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BW Businessworld

Big On The Game

Nitish Mittersain, Rajan Navani, Paavan Nanda, Poornima Seetharaman honoured at the BW Gaming People of the Year Awards 2021

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As the gaming sector in India picks up momentum, the contribution of key leaders and gaming professionals to the sector’s growth take centrestage. BW Businessworld celebrates these change agents in its initiative, the BW Gaming World People of the Year Awards.

In the debut year of the platform, four business and creative leaders were honoured. The Influencer Of The Year award was bagged by Rajan Navani, Vice Chairman, Managing Director & Founder, JetSynthesys. The last category,  Gaming Person Of The Year was won by Nitish Mittersain, Founder & Joint Managing Director, Nazara Technologies.  WinZO’s Founder & CEO Paavan Nanda received the Disruptor Of The Year award while Poornima Seetharaman, Director Design, Zynga won the award in the category, Woman Leading Gaming.

The winners were decided in an editorial-led process that evaluated over 150 profiles in consultation with several domain experts. The BW Gaming World People of the Year Awards are given to persons who has made exceptional contribution towards the growth of the gaming industry in the year 2020.
On putting together this initiative, Dr. Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld said, “A couple of weeks back, we launched BW Gaming World with the biggest conference on the business of gaming in India. We believe gaming is becoming more mainstream. As it becomes more mainstream, it becomes bigger and bigger. Hence, we initiated The BW Gaming People of the Year Awards.”

The super leaders
The veteran businessman, Navani, who was among the early believers in the massive potential of India’s gaming industry, while receiving the award said, “I humbly receive this award on behalf of the entire team at JetSynthesys and actually the entire gaming industry that has really come together in a very different manner spurred by the whole acceleration pandemic has provided over the last 18 months particularly to this industry.”

Navani added, “I think as Indians we stand at a point where we are just beginning. There is a lot more to come for India and the gaming industry. Again, I accept this award on behalf of each and every member of JetSynthesys. Thank you for sharing this honour.”
By actively releasing new titles and announcing partnerships, Navani has truly become the Gaming Influencer of the Year.

Mittersain, who founded India’s first listed pure-play gaming company, said, “I would like to thank Dr. Batra and his team at BW for the award. Thank you so much. The gaming industry has now achieved momentum in India. It will grow on its own. That momentum is strong enough to keep it growing for the next decade. I sincerely believe this is the decade of gaming in India. I started the company way back in 1999 with a dream that India will someday be a large gaming nation. It has taken a long time from there but it is here.”

Releasing the IPO of his company this year and by virtue of continuous acquisitions in the gaming space, Mittersain has become the Gaming Person of the Year.

The disruptors

Nanda, who co-founded WinZO Games along with Saumya Singh Rathore, said, “Thank you so much. All our team is celebrating this awesome award that we have won. I would really thank the esteemed jury for appreciating the efforts the team has been putting over the last couple of years. We are super thrilled to disrupt this ecosystem the way we have been doing.”

Nanda, who is enabling the Indian gaming ecosystem with back-to-back initiatives and bagging Series C funding in a big way was declared the Disruptor of the Year.

Seetharam, who has given more than 15 years to the industry, on receiving the award said, “Thank you so much for the esteemed award. I am super honoured to receive this. I feel all recognition is a great validation of the efforts I have put into the industry. Also, I feel it is a great direction for all the women to know that they can be here in the gaming industry, which is a larger goal. That is something I am super passionate about. Gaming and diversity in gaming are extremely close to my heart. I feel like when we represent more, there is more relatability, so we have a more diverse audience who see someone like them out there. I am glad to be here and super excited to receive this award. Thank you!”

Her tremendous contribution to the industry makes Seetharaman the Woman Leading Gaming.
The contribution of the winners includes setting benchmarks, increasing revenue streams, upping industry standards and practices, and similar aspects that impact the gaming sector in India and bring a positive impact on the Indian business landscape.

“This is being selected by an editorial board comprising of the leadership team at BW Businessworld and BW Gaming World. All the four individuals who received the awards are really, as I said, pioneers and first movers in gaming. The impact of what they are doing is huge on the industry,” concluded Batra.