The gaming industry in India has been lagging behind its world counterparts. This is changing due to mobile gaming and the console gaming is catching up with it now. There are 10 million console gamers in India and they are passionate about what they do.
The same applies to the founders of Tacnik. They were always gaming maniacs by passion since they held their first Nintendo. From Mario to Contra, and Counter Strike to FIFA, gaming has always been an integrated part of their lives.
Since gaming is still in its infancy in India, there is a lot of scope for progress and market capture but this will come about slowly since the Indian mentality towards gaming has been largely negative.
When the jobs of the founders got them to Bangalore, they continued gaming post 9 to 5 work schedule. Given that the prices of the PlayStations are high, they bought a second-hand console from OLX. Unfortunately, the console broke only weeks after they bought it.
The seller refused to bear any responsibility for the same and they were left with some broken piece of dreams; devastated and stranded. Contacting friends let them understand the after purchase woes of buying individual games. Each would cost around INR 3-4K.
People like them either pay an exorbitant amount to purchase games or hang around gaming lounges paying per hour charges. Those who own games sell the unused and older ones via OLX or Quikr to overcome some of the expenses or informally exchange games.
Everything was so messed up. And that was the Eureka moment for them. They took the responsibility to find the possible solution to the problem. Tacnik came into existence, a name derived from the Hindi/Sanskrit word which means the most efficient way to do something.
Tacnik is India’s first video-gaming rental platform based out of Bangalore. With the mission to promote the culture of console gaming in India, the startup organizes console-gaming events (PlayStation and Xbox) for Corporate Offices, Schools, Colleges, Universities, Gaming Lounges, Pub and wherever possible.
“Whatever we are today, we owe to the Alma Mater. 4 out of 5 founding members hail from the same college. At NIT Trichy, we learned to be independent and know that there is no such thing as a free lunch. We have put this theory into practice ever since and we will always be grateful for the wonderful years we spent there,” Skandha says.
When asked about the family support, he says “A startup is really a confusing time for the families – quitting jobs, working on something they have no idea about and seeing us go through the tension day in day out. What helps at this crucial time is the faith they have in us. When the parents see that the child is happy doing what he’s doing, it fills them with contentment and that’s what keeps them going.”
From being an online portal for rental of gaming consoles and DVDs to organizing gaming events and tournaments, Tacnik has come a long way in just 10 months since its inception. They cater to every gamer’s needs and provide them a platform to experience an addiction.
The faces behind this bootstrapped startup are Mayank, Skandha, Purnank, Ishant, and Jeevan. Mayank is responsible for marketing and business. While Skandha, Purnank, Ishant and Jeevan handles B2B, planning and strategy, technical and operations respectively.
Mayank, Purnank, Jeevan, and Ishant have been the best of friends for 6 years having met in the first year of college (NIT Trichy 2010-14 Batch). They even did a small t-shirt venture in college together which served as the stepping stone for the future of Tacnik.
When the jobs got them to Bangalore, they met Skandha as part of Ishant’s office circle. Skandha was the perfect match for the role of another founder for his love of video games and his visionary approach to the business.
Online marketing (social media and SEO) has always been the best channel for them since TG is always online. Word of Mouth has helped them a lot since the beginning to increase the market base, therefore they put a lot of efforts for the best services.
Digital marketing serves as a medium to update customers with relevant games and latest events. Offline marketing was adopted at a very late stage to grab a larger share of the market.
“We have seen an overwhelming response and a humble growth month over month since the launch last year. With amazing customer retention and word of mouth publicity we have become a common name on the lips of Bangalore gamers and hope to conquer other cities across India with the same energy and enthusiasm,” says Skandha, co-founder at Tacnik.
He adds “Seeing an overwhelming response in Bangalore, we are now working on a model to optimize the economics and replicate the same model in other cities. We plan to cover the major 4 cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad) by the end of next year and then expand to tier II cities in the years to come.”
“Moreover, we’re also working on creating a community of gamers where they can interact, share games and play together. This is being focused on to provide a platform for Indian Gamers and otherwise to come together and share the joy of gaming with like-minded folks,” Skandha quotes.
An idea for a startup can sweep you right off your feet in the beginning and might seem like the way to go. It is very very important to keep yourself on the ground and check the practical significance of the idea. The best way to do this is getting out of the house and lookout out for your TG.
“Talk to them and see that are you really solving their problem, will they be willing to pay you for the same, is the market big enough and other such basic questions. You don’t want to spend your valuable time and money building something that people really don’t want,” Tacnik team advises to budding entrepreneurs.