Geekay Games reveals expansion plans

By on April 8, 2010

Kishan Palija, MD of Geekay Games talks to us about his rapid retail expansion plans and his new e-store.

Share this Article





   

First Impressions
My reaction is


Kishan Palija, Managing Director, Geekay Games

Geekay Games, the largest dedicated games retailer in the UAE has been on a roll of late. They’ve recently launched a store at Mirdif City Centre in Dubai and are in the process of opening a new store at Muscat City Centre in Oman. Kishan Palija, the 25-year-old owner of Geekay Games is filled with enthusiasm as he talks to us about his company and he has good reason to – with nearly 15 stores spanning the UAE, Oman and Bahrain, Geekay games has firmly established it’s presence in the region. We talk to him about his rapid expansion plans and his ambitions to take the retail business online.

MEGamers.com: Tell us how Geekay Games got started.

Kishan Palija: The business was started by my late father in 1990 with our first shop in Al Ghurair where we sold Atari consoles. It was clear to us early on that there was potential in the gaming market. By 1996, we had our first store at Deira City Centre where we sold toys and video games. Once the government started enforcing stricter piracy laws, we started focusing more on video games than toys. Now, we have ten stores in the UAE, one in Oman and two in Bahrain.

MEGamers.com: Are you a gamer yourself?

Kishan Palija: I’m a games enthusiast and have every console. I actually play most of the games that we sell at our stores. FPS and Sports games are my personal favorite but when I’m with my family, we play the Wii.

MEGamers.com: What’s next on your expansion plans?

Kishan Palija: We’re opening another store at Muscat City Centre in July. Next year, we want to expand to Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. We’re also planning on opening an online store.

MEGamers.com: What hurdles do you face when expanding to different countries?

Kishan Palija: The main concern is piracy. The UAE has strict piracy laws but other countries like Oman and Bahrain, there’s an open piracy market. You could walk into a supermarket and buy a pirated game. This makes it a bigger challenge to sell games as we have to explain to the customer that we’re selling original products and hence it comes with a higher cost.

MEGamers.com: Thankfully, there’s no piracy on the PS3.

Kishan Palija: Yes, that’s a huge advantage for the PS3. Even though more Xbox 360 consoles are sold than PlayStation 3 units, we sell more PS3 games than we do Xbox 360 games.

MEGamers.com: Has the recession had a major impact on your business? Has 2010 been better than 2009.

Kishan Palija: With local gamers, there has not been any change in buying patterns. However, the expat population in Dubai has decreased and we’ve had a drop in sales to expats. The number of tourists buying games from this region has dipped as well.

As for 2010, yes, it certainly has been a better year than 2009. However, 2008 sales were phenomenal and we’re not yet back to that mark.

« Previous Page Next Page »

About

Hitesh is a tech/games journalist and Business Development Manager for the Tbreak Network.

More Features
Comments
  • Noob

    Interesting to see a UAE gaming retailer state that they sell more Xbox 360 consoles than PS3 – I always thought that was the case, but then had seen a Sony spokesperson with a comment to the contrary (unless the Sony comment was including both PS2 and PS3)

  • Saeed

    Great. Now you only have to lower your prices that are sky-high compared to the original retail prices and you will be earning some profit.

  • Kal

    Might want to consider expanding to more gamers within the UAE first. Although GK obviously make good sales, there is a massive market of gamers who avoid them thanks to very high pricing and poor customer service.

  • Customer Service

    Hey Guys..I am from the marketing team of Geekay Games. Its actually sad to hear that you think our pricing is high because we normally follow the official pricing set by the distributors. We try our level best to keep our gamers happy. In any case you can always send your complaints or suggestion on customerservice@geekaygames.ae

    I will make sure i take your message to our management

  • Jughal Java

    I’am really impressed to read the article! Geekay games is the best, as they are only into GAMING. Which is like, only dedicated to gamers like me atleast.

    Great going Kishan, and team !

    Hat’s off ! :)

  • rami

    Geekay Geekay Geekay, i hope ur reading this.

    1st. Yes, your prices are really high, i know u have to as the price is set with the distirbutors as u mentioned but then again the price of psn credit of 50dollars are sold in ur stores for 270 dirhams while virging is selling it for 190 dhs ( i bet the distirbutors is also setting prices for that”

    2nd. Piracy?, i bet every serious gamer understand gaming piracy, xbox bans consoles that are modified, ps3s cant be altered and please the wii is not a gamer’s console so i wont bother commenting on that.

    3rd. If you want better costumer base, come up with a plan on frequent buyer, offer discount, distirbuter talk will not work, abviosly ur making a profit.

    I bought 2 xbox’s from your shop last year (and thats only consoles) my rockband set was from ur store in festival city, my guitar hero set aswell. not to mention the thousands of dhs i spend on games in ur stores, but then i was introduced to khawaneej stores….yeah u know them, they are 20% cheaper than ur stores and 100% faster in getting new titles, i got MW2 from them (ofcourse original) on the ps3 10 days before release……and ur shop keeper called me after a month saying the game has arraived.

    I suggest you start the renting games business……much much better…..

  • customer service

    Dear Mr.Rami
    According to us customer is always right. But just wanted to clarify certain facts to avoid misunderstanding
    1) The PSN cards has various versions. The UAE version we are selling for AED199 just like other retail stores. Regarding the PSN card for AED270, it is for the american servers. Lots of our customers demand for the PSN card from America so we get them. We just want to make all our customers happy.
    2) With every Dhirham you spend at our store you get airmiles. Airmiles can be used to redeem gifts in future. For more info visithttp://www.airmilesme.com
    3) With regards to release dates we just stick to the official releases date set by the distributors. We are not allowed to release games before the official release date. Some small stores can afford to do that.
    However i will take your feedback and convey it to the management. You can also get in touch with us on facebook or email your suggestions on customerservice@geekaygames.ae

  • rami

    customer service / marketing dude,

    I appreciate u replying back, your business ethic is admired.

    However, if you are going to take something to managment. I suggest the below

    Sadly, i will not shop at your store again but this scheme is to retain your existing clients

    Customer rewards

    FACT: An Average gamer spends 35% of his income on games, a hardcore gamer doubles it

    So for all the hardcore gamers….start them off on a plan, a membership or something …you buy worth 1000AED = 5% discount, 2000 AED = 10% discount and so on….u know ur profit margin..so u set the numbers, its ok not to make a 40% profit rate on some customers!

    retaining clients is not only on service…..its on price.

    • Ramesg

      I fully agree with you rami

  • Saad

    Yep thumbs up rami i wont spend another penny on any game at geekay i probably lost 100s on the ps2 games i used to buy until i found about about other stores =) they rip off alot

  • sharukh khan

    how much is a brand new ps3 console….do u sell it with amaze break usb

    • khalid

      im sure.very small game street khawaneej is 100 % better then this geekay & virgin…

      • DeathNeff

        I agree friend

Most Read
Most Commented