Published: 31st October 2018
How this former investment banker is bringing board games to the boardroom
After a few years as an investment banker, Krunal Veera decided to quit his job and pursue his childhood passion
Remember the good old days when you would sit around a Monopoly or Pictionary board with the entire family? Come to think of it, it’s probably where you experienced your first lesson in team work, analysing or even decision-making.
For Krunal Veera though, board games had been an inseparable part of his life. So after a few years as an investment banker, he decided to quit his job and pursue his childhood passion — board games.
Along with his wife Jill Veera, Krunal established the Board Game Co in 2016, through which they conduct game sessions for corporates and other associations. “I’ve been playing board games since my childhood and I’ve realised that not only is it fun to play, it also helps in developing important skill sets like problem-solving, decision-making, creativity and teamwork,” says Krunal.
Play hard: Along with his wife Jill Veera, Krunal established the Board Game Co in 2016
He adds, “At a time when everyone is hooked to their phones and social media, it’s extremely important to pry them away from it, and board games is a fantastic way to do that.”
Krunal and his wife have a collection of over 100 board games, not just the ones which people usually play in India. They started collecting board games from across the world and built models around those games with certain objectives.
They then pitched it to corporates with objectives like building great relationships at work, de-stressing, reskilling and decision-making. The concept of board games in office spaces was new and people really seemed to enjoy the idea. “Everyone is involved, irrespective of the hierarchy, language or background. It is a lot of fun and also extremely easy to set up. All you need is a small space, tables and chairs,” says Krunal.
Digital detox: Krunal feels this is a way to get people to interact with each other
It is also a digital detox, Krunal feels, and a way to get people to interact with each other. Operating around three verticals — corporates, associations and kids — the duo has conducted sessions for various clients like Mahindra, Kotak, Rotary clubs and Lions clubs.
Explaining how each session works, Krunal says, “It is very objective-driven. We talk to the HR and find out what the requirement is. Employees are usually very busy and for them to do something outside of work, the activity has to be really engaging and fun. You can’t do any mediocre activity like Rangoli. So board games are a great platform. The objective is to de-stress, have fun and interact.” For instance, they play games like Splendor, where the objective is resource management and planning. All players are traders and have to build their trade route, negotiate and build their business.”
The duo has also conducted sessions for about 300 kids so far where the focus is to develop values like integrity and just the right process of thinking.
However, Krunal’s most memorable session so far is the one they did for factory workers in a small village in Maharashtra. “After the session, everyone came and said they enjoyed a lot and that during those two hours, they forgot all their worries at work and home, and that they were transported back to their childhood days,” he recalls.
With over 25,000 clients so far, Krunal and Jill hope to bring the dying tradition of board games back into our homes and workspaces.