Being a startup owner isn’t a cakewalk and further if you don the hat of a content creator and poker player, it gets all the more difficult to juggle between your duties. But Parth Jain is doing that with great panache and ease. We spoke to him for an interview to know how he has been pushing those boundaries unabashedly. With business on his mind for literally every second, we got into a candid conversation with Jain to understand how he dived into the Indian poker circuit, while heading a startup in the education sphere.
Tell us about yourself.
I was a Science student at Jai Hind college, but then I moved to commerce with CA in mind. The funny part is I eventually ventured into starting a business. Initially, I sold e-cigarettes in the B2B domain but then soon my startup StudySid.com came along. This startup remains to be my focus, while I dabble into other interesting things like creating videos and conducting interviews with upcoming poker players.
Poker happened when I initially played on Adda52 in December 2019. I earned a good deal of money and that bumped up my levels of excitement in the game. Interestingly, my CA group also played poker, the inkling was always there.
Tell us about Studysid.com. Where did the idea come from?
The idea behind Studysid.com was very simple, we wanted to be the Zomato in the education space. There are numerous potentials in the education sector. Though scattered, India never had a dearth of coaching centres. The idea was to provide a single platform to connect students with the recommended and established coaching classes, private tutors and help them crack the exams.
You ventured into the Indian poker industry. How and when did that happen?
I played initially on Adda52 and then got deeper into the game. But soon I realised that I cannot play ₹5,000- ₹10,000 worth tournaments. I started looking for ways to win tickets to bigger tournaments without investing too much money. Surprisingly, within the first two months, I managed to collect tickets worth 2.5 crore. Another idea that came to me was to sell these tickets as well.
When it comes to poker, you are also into content generation. How did you make that decision of becoming a content creator?
The inspiration for content creation comes from the fact that the engagement levels in the community are amazing. We have 8K plus followers on our Poker Global Community handle on Instagram, 1200 Members on our Facebook group and another 500 plus subscribers on YouTube (Your Poker Guy channel).
The highlight of having a poker community on social media is the give and take happening among the members. The constant exchange brings a lot of knowledge and engagement in the space. Other content creators in the Indian poker circuit are also doing a fabulous job. The opportunity is massive to create a strong community as the game is growing rapidly.
You have interviewed poker players and tracked their journeys, what are the inferences you have drawn from these interviews?
I have interviewed some very inspiring poker players like Goonjan Mall, Anmol Mehta and Siddharth Karia etc. These players have really put in a lot of hard work and its serious business to make ₹6,00,000 to ₹7,00,000 Lakh on a Sunday while grinding. Poker players play 100 tournaments and then probably end up in the top three spots or make in the money (ITM) around 10 times when they put in that kind of volume.
The journey these poker players have undergone is a solid source of inspiration. When I spoke to Goonjan Mall, he was of the opinion that though this game needs to be treated as a profession, at the end of the day, it is a game. One thing to keep in mind is poker or any game is a part of your life and cannot consume you completely; one has to learn to stay detached from the game too.
What is your take on poker live-streams?
Back in the day, it was fun to watch poker tournaments on television. Now, the live streaming of the final table is quite adventurous to watch. Spartan Poker is really doing a good job of live streaming like they did with Final Table Series (FTS). I would love to be on a final table and simultaneously live stream, though this seems impossible but would love to dive into it. The viewing numbers with respect to the Indian audiences is worrisome, the viewership must increase. But overall, the live-streaming concept is a logical step in the right direction.
How has juggling between studysid.com and poker been?
The startup work is streamlined and works as per the clock. Playing poker and managing the community on social media is a task. I am trying to reduce the time invested in playing poker and engage more with the poker community to make it bigger and better. I strategise for the content I want to put out on Sundays, a calendar is in place as well. My wife also helps me out with shooting videos; the aim is to generate more engagement and build a robust global poker community.
What are your plans when it comes to expanding your base in the Indian poker circuit?
The plan is pretty straight forward – expand the poker community. Reach more players playing offline & the goal is to get more brands on board and expand the base. There are certain targets in place, a critical mark is established to make sure that we are steadily growing. We aim to reach out to a vast audience. With respect to the competition, I am not at all worried. The end goal is to strike the right balance.
The Indian poker community is constantly making a headway. With a force like Parth Jain being a part of the community, we hope to see the poker circuit’s growth accelerate and scale greater heights.
With a Masters’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, Mrinal Gujare currently is cruising through an exciting genre of writing and editing at Gutshot Magazine. Apart from being an Editor, Mrinal is an avid reader and a former contemporary dancer. She is also perennially hungry for intriguing scoops from across the globe. No holds barred is the rule Mrinal follows in life.
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