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"We Are Looking at Four Stores in Next Two yrs": Nimish Kenia and Mehul Masrani

In an exclusive interview with Nimish Kenia and Mehul Masrani, Founders, Happy Planet sheds light on kids' gaming market.

Tags: Kidzania, start-up, Happy Planet, gaming

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  February 23, 2018  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Minish Kenia and Mehul Masrani

How the concept of Happy Planet did come into existence? What was the inspiration behind? Kindly shed light on your journey so far?  Also how do you think India is evolving for such niche concepts?

Happy Planet is a dream, a passion born out of love for kids-to bring internationally available “active play options” to India. The inspiration was when we took our own kids abroad and exposed them to such place and how much they loved it that we decided to bring in a much better “proprietary mix” concept to India and offer it for our kids in India. This is our 9th yr of operations and it’s been a well accepted concept with lot of brand loyalty-reason for brand loyalty is the uniqueness of our offerings!

How do you think kids’ recreation market has evolved over the year’s right from soft days to high end play destinations such as Kid Zania and many more?

Yes, the market has really evolved. We were the pioneers in this space 9 years ago. Today there are many players including Kidzania and its good that the industry has evolved and still is growing as there is a lot of appetite in this space. We had our challenges with the Indian system etc so it took a while to get established but now we are ready to roll out more across India and also have a franchisee model in place.

 As of now, how many Happy Planet gaming areas are operational as of now? And how many more will be operational in the time to come? And what would be the locations for new areas?

We have 2 locations of over 6000 sq ft in Phoenix market city Pune and Mumbai. We plan to open 4 more in next 2 years and looking out for franchisees

 Kindly shed light on your business model? is it subscription based or pay as you use based?

It’s a pay as u use model or an unlimited option can also be availed.

What are the major challenges in running such fitness-cum- gaming areas?

Challenge is mostly taking kids away from the gadgets and towards active play. The parents also need to play an active role to play with the kids and spend quality time; Happy Planet offers this option that most of our zones can actually be enjoyed by the parents and grownups too. Like the trampoline, ninja challenge, the steep slides, aerial adventure, indoor zip line etc-all unique in themselves and a wonderful combination to play together. Happy Planet offers freedom to play, to select and to express oneself with our 20’child minders present, we have the most child minder to kid’s ratio and that’s what makes us unique and loved by parents as they feel and they know that their kids get real attention and company to play with at any time they walk in!

Who do you see as your competition?

We have no competition-we compete with ourselves. We set higher barriers of innovation and offering and better them. That’s why there are many play zones -but only one happy planet!

 Kindly shed light kids centric activities offered by Happy Planet? Also, averagely how much footfall you get on daily basis?

 The activities are mentioned above To list again Trampoline park, Tubing, Football in the air, aerial adventure, Indoor sand play, steep slides, rock climbing, skate carting and many more. We received about 400/500 kids enjoy happy planet every weekend.

Tentatively, how much investment is required to open such gaming space? What would be your piece of advice in terms of ROI and break even if somebody if somebody is looking to open similar business?

We have different models for areas starting at 2500 sq ft to 6500 sq ft.Investment varies from 50lacs to 1.5 crore depending on the size of place, zone model selected and interior done up space or bare shell! The payback time is around 2.5 yrs which is a great model to be in.

At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?

As mentioned earlier...we are looking at 4 stores in next 2 yrs. With franchisees coming on board, it could be more. We want one happy planet at least in every corner of India in the major metros and in the tier 2 and 3 cities.

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