When Parineeta Rajgarhia went on vacation to Southeast Asia in 2019, she was introduced to Zero latency, warehouse-scale, free-roaming, multi-player virtual reality. It was his first VR gaming experience on such a large scale.
“I was completely blown away and knew this was what I had to do. Back in Mumbai, I got in touch with Australia-based Zero Latency and pitched the idea of founding everything the concept in India,” says Parineeta.
“The idea of VR users being free to move around freely in an open space and not be constrained by cables and other immobile equipment was new to me,” she adds.
This led her to start Samrey Entertainment in Mumbai in 2019.
Zero Latency Parineeta
An MBA graduate from IBS Hyderabad, Parineeta worked as an investment banker until her pregnancy. While pregnant, she founded Needle Art, a company that offers bespoke embroidered fashion (Indo-Western and Western) for women and children. While entrepreneurship wasn’t new to Parineeta, gambling was.
She says, “It’s groundbreaking and VR is the future of gaming, and that’s how the idea of bringing it to India sprouted and here we are – with the mind-blowing groundbreaking experience. , in Mumbai. So I have decided to launch Samrey Entertainment, the licensed partner who will bring to India the experience of “Free Roam Virtual Reality” for the very first time.
Zero Latency has integrated the social element into the VR experience by supporting up to 8 players in the same game at the same time. Since March 2021, Zero Latency is present in 46
locations in 22 countries.
“Entertainment and outdoor activities are limited, but a gaming activity clearly brings a lot of engagement and interaction. In India, gaming has started to pick up. Initially, we thought it was only for children , but that’s not the case when you look at how interactive games like PUBG have engaged people. It’s the social element that’s at the heart of the game. Those experiences already exist in the US, Europe and Southeast Asia, and are also coming to India,” says Parineeta.
“These experiences are realistic where players play in a very social environment. Right now you’re living in your own world, the next you’re lost in a virtual world,” she adds.
But the task was difficult initially as finding a place in Mumbai to host a free roaming VR space was difficult. “However, I was very sure that it was necessary. It meant going through different spaces and understanding if we can establish the conformities. We ultimately decided to build the space in Mumbai and saw growth in late 2019,” says Parineeta.
Parineeta with MS Dhoni, at zero latency
Along with finding the space, there were unconscious biases that Parineeta had to deal with as a female entrepreneur. “People don’t usually associate gaming with girls. So every time I talked to people, they wondered why I was watching games. But I didn’t let anything bother me and just kept doing and playing. show what I could. It’s very heartwarming to see young girls celebrating their birthdays there,” says Parineeta.
The pandemic effect
As the business grew, the pandemic hit and Maharashtra was one of the hardest hit states. Parineeta explains that the minute business started to pick up, celebrities like cricketer MS Dhoni arrived and the state went into full lockdown. She explains,
“The impact was tough, but that’s where my investment bank came to my aid. We were frugal and our team was small, so we were able to get by and get by. When things got slowly began to improve, the second wave hit us and we had to stop operations. However, we took all possible safety and compliance precautions. These, in fact, were already in place. The bags Backpacks are cleaned and sanitized after each use, as are jackets and gear, and the space itself is completely sanitized,” says Parineeta.
While she admits the segment was hit, they have no plans to go digital just yet. Parineeta says the games are purely experience-based in a VR space. Since these are unwired games, they are different.
According to IBEF Research, the gaming industry in India is growing exponentially and is expected to reach $3.7 billion by 2030. Startups like Escape Rooms are also striving to bring different simulated gaming initiatives to India.
“We think there is a big market, and once the city reopens, people will be looking for avenues to get out,” says Parineeta.