Aayushman Arya, Class of 2022, a BTech Computer Science and Engineering student, wasn’t going to let Covid-19 interrupt his entrepreneurial dream. Instead, while contemporaries talked of entering ‘a new world’, Aayushman and his friends decided to use the lockdown to attract people into the world of esports by launching Wonderford Esports.
“What defines an entrepreneur is the desire to build a career on your own terms,” says Arya, who combined his passion for gaming with extensive research to found Wonderford. But, he says, it couldn’t have been done without the opportunities and grooming provided by NIIT University (NU).
The young entrepreneur shares some valuable lessons that he learnt along the way.
Wonderford started as a platform on which people could play unique online games which were created by the company via chat. The lockdown initially provided the perfect timing for the launch, but as things returned to normal, Ayushman was agile enough to change his game plan.
“People began to live their normal lives and left our online gaming platform. However, in July 2021, we were presented with a golden opportunity as Battlegrounds Mobile India was released. There was a sudden boom as many players stepped in. My friends and I realised that this could grow exponentially, and we seized the opportunity to launch Wonderford Esports,” he states.
Ayushman specifically created Wonderford to raise awareness of eSports for India’s underdog players. Although most people believed that professional gaming had no future in India, he believed things were about to change and decided to place Wonderford Esports at the front and centre of it.
“eSports is expanding rapidly despite the fierce competition. India has always been seen as a huge potential market for all kinds of industries. Consumerism is rising despite the picture painted by the nation’s economic graphs. Thankfully for eSports, the target demographic is the technologically advanced Gen Z, the citizens of the future. They hold the power to turn eSports into a cult and grow it exponentially,” he believes.
Aayushman and his team conducted extensive research to understand their growth prospects before launching their venture. While they were pleasantly surprised by Wonderford Esports’ instant success, this also meant that they had to scale up their efforts. This included everything from organising tournaments to managing social media and dealing with sponsors. It’s a hustle, he says, but he enjoys it thoroughly.
Ayushman took up his final year internship while also wearing his entrepreneurial hat. “I enjoy the rush of organising everything with my passion for eSports. I am glad I am also doing my internship right now because it helps me see things from an employee’s perspective. I have this brilliant opportunity to learn as an intern and implement as an entrepreneur at the same time,” he says.
Ayushman believes that his learnings from organising events like Smart India Hackathon and HackNU 2.0 at NU’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship have helped him in his entrepreneurial journey.
Sharing his mantra, he says: “Entrepreneurs enjoy a great deal of profits if things go well, but they also take more risks than others in the organisation. If you are taking risks at an early stage to solve a problem, you are an entrepreneur already. Motivation, vision, creativity, collaboration and risk tolerance are some of the skills that will help you as an entrepreneur in the future.”