“100$ Game’ with a prize of USD 100 daily” - Arjun Rao, MD, Isle of Fortune
Arjun Rao, MD, Isle of Fortune

Gaming industry commands the biggest share of the entertainment industry. In India, this industry is still in its infancy. Team Estrade had the opportunity to speak to Arjun Rao, MD, Isle of Fortune, to take a peek into this superb world of gaming. Following are the details of this interaction along with the a brief background of the company and Arjun Rao.

“100$ Game’ with a prize of USD 100 daily” - Arjun Rao, MD, Isle of Fortune
Arjun Rao, MD, Isle of Fortune

About Arjun Rao, MD, Isle of Fortune
An avid sales and marketing specialist, Arjun has been working in the sports, entertainment and now mobile gaming genres over the past 17 years.

Arjun has several entertainment events under his belt in comedy and music, with international stars coming to India to perform. In 2014, the formation of the Champions Tennis League, in association with Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj brought international tennis of the highest caliber to multiple cities in India. This brought access to sports bodies, federations and celebrities, along with invaluable legal and operational insight into the running of a sports league in India, probably the most challenging market, in terms of regulations, to be in such a business.

All in all, he considers himself to be an entrepreneur at heart, always looking for interesting opportunities in sports, entertainment and gaming, where he can add value and learn a little more.

Isle of Fortune Pte. Ltd. is a Singapore based organization that was setup to create, operate and manage global content and gaming concepts to bring together the world of mobile gaming with any unique domain. Isle of Fortune Pte. Ltd. prides itself on being an ideas company that aims to bring to life exciting and innovative projects that are compelling and entertaining. Isle of Fortune is the only quiz based app, that rewards knowledge. It has a daily prize of 100 USD and a weekly one worth 1000 USD.

1. Tell us about Isle of Fortune? How did you start? What are your product offerings?

We all love to play games that test our skills and knowledge, but the experience is limited to the number of times we play and there is no tangible reward. ‘Isle of Fortune’ is the ultimate test of your knowledge, skill and speed. It is the first quiz app in the world to reward its players with cash prizes. Within the ‘Isle of Fortune’ app, players have the opportunity to play two formats of quizzes to win cash prizes, a free quiz, ‘The 100$ Game’ with a prize of USD 100 every day and the paid quiz, ‘The Grand Game’ which offers a weekly bonanza of a whopping USD 1000.
It started around 2 years ago when my wife and I got completely addicted to quiz apps that not just engaged us but also got us in the competitive spirit, but we had a major problem with how the games were. There were no gratification in terms of reward or a potential motivation to play on. This eventually led to the current ‘Isle of Fortune’ quiz app. It has been a great year of constant learning and evolution and I look forward to a great future in mobile gaming developments in the years to come.

“Our key markets are India, USA, Australia, UK, Canada, Germany, Singapore and Malaysia.”

2. What is your geographical range?

In India we are available in all states apart from Tamil Nadu and Nagaland, where the laws of the state do not permit us to operate. Apart from India, as of today we are present in more than 50 countries and we are slated to grow into new geographies every day with 7 major regions in United States of America being the latest additions namely New York, California, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Georgia, Texas and Florida.
Our key markets are India, USA, Australia, UK, Canada, Germany, Singapore and Malaysia. Legal studies are being conducted to operate in more markets.

3. What is your industry of operation? What is the size of the market you are currently competing in, both in India and the world?

We fall under the umbrella industry of mobile gaming.
Out of the global active mobile social user base of approximately 3 billion people, Isle of Fortune will initially target 100 million users across the globe. During our initial phase, the global marketing strategy will be focused on 20 countries. However, the app is available in over 50+ countries. India’s smartphone population is roughly 416 million and therefore is one of our priority markets.

4. What is your marketing strategy? For each product segment.

We are the first quiz in the world that offers cash awards to winners. This gives us a huge marketing advantage. We position ourselves factually as the ultimate game of knowledge and skill which is borne out of the fact that we offer cash prizes to winners.
The game will target everyone who loves to compete in a global format and in particular, quiz aficionados and trivia buffs.

“The game is designed only to test players’ Knowledge, Skill and Speed”

5. Is the eco system in India ripe for companies like Isle of Fortune? How it can be improved?

While Isle of Fortune is a Singapore based company, India is one of our key markets given the opportunity it presents to the mobile gaming sector. This is the most opportune time to function in India with the growing number of smartphone users and the booming internet growth. Isle of Fortune will always have the advantage, being the first to start out in this genre- A game of knowledge and skill that offers winners cash rewards.

6. What do you feel is the future of Big Data, Complex machines and AI? How are your products and customers benefitting from them?

The future of Big Data, Complex machines and AI is immense, and internet of things will revolutionize the way we live each day. Our game only scrapes the surface of big technological shifts, the game is designed only to test players’ knowledge, skill and speed. Going forward, we intend to explore the possibility of integrating AI to improve the overall quizzing experience, helping us maintain our large database of facts and create improved user integration and engagement opportunities. However, we are in the ideating stage on this and clearly understand that we have a long way to go.

7. Which product segment is the highest revenue earner for your company?

The ‘Isle of Fortune’ earns through ad revenues from both quizzes and in-app purchase options from ‘The Grand Game’. Going forward, there is the opportunity to create bespoke content for sponsors, bring in interested brands to pass on specific messaging etc.

8. How do you compare the business and technological environment in India and Singapore?

Singapore has 100% smartphone penetration even though it has far lesser users compared to India. If we compare it to user adoption, India fares lower than Singapore. In spite of the lower smartphone penetration and user adoption, India’s numbers are still huge and therefore a significant market to function in. From a business perspective, the transparency and ease of functioning provided by the community and laws of Singapore make it a more attractive destination currently.

9. What is the biggest challenge faced currently by your industry of operation?

The biggest challenge in the world of apps is the clutter caused by the presence of millions of apps. However, we do stand out by being the first mobile quizzing app to give away cash awards. The challenge is to spread this word globally, get people to sample the game and then hopefully engage with them to make Isle of Fortune a daily destination for our users.

“With augmented reality and virtual reality, mobile gaming has gone the extra mile to change the way apps interact”

10. Internationally, brand Bollywood has a major presence and is highly respected, where are we lacking in terms of the gaming industry? It is also after all entertainment.

Brand Bollywood has existed for over a century now. The mobile gaming industry has been around for a couple of decades at best and has only been on the growth curve for the past few years. In India, it is still in its nascent stage with more and more developers entering the foray to come up with content and apps that are more localized and specific to the Indian consumer. It still has a long way in establishing itself as solely entertainment, but a game that can integrate Bollywood with mobile gaming will definitely be the flavour of the year if it was done well.

11. Who are your investors? What would you advise to other start-ups before they start scouting for investors?

Besides my personal contribution, I have had the fortune of having a close group of family and friends invest in the setting up of Isle of Fortune. As we grow into newer markets and the need for increased marketing spends, development resources and fresh content mounts, I will be looking for more structured funding support.

12. According to you what is going to be the defining trend in your industry of operation over the next one year?
In the industry of mobile gaming, there is something new every single day. It is very difficult to predict the trend in such an industry. However, we do note that all apps focus on the end user and improving the entire experience for the user. With augmented reality and virtual reality, mobile gaming has gone the extra mile to change the way apps interact with the user. Those are areas in which we are looking at to create a truly unique experience for the user.

13. What is your vision for your company, in the

a. Near term future, over the rest of 2017

We would like to firmly establish ourselves as a prime mover in the Quizzing / Knowledge domain. We would like to achieve widespread adoption and downloads across our markets, and are currently targeting 10 Million downloads as our first milestone for achievement.

b. Long term, over the next 4 years or so.

We have been working on some very unique ideas for the Tourism sector, the education sector and in general quizzing concurrently using our developed algorithms and technology. I would ideally like to launch a significant initiative of substantial scale every year and that is what we are working towards.

“100$ Game’ with a prize of USD 100 daily” – Arjun Rao, MD, Isle of Fortune