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PM Modi Met With 7 Of India’s Most Influential Professional Gamers

India’s booming gaming industry, estimated to be around $3.1 billion in 2022, is bringing together the country’s top gamers and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself to discuss expansion opportunities.

Earlier this week, PM Modi met with 7 of India’s most influential professional gamers and content creators to talk about the future of esports and gaming in India. The gamers invited to meet Modi included Animesh Agrawal, Naman Mathur, Mithilesh Patankar, Payal Dhare, Tirth Mehta, Ganesh Gangadhar, and Anshu Bisht.

The gaming community leaders shared their thoughts on the industry’s potential and how government policies could nurture further growth. Modi actively participated in the forward-looking discussion and emphasized the need to differentiate gaming from gambling. He also highlighted opportunities for women gamers like Payal Dhare to inspire more inclusion.

“Engaging in a fruitful conversation with the Prime Minister about the future of esports was enlightening. His ambitious vision promises to revolutionize gaming in India,” Agrawal and Patankar posted on social media after the meeting.

A video shared online shows Modi trying out virtual reality games with the gamers while talking about how gaming requires real skill development. The prime minister’s openness to understanding gaming first-hand and charting policy based on inputs from community leaders has excited gamers about what lies ahead.

India Already a Top Global Market

India is already the world’s second-largest internet market by users after China. With over 75% of users below the age of 45, India has demographics ripe for gaming growth.

The online gaming segment alone is already the 4th largest in India’s booming Media & Entertainment industry as per Invest India. It grew by 19% year-over-year in 2022 on top of 29% growth in 2021.

Most experts estimate India’s gaming market to expand at a compounded annual growth rate between 27% to 31% from 2022 onwards. This puts the market on track to reach a staggering $8 billion by 2028 according to Redseer Consulting.

Government Support Critical for Realizing Potential

While Indian gaming has so far grown organically thanks to the country’s youthful tech-savvy population, industry leaders realize government support can accelerate things further.

Policies around smooth payments, cybersecurity, responsible gaming, and investments into esports infrastructure can all play a major role. The government also influences cultural perceptions of gaming as a legitimate career option.

That’s why this first-of-its-kind meeting between top gamers and PM Modi himself is being described as a landmark moment by gaming community leaders.

Payal Dhare summed it up saying, “An honor to be the only female gamer at the table, discussing the future of esports, gaming and content creation with PM Narendra Modi. Thank you for recognizing our voices and paving the way for inclusivity in this industry. Dreams turned into reality today!”

If Modi follows through on a youth-inclusive gaming growth strategy for India, the social and economic upside for the country could be tremendous. Along with fast-growing sectors like health-tech and e-commerce, gaming is to provide India’s technical youth with enough opportunities to build future around their passions.

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