When it comes to online gaming, PMI is a name to reckon with. It’s a service company, engaged in the development and implementation of the expansion strategy for the Parimatch brand in the markets of Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The company provides tech, marketing and communications services for partners in the betting and gambling industry. Innovations, new technologies and the desire to provide the best gaming experience for the customers are what drives PMI forward. Ramesh Kumar Raja tried to know more about Parimatch, what sets it apart from others in the gaming space and its offerings in India, in a conversation with Dmitriy Belanin, CMO, PMI. Excerpts:
How do you look at the emerging trend of online gaming in India, especially in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns?
The lockdown has had a drastic impact spread across different verticals of various industries, including gaming. Expectations from the market are increasing by the day and priorities have changed enormously, focusing intensely on health and safety above all. This has further realigned fundamental human values and beliefs. What was formerly considered a warm customer experience is not good enough to satiate the new behavioural pattern of the clients. This shift in perspective and circumstances has led the gaming industry to rejig its approach and reforming conventional ways to create something innovative for its customers.
COVID-19 has widened the category and brought forth a more sensitive and selective player in their decision-making. A part of this is a result of players seeking businesses that demonstrate and build trust. In the world of sports gaming and prediction platforms, it is one of the most important brand attributes. The category has grown significantly, because of the quarantine, and the trend is going to stay the same because many brands are pushing this category at the moment by creating surrogate products and running massive brand advertising campaigns.
What is the idea behind Parimatch? How did it all get started?
PMI is a service company providing tech, marketing and communications expertise to betting and gambling operators in the international markets, such as Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. It has been operating since 2018 and has over 100 employees engaged in developing and implementing strategies for expansion of the betting brands, such as Parimatch.
PMI partners with gaming operators who have the right to use and develop different brands including Parimatch (an entertainment platform for sports gaming and casino), and helps to develop business in the regions mentioned above. The company utilises the assets of Parimatch– brand designed for partners. It offers an exciting form of entertainment that enhances customers’ enjoyment of sports and gaming in a market. The assets include the platform, branding, sponsorship partnerships, casino products, video streaming, feeds etc. More than 2.6 million users worldwide use the Parimatch platform, which processes more than 88,000 bets per hour.
How many games and tournaments do you offer on your platform and what have been their responses? Please tell us about your traction detail and what’s next now?
We have multiple verticals in our product, such as sports and casino. Each is divided by types. For instance, in the casino section – there are multiple products, such as live casino, virtual games, or slot machines. As for traction, PMI has more than 1 mn monthly active users across the world. We are aiming to have the same number exclusively in India in the next two years. Parimatch is not only ambitious in its plans but also intends to enhance customer experience in the coming times and thus win the hearts of clients widely.
|“We have multiple verticals in our product, such as sports and casino. Each is divided by types. For instance, in the casino section – there are multiple products, such as live casino, virtual games, or slot machines. As for traction, PMI has more than 1 mn monthly active users across the world”|
The hobby of online gaming is now spreading to small towns and cities of India. How is Parimatch supporting small town gamers?
Parimatch understands that the gaming world fascinates many, including the growing frenzy in small areas. The brand seeks the gaming reach to expand and enable customers from all over the map, regardless of any geographical factor, to enjoy the experience fully. Therefore, PMI runs multiple CSR campaigns across the world. Sometimes, with the help of brand ambassadors, it tries to reach out to widen its user base and further aims to start running ambassadors’ campaigns in India shortly. Campaigns such as free PCs or gaming devices, free sports uniforms will be the centre of focus as an expansive plan for the brand. The company runs these campaigns on a regular basis in its African countries as well and is now planning to grow multifold in India while adopting the same strategy.
What makes Parimatch different from others in the gaming space? What are your USPs?
Some of the USPs of our brand include exceptional customer service, smooth operations including fast deposits and withdrawals, and our exhaustive variety of games. Our portal is customer-centric, fast and innovative. We ensure that each player on our platform is able to find a product or more that suits him or her.
We also like to stay updated with the requirements of our users and our last few researches reflect that most of our customers give a high preference to values that encourage profitability, reliability and user-friendly services and our portal provides that and so much more to them. As a brand, we feel we are sailing in the right direction with the hope to grow more every day.
|“Some of the USPs of our brand include exceptional customer service, smooth operations including fast deposits and withdrawals, and our exhaustive variety of games. Our portal is customer-centric, fast and innovative. We ensure that each player on our platform is able to find a product or more that suits him or her”|
What do you do to increase the recall value of your brand among gamers?
We partner with professional athletes, top global sports clubs, top media, etc. Another important element that plays a significant role is our brand story and the energy and effort that is put into flourishing the company. We believe that our brand’s story and its character suits the average gamer in Asia and that not only helps us in increasing the recall value but also aids in creating a strong connection with our target audience. Parimatch brand’s sponsorships portfolio includes UFC, Juventus FC, Leicester City FC, Everton FC, LaLiga, esports teams Fnatic, Team Spirit and VirtusPro Limited. Dale Stane is one of the brand’s global ambassadors. In different times, the ambassadors of the brand were Conor McGregor, Mike Tyson, and Diamond Platnumz.
Can you please tell us about your monetization model?
The company utilises the assets of Parimatch brand designed for partners’ use to offer an exciting form of entertainment that enhances customers’ enjoyment of sports and gaming in a market. As previously mentioned, our assets include the platform, branding, sponsorship partnerships, casino products, video streaming, feeds etc. More than 2.6 million users worldwide use the Parimatch platform, which processes more than 88,000 bets per hour.
What innovations and diversifications are you doing to stay ahead of the curve in India, which is a highly competitive market?
Our intention to grow collectively with our users helps us to flourish in the market. The other elements that help are:
- the variety of games on the platform
- bonuses offered by our brand
- availability of our product on different platforms such as Android, iOS etc.
We were amongst the first brands to launch kabaddi gaming on our platform. It further projects how sports fans can pick their favourite teams during the major kabaddi leagues and entertain themselves with our one-of-a-kind features and benefits.
What are the challenges you see in India from the gaming point of view?
We do not believe that the road is as bumpy as it used to be but there is certainly the challenge of educating people about such gaming platforms and uplifting their status in the market. We aim to help this industry to gain dignity in terms of legalities and prosper by folds as more people are made aware of its features and benefits in detail. We hope that our contribution helps in accelerating the success of the Indian gaming industry.
How do you look at the future of online gaming in India? What are your plans for the next few years?
The market is growing significantly, and the speed of growth does not reflect any massive shift in perspective in the next few years.
Our plans for this sector include increasing the category’s size by creating surrogate products and converting players from cross-industries such as social casinos and traditional gaming. In addition to this, we also intend to run extensive brand advertising campaigns using high-reach channels such as TV, radio, or other effective digital media. This will further help boost the size of the industry and increase the solidity of the existing users.
Lastly, we aim to educate the market by creating edutainment content; starting from strengthening the foundation and basics, eventually gliding across more advanced topics such as gaming strategies, market reviews, etc. We plan to change the landscape of the industry in the next decade for good.