local games. Me: Sir, what do you think about the importance of brand? Sudhir: It really matters. Local brands don’t last. Like a Scrabble is for Rs. 699 but a local alternative is for Rs. 299. Me: Which one of these sells better? Sudhir: Both sell well. Me: What about educational games? Sudhir: Parents do want the games to be educational but kids don’t want to play such games. And thesedays they don’t listen to the parents, unless they re very young. Me: Sir, which is your favourite game? Sudhir: I have only played Ludo and enjoy it. Me: Sir, just one last question. Approx how many games do you sell per week? Sudhir: Very hard to say. We sell games from 9 in the morning till night. Write any figure.

Key Insights:
About the person (Mr. Gupta): Aware & Informed Experienced in the field

About user preferences & Indian market in context with the shop: Aurobindo Market has a no. of globe trotters visiting. Strategic games like Risk sell for adult age groups 8 + Kids have strong individual choices and do not like to play educational games. Salesmen do not have much info about rules Most customers have a clear idea about the games by reading online reviews etc. Very good sales of board games Most Demanded games are licensed by Mettel and Funskool There is demand for imported games, including Settlers of Catan in this area. They cater to all age groups (“0 to 108” ) but the salesman believes that 20 + do not play because of the busy lifestyle Local Alternatives of most classics are available Distributors supply games to most stores

Interview 6: Shop Owner
Date: 12th November 2011; Time: 1:40 pm Name: Mr. Narayan Das

Age: 75 years Profession: Owner of Toy Kingdom (Aurobindo Market) Toy Kingdom is one of the oldest toy and game stores, located in Aurobindo market. It is one of the porsche markets in Delhi. The market is visited by upper middle and high class people. Me: Since how many years does this shop exist? Mr. Narayan: 30 years Me: So what all do you keep in this shop? Mr. Narayan: Games, Toys, and Electronic games Me: In these 30 years, how has the market changed? Do you see an increase in demand in one of the items and decrease in another? Mr. Narayan: This is very tough to say. Too much has changed. Me: What about the demand for board games? Mr. Narayan: It is still there. Me: Which are the most popular board games ? Mr. Narayan: Funskool sells well. Monopoly etc. Me: What about Risk? How many of those do you generally sell in a month? Mr. Narayan: Mostly costly games have less demand as people generally buy for gifting on birthdays. So Rs. 400-500 is what they are willing to spend. And now there is unlimited variety of games. Me: So who generally buys these games? Mr. Narayan: Parents come with kids and sometimes kids come alone. Kids usually have their own say as thesedays they watch so much TV and see each other. Me: So when a person comes to buy the game, do you tell him about the rules of the game to help him take the buying decision? Mr. Narayan: Salesmen only have an idea. People do check online before coming. Me: What about you sir? Being in this business for so many years, have you grown fond of games? Mr. Narayan: No no. Who has the time these days to play games! But Life sells well. Me: Ok. And how many board games do you approximately sell in a month? Mr. Narayan: Unlimited. Me: What about the approximate share of board games in the total revenue? Mr. Narayan: Have no idea. Have never calculated. Me: Sir, can you tell me an approximate age group that board games in india cater to? Mr. Narayan: They are mainly for 5+. Older kids go for Taboo, Risk etc. Most go for gaming console – PSP, PS2. Actually the variety has increased so much that it caters to everyone’s own requirements.

Key Insights:
About the person (Mr. Gupta): Rigid Polite Not too curious Not too confident

About user preferences & Indian market in context with the shop: Board Games are not limited to any particular age group but have enough variety for each to find their own liking : Among 8+, Taboo & Life sells well. For older kids, Risk sells. Pricing does affect the buying decision especially in case of gifting. Price range for gifting: Rs. 400-500 8 + Kids have strong individual choices, which are affected by peer pressure and media Salesmen do not have much info about rules Most customers have a clear idea about the games by reading online reviews etc. Very good sales of board games Most Demanded games are licensed by Funskool

OVERALL INSIGHTS  In upper middle class & high class, Board games are doing better and picking up. This is mainly because of “globe totters” : global exposure that Indians are getting thesedays. They sell across a range of age groups from 5+ to 20, but not after that. Brands associated with games are increasingly becoming popular: Funskool & Mettel as youth is increasingly becoming brand conscious (even though cheaper alternatives are available) An important opportunity: Informing salesmen and making them experience the play as they are the most influencial touchpoint In porscher areas (upper middle class & high class customers), people decide reading about reviews online Board games are popular for gifting, and hence expensive games do not sell too well for this purpose. But for personal use, parents don’t mind spending huge amounts. Media and peers are the main influence of kids today, not parents Distribution is mainly through distributors divided location wise, not directly from company Among middle class crowd and locations, board games are supposed to be for the lower age group and there is a strong perception of gender preferences in games. In popular shops that sell toys, board games, sports and electronic games, board games only contribute to 5-7 % of the revenue ONLY

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