Gaming made easy!

Smart minds

Gaming made easy!

With console gaming gaining popularity in India, more youngsters have taken to it in a big way. However, console gaming is not limited to merely school children or teens; many young professionals play console games to relax and have fun.

But console gaming is still an expensive e-sport and out of reach for the majority of youth in India. That very thought urged Puneet Badrinath, 28, to find a way to try and increase access to console gaming by making it more affordable. And that’s when he came up with ‘Hanchu’, with his friend Dilip Kumar MS, in November last year.

Meaning ‘share’ or ‘distribute’ in Kannada, ‘Hanchu’ is a peer-to-peer marketplace for gamers to buy and sell used console games. “Today gamers sell their games through existing stores, online classifieds or social networks. However, there are various disadvantages on these platforms like gamers not getting fair value for the game at stores, absence of streamlined processes including payment and logistics when they opt for classifieds or social networks and lack of trust between the buyer and seller which is also a major concern. We bridge this gap through our gamer marketplace app ‘Hanchu’ which is available on Google playstore,” says Puneet.

The young entrepreneur behind the interesting innovation explains that this app works rather simply. For sellers, after playing a game, they can click a few photos, add their price and list it on ‘Hanchu’.

As for buyers, they can browse through the listings and purchase games they are interested in. Hanchu comes to one’s doorstep, picks up the game, packages it and delivers it at the doorstep of the buyer. Once buyers receive the game, they have 48 hours to verify if the game is working, else they get a full refund. After they are done playing, an individual can resell the game on ‘Hanchu’ and recover much of their cost to buy more games.

“Hanchu is free to use and list games, but we charge a nominal convenience fee from buyers and sellers for every transaction to sustain operations,” states Puneet.

‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ and ‘Hanchu’ came into being in a similar manner. Shares Puneet, “Dilip and I would bounce off ideas from each other for various start-ups before settling on ‘Hanchu’ as an idea we would firmly work on. This happened in the beginning of 2015 and midway through the year, I quit my well-paying corporate job to work on the app full-time. ‘Hanchu’ was started as a platform for exchanging books before we switched over to console games. Having grown up with TV video games and PC gaming later, I understand the costs involved in purchasing the latest games available in the market today. I own a Playstation 3 and I would generally wait for many months and a big price drop before purchasing any game. Once I’m done playing the game, I don’t play it again. So I thought of creating a platform where I can sell my game, recover some money and buy new games.”

The app, he says, has received a good response and Puneet mentions that they have ongoing product improvements based on the feedback they get from their users.

“We have a vibrant user community who are equally excited about the app and give excellent inputs for improvement. Presently, ‘Hanchu’ is limited to tier-1 cities in India, but we want to expand it to tier-2 cities as well and promote the gaming culture. In addition, we want to create a footprint in the Western market as well. And finally, we want to create a community of gamers where games, consoles, services and knowledge can be freely exchanged across borders.”

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