My wife Chhavi and I have two daughters. The younger one was born on the same day my first internet company was funded.

The older one was born three years earlier. Just about the time Games2win was launching, Chhavi decided to redecorate the “kids’s” room. After all, the girls weren’t kids anymore. They already had expectations of what they wanted in their room. As part of the process, all the stuff stored in the room, in its cupboards and lofts, was removed and placed in our living room for the impending “keep or sell” decision.

As I walked past the large pile, I noticed a fascinating selection of dolls, doll houses and games that we had bought for our girls over the years. Next to the dolls and doll paraphernalia, I chanced upon my childhood collection of mini toy cars and comics (Tintin, Amar Chitra Katha and Asterix).

I had refused to part with my toys and comics through the decades, even though Chhavi had pleaded with me several times. Now, they were with me again.

My fondest childhood memories flooded my mind as I picked up the toy cars and lovingly held them. As I opened the door of a tin car and spun its wheels, I experienced an electric eureka moment. I was staring at dolls, cars and comics – an integral feature of every fortunate child’s youth. I realised that despite the passage of time, these “genres” of games had never become unpopular or stale. Even though I was the father of two girls, I realised how deeply I was still in love with my childhood toys! Wasn’t this fondness eternal? Car games, dolls and comics? Had I found the evergreen gaming genres I had hoped to discover at

Staring at the collections, it struck me that Mattel was one of the largest toy companies in the world, and it owned and sold Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels (toy cars). What is the size and scale of Mattel as a business? I wondered. Excitedly, I googled Mattel and landed on their corporate site. My heart began pounding as I read Mattel’s financial statements:

1. Net sales for 2007 (the year I did the research) were $5.97 billion, and net income for 2007 was $600 million!

2. Almost 50 per cent of the revenue came from Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels franchises. I took a few long deep breaths and began thinking of Mattel and the similarities with Games2win.

Barbie dolls appeared in 1959, and Hot Wheels debuted in 1968. We were now in 2007! Even after almost 50 years, Barbie and Hot Wheels were doing solid business. These brands were generating billions of dollars in revenue, and that was a clear testimony that the “genres” of dolls and cars were not just very popular but also immortal. Children spanning several generations had played with the same types of toys.

Post the arrival of the Internet in 1997, the playgrounds at home were changing. Everything was becoming digital. Toys and board games were fading away and giving way to digital entertainment. Kids’ TV channels were popular, and YouTube was on track to become the largest entertainment destination for kids. I pondered deeply and realised that if after withstanding ten years of severe disruption caused by the Internet, Mattel could generate Rs 25,000 crore in revenue and Rs 2400 crore in net profits per year (2007 rupee-dollar parity) via physical toys that were way past their prime, then a humungous opportunity was available in the digital world.

I was the person who would seize that opportunity. This would be my karma. An intense clarity emerged in my mind about Games2win:

1. I should create online games with the eternal, evergreen themes of dolls and cars, just like Mattel did with physical toys.

2. Instead of physical toys, we would offer consumers a newer, fresher gaming format. I would migrate real-world toy themes to online games and entertain the world.

A bright, shimmering headline shone in front of my eyes: “Games2win will pioneer doll- and car-themed games for casual online gaming and become the Mattel of the digital world.”

It was as straightforward as it could be.

Excerpted with permission from Getting Dressed and Parking Cars: The Magical Story of Building a Gaming Company, Alok Kejriwal, Penguin India.