Passion for video games on fingertips

Passion for video games on fingertips
Kishan Deepak Palija, Managing Director of Geekay Group

Geekay is a one-stop shop for video-game lovers



by

Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri

Published: Mon 10 Dec 2018, 10:29 AM

Last updated: Mon 10 Dec 2018, 12:32 PM

Kishan Deepak Palija, the Managing Director of Geekay Group, is a passionate gamer and has ushered in a new lease of life to the video-gaming business in the UAE. Having inherited the mantle from his illustrious father, Deepak Maganlal Palija in 2002, Kishan made it a point to expand its horizons, and today Geekay is one of the largest distributors of video games in the region. He has relentlessly worked hard to build the unique brand identity of his company, and today it has 25 shops across five countries, as well as supply to over 500 partner stores in the region.

Geekay family has been trading in Dubai since 1968. They started selling Video Games in 1990 when such form of entertainment was unheard of in the region.  Today, Geekay operates the largest chain of independent video games stores in the region.

"We represent more than 20 brands, as their exclusive distributors, in the Middle East," a beaming Kishan quipped. He takes pride in his work, and calls himself an 'ardent gamer'. He says the passion for video games is like an intuition for him. Kishan has made great strides in introducing several innovations, such as creating by-products for the industry.

Geekay Group is a pioneer in video game industry in this part of the world. It had the vision to venture into the gaming sector long before the exponential growth and popularity that it has gained now. Kishan, who had dreamt of becoming an astronaut, had in fact elevated the gaming industry to new heights making Geekay a signature name in video gaming industry.

The entrepreneur humbly attributes his success to his team, which comprises of talented youngsters, who have a die-hard interest in video games. "There is always room for innovation, and there isn't any dearth of ideas. This approach has simply made the difference," he remarked.
He says when it comes to distribution of video game gadgets, software and accessories, there aren't any direct competitors as they represent the brands exclusively. This testifies the outreach of the company and its worthy credentials. Apart from strategy-making, Kishan looks after the acquisition process, with the explicit goal to improve customer confidence in Geekay. Retail and distribution form its modus operandi.

Geekay is the prime distributor of gaming accessories, including video games, digital entertainment devices and electronic accessories in the region. "We are franchising on behalf of big brands, and act as a bridge for the whole gaming fraternity," Kishan pointed out, adding that this indispensable connect is our trademark, and Geekay has done exceptionally well.

The video game industry is a multi-million dollar business, and has, of late, surged exponentially. Its recent boom has much to do with smartphones. Cellular phones and apps have brought in a tremendous boost to the video game business. With cell phones, people quickly get hooked on to professional games online, and have a field day!

Kishan mentions that one such game is Fortnite - a free-to-play platform that is quite in demand these days.  This is where Geekay comes into play as even with free online games, people require more accessories like headsets, support services, etc. Video game business is emerging as one of the biggest employers and is contributing to the economy immensely. The fact that this gaming craze is free from age-factor makes it all the more popular.

Kishan, with his deep insight, points out a unique aspect of socialisation through video games. He says people sitting in various nook and corners of the world get in touch through the game and inculcate a great coordination of cultures and personal identity. This is special to the digital age, and has helped social amalgamation worldwide.

The Geekay big-wig highlights another stride that video games have made in the arena of sports, and hopes that E-sports will soon be part of Olympics. Kishan says the authorities in the UAE are E-sport enthusiasts and have rendered great support for the industry. The National Media Council has been supportive in promoting the business, and it is a good omen in furthering the habit of gaming in the right way.

Some of the most popular games of the day are: FIFA, Call of Duty, Fortnite, etc., which have taken people from all age-factors by storm. 'Counter-strike' is another sensational success story.

Kishan confided that Geekay is in constant touch with brands, and is a great source for letting them have instant feedback from consumers, as well as in being instrumental in placing pre-orders. Geekay plays its role as premiers of new games that are unfolded, and does all it can to make it an instant business success.

Geekay sits pretty comfortable with an annual turnover of nearly Dh200 million regionally, and is growing in double digits every year. He credits the UAE leadership for playing a marvelous role in grooming the video-gaming industry, and facilitating it all around. Kishan went on to say that the volume of business in the Middle East is to the tune of $2 billion.

Geekay has plans for expansion in the UAE and beyond. The managing director says that he is an inventor, per se, and personally looks into minute details at stores to make them apt and applicable. "I do technological innovation at the stores," he humbly notifies.
Geekay group also operates 'Geek Nation', a fandom store, which has become a one-stop shop for all pop culture enthusiasts. It's a store that appeals to all entertainment fans, with everything under one roof. It is one of the leading destinations for comic, movie and video game lovers in the region.

Kishan talks more about 'Fandom Stores', and says he look forward to building similar brand projects. Since the inception of Facebook, its page on the social media website is a hit in furthering the sensation of video games.
Kishan and Geekay's success are interlinked, and they owe it to the passion with which the business is dealt with. His vision is to make Geekay Group the hotspot in the entertainment industry. While Kishan is content, he wants to do something in the social milieu in the form of humanitarian work, and this ambition in life makes him go from one strength to another.
- mehkri@khaleejtimes.com


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