nitish_headIn our 5 minutes with profiles, MEF members talk about their business, their aspirations for the future and the wider mobile industry. This week Nitish Mittersain CEO and Founder, introduces mobile games publisher and developer, Nazara Technologies.

What does Nazara do?

Nazara is a games publisher and developer focused on emerging markets such as India, Middle East, Africa and South East Asia. Having worked for many years in a low arpu, mass volume market such as India, we are well placed to understand the needs of the consumer in emerging markets and therefore we are focused strongly here.

In all the markets we operate, we have direct carrier billing connectivity as well as good relationships with handset manufacturers. We develop our own original and licensed IP games as well as publish on behalf of third party develoeprs interested in accessing the emerging markets.

We have worked with global leaders such as Electronic Arts for many years successfully and also work with smaller developers. In fact, we recently launched the Nazara Games Fund which is investing anywhere between $100k-$250k in game startups all over the world.

When did Nazara launch and what growth have you seen?

Nazara started in 2003 and has been running a profitable business for many years. Since 2009 we have seen a massive spike in the Indian market due to macro factors such as low cost handsets and cheaper data networks. Currently, we are growing at over 50% a year.

What are your main goals?

nazaraAs I mentioned earlier, we are looking at achieving leadership position in mobile gaming in our key markets which are India, Middle East and Africa.

Where do you see Nazara in three years’ time?

Besides our own goals, we are hopeful that we will emerge as an important early stage investor in many gaming startups in the emerging market ecosystem. We expect to make at least 8 – 12 investments in the next year.

“Essentially, we want to make great games – and be a great partner to the publishers whose games we distribute. That hasn’t really changed since day one.”

What aspect of mobile is most exciting to you right now?

Especially in the emerging markets, the proliferation of low cost android devices is extremely exciting.

In India today, we have close to 100 million smartphones but that will increase to 300-400 million in the next 2-3 years. So you can imagine, the growth potential in India is fantastic.

What’s the most critical issue that will hit mobile within the next 12 months?

There are a few challenges in markets such as India, especially on game distribution through the appstores. The pricepoints are very high (minimum USD 1) and carrier billing is absent.

Given the fact that credit card penetration is relatively low, this is a big barrier when it comes to  monetization. Therefore, monetization in emerging markets is going to be a challenge in the near term and we need to find solutions for this.

Apart from your own, which mobile companies are the ones to watch in the year ahead?

logoI think some of the messaging app companies like Hike are interesting and all the local brand handset manufacturers in India such as Micromax are poisted to grow very strongly.

Nitish Mittersain is CEO and Founder of Nazara Technologies, and a member of the MEF Asia Board. Find out more about thier business on the Nazara Technologies Website.

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