Incepted in 2017, within these three years of hard-work & facing sharp challenges, I have seen our Dangal-family growing & thriving. Now I can see our small room start-up growing into a widely-known brand.
We started working out of Varun Puri’s living room. After all, as a bootstrapped start-up, we didn’t have enough money to get into an office space, as most of our capital was from our personal savings. I had a corporate journey of close to five years before starting Poker Dangal. Varun Mahna had seven years of experience. Shashwat Jain had a journey of about six years, and Varun Puri was into business for the last eight years, with PokerDagal being his second venture.
Slowly and gradually, we took a small office space, and we were a six-member team starting out. Akshat Bhardwaj, who is now the head of customer acquisitions, was the company’s first employee.
In August 2018, we raised small funding from an angel investor, and that was the time we scaled up our team. We doubled our strength from a nine-member team and then started departmentalization and gave it an organizational structure. We currently have a 50-member team and only recently launched our rummy platform Rummy Dangal in our birthday month.
I always say that the biggest challenge we faced and still face is hiring the right manpower. It’s the team that builds a successful business and not the idea alone. I have been a poker player myself before being an operator, and I know that you need a passion for the game to promote the game. This is what I try to drive down within every employee of Poker Dangal.
When you’re working with a corporate, your acumen improves, and it’s up to you how you want to apply that knowledge in any field. I think you can sell anything if you have a passion for it, and this is how we built our team.
One of our earliest breakthroughs was when we started tinkering around the idea of instant gratification. If a player could deposit in 15 seconds, why can’t he/she withdraw the amount in 15 seconds? Hence we launched the idea of instant cashouts, and we were able to attract many recreational players who weren’t playing online before.
The instant gratification helped us mitigate the trust issues players have and helped get us many loyal players.
From the last year to this year, we have grown approximately 150% in acquisitions and concurrent traffic. We have more than 300,000 users, and about 40% of them were acquired this year.
Being counted among India’s leading poker platforms, I believe we owe our audience a celebration treat for PokerDangal’s 3rd Anniversary. Hence, we have named this party ‘Action-Packed September.’
The entire month was filled with tournaments & cash promotions worth ₹1.50 Crores. I was personally excited about the ‘Dangal Grinder Series.’ It boasts a total prize pool worth ₹25 Lakhs GTD, including the ₹10 Lakhs GTD multi-flight Main Events at a tiny buy-in of ₹990 & leaderboard prizes worth ₹1 Lakh.
I hope you all have a great time playing poker and personally thank you for your support and feedback these past three years.