In 2016, Naman Gupta visited New Delhi’s Nehru Place Market to put together a custom gaming PC. What he found was a bunch of stores that were willing to handover lists of products to pick from, but couldn’t help him in figuring out what parts would work together best, or what alternatives to go for if the parts he wanted weren’t available. For gaming enthusiasts — a growing tribe in India, albeit still a niche — this wasn’t a new experience. But a frustrated Gupta took a step that many thought was strange — he decided to set up a store himself, from his own home.Dropping out of college in 2017, Gupta would watch YouTube videos to learn how to assemble PCs, and started a business selling these under the name Volted PC. Before long, he had his own outlet in Nehru Place, and was collaborating with YouTubers and organising events in universities.- Advertisement – Naman Gupta of Volted PC working on one of his rigsPhoto Credit: Volted PCCOVID-19 has been a win for people in the games industry games like Ludo King and Among Us have found great success in connecting people during the pandemic, and entertainment at home has gotten a boost — many people who stopped gaming once, got out of college and suddenly found themselves with more free time, and a lot more money than they did in college, and want to have some fun.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – With more people buying gaming hardware during the pandemic, businesses like Volted PC are seeing demand skyrocket. Volted PC typically shipped 40 to 50 systems per month, and that’s gone up to between 60 and 70 a month during the pandemic. Hyderabad-based MVP is another company in this space, and its numbers are up to 130-140 systems a month. Then there’s Delhi-based ANT-PC, which saw a 3X boost, and says it’s shipping between 300 and 500 systems per month.MVP co-founder Mohd. Ahmer was a project manager in Dubai who quit the daily grind of the corporate world in 2015. But in his hometown of Hyderabad, he said that the PC retail scene was even worse than Delhi’s.MVP co-founder Mohd. AhmerPhoto Credit: MVP“There was a lot of misinformation going around, with sellers primarily looking to push their stocked products rather than cater to the customers’ needs,” he said. “For instance, if a PC build needed a 550W power supply, stores would usually push an 800W unit saying ‘this is more powerful’ and the unsuspecting customer would go ahead and buy it.”Ahmer started by helping his friends set up their own gaming PCs, and then got his first order for a PC from a customer in Goa. He’d ship PCs from a spare room at home until opening a store in Hyderabad in 2017.ANT-PC is another company in the custom gaming rigs space but unlike Volted PC or MVP, this wasn’t the work of an unsatisfied customer who decided to make a difference. The people behind the company were already working on selling PC components and PC products, and this seemed like a logical next step.ANT-PC CEO Himanshu JainPhoto Credit: ANT-PC“We realised that there was a dearth of premium PC-building outlets that went beyond pushing whatever they had in stock,” said Himanshu Jain, CEO of ANT-PC. “These builders wouldn’t put their systems through stress or burn tests. All they would do is build a PC, check if the display is working, and be done with it.”Why do people come to a builder when the parts are available online?For 21-year-old Anirudh Paheja, purchasing a custom-built gaming PC essentially meant getting his hands on a glass cabinet as seen on the streaming videos of his favourite YouTuber, Ninja. After browsing online and finding most builds expensive, Paheja and his friends headed over to Nehru Place – New Delhi’s go-to destination for PC parts. After some unfruitful experiences at regular PC stores, Paheja stumbled across Volted PC.Paheja immediately spotted the same cabinet he was hunting for, put on display alongside other equally attractive looking cabinets. “Other stores would only show me photos or YouTube videos of the cabinets and builds they offered. Whereas, at Volted PC, I saw the glass cabinet I wanted sitting right in front of me,” he said.As of May 2020, MVP has shipped nearly 4,500 units all over the country, enabling the company to move to a two-storey building, complete with dedicated testing labs and even a YouTube space for producing system building videos, to get the word out.Mumbai-based Ajay Arora, who purchased a system for his 15-year-old son this year during the lockdown said, “MVP shared detailed videos of the assembly process before shipping the system to us. When the package arrived, they also shared a video of how to remove the safety packaging from the system’s parts.”Volted PC’s gaming rigs range from around Rs. 48,000 for the cheapest build, to an average of around Rs. 1.43 lakh for the brand’s most-selling builds. For MVP, the cheapest builds start from around Rs. 35,000 and goes up to an average of Rs. 1.5 lakh for the most-selling ones. ANT-PC builds start from around Rs. 28,500 for the budget-friendly options and go up to around Rs. 1.25 lakh for the average, popular builds. This doesn’t include monitors, for which top-end options can go to another lakh.Checking the cost of the parts for Volted PC’s Rs. 1.43 lakh build, we found that it would run to over Rs. 1.6 lakhs. It appears that the brand is giving itself a tighter profit margin over the wholesale price, which means that customers would save both effort — and money.Chennai-based Parsu Ram, 36, purchased a PC from MVP last year for Rs. 7.5 lakhs. He wanted a custom cooling loop built into his system, that alone costs around Rs. 1.3 lakhs. “When I reached out to MVP, they did say that the specs I needed were a bit of an overkill and that I could get a good gaming PC for much less,” said Ram. “However, this was something I always wanted. So, I saved up enough money for some time and went ahead with the purchase.”So what does Ram do with his Rs. 7.5-lakh PC? “I mostly play games and at times tinker around with MLAI computing as a hobby,” said Ram. “It may not make much financial sense to others, but it’s like pursuing a dream for years and grabbing it when the opportunity arises.”A niche within a nicheMany of us stopped playing video games in school or college because there were more important things to do. But gamers have grown up, and the pandemic forced them to stay indoors. Thanks to companies such as Volted PC, MVP, or ANT-PC, they’re dipping their toes back into the hobby, but this is still a small (if growing) number of people, for now.As per a Canalys study published in June this year, shipments of desktops, notebooks, tablets, and workstations declined by 33.3 percent year on year in India during Q2 2020. The PC market is a small one, and gaming is an even smaller part of that.According to Rishi Alwani, co-founder of gaming focused The Mako Reactor, custom gaming PC building remains a “niche within a niche” market in the country. “Customers, at large, would still prefer to pick up a laptop than go into building a PC to suit their needs.”Volted’s Gupta remains hopeful that the scenario may change for the better in the near future. “A satisfied customer will always spread the right word and we hope that a demand for custom PCs will also slowly grow with that.”Will Xbox Series S, PS5 Digital Edition fail in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. But, kitting out a gaming PC isn’t easy, and so, companies like Volted PC are also getting the benefit of increased interest in gaming, according to Gupta. “We wish to bring customisations to customers,” he said. Just like Volted PC, MVP and ANT-PC also share a similar enthusiasm in delivering the right product to the customer at the right price, with proper after-sales service to boot.Customers are willing to spend lakhs to get a computer that doesn’t just have the right high-end components, but also comes with the right amount of swag, such as bright lighting that changes according to what’s on the screen, glass cases to show off your premium peripherals and neat wire management, and exotic cooling systems to get the last ounce of performance out of all this hardware, he explained.If this sounds strange, it’s not all that different from other hobbies — a car enthusiast may spend several thousand just to get the right bug deflector for their SUV. A gaming enthusiast might spend the same on the perfect mechanical keyboard with backlighting. Sometimes, they’re even the same person.Volted PC, MVP, and ANT-PC: Meet the players- Advertisement –
“We take that side of things seriously, the development of players no matter what their age is, and if they choose to run with our ideas and our thinking, it’s been pretty positive so far the outcome that they’ve got, which of course affects the team in a positive manner. “We’re looking to work with all the players, no matter what age. We want them to improve, we want them to engage and be aligned with what we do. “It’s important as a team we are totally aligned on the outcome, and that is delivering good performances in order to get wins.” The partnership between strikers Vokes and Ings was key to Burnley’s promotion last season, the pair netting 41 league goals between them. Ings will be looking to pick up where he left off on Monday but Vokes must wait until later in the season for his chance after rupturing a cruciate ligament in March. “He’s still a while away yet but he’s doing really, really well,” Dyche said. “There’s no timescale – we wouldn’t do that to a player with that type of injury. He’s been out on the grass, very light training. Not with us, with the physios, but he’s going well and he’s in good spirits. “He’s a great character. He’s someone who’s done fantastically well and will do again.” Burnley boss Sean Dyche hopes he has the right balance in his squad to succeed in the Barclays Premier League. With a small budget, Dyche’s options are limited anyway, but the former Watford boss is also determined to keep the squad dynamic that proved so important last season. Midfielders Matt Taylor and Steven Reid have added a lot of top-flight experience, while strikers Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Sordell, winger Michael Kightly and goalkeeper Matt Gilks have also come in. Dyche said: “We want to find a balanced group in Burnley’s world, both financially and what we think is right for the group and how we operate. I think we’ve done that so far and we are looking to add further. “Obviously the two main lads with experience we’ve brought in are Steven Reid and Matty Taylor. “They’re still active, they’ve made it clear they are by getting games under their belt in recent seasons, but they also have that real depth of Premier League knowledge about going around the country and playing at all the Premier League stadiums and I think that’s important because it gives that balance to the group.” Jutkiewicz, 25, is already on his ninth professional club having joined the Clarets from Middlesbrough last month. He impressed on loan at Bolton last term and was Burnley’s star turn in pre-season, scoring six goals in as many games. “He’s open-minded, big Juke, and we like that,” Dyche said. “(Sam) Vokes proved last year how open-minded he was and (Danny) Ings, the way we work and the way we operate. The Clarets play their first match back in the top flight on Monday when Chelsea visit Turf Moor. Dyche has so far resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes to the squad that finished second in the Championship, adding only six players to what was already a small group. Press Association
If we look back years we can ensure that the life of a person who has lived in the 90s, is totally different from life today. The way of dressing, of communicating, of having fun, everything was different at that time and if we compare it with today’s daily life there are things that seem impossible to us.The 90s were like the transit of totally different lifestyles. In those years many electronic devices began to come out that marked the lifestyle of that era but nowadays, they already have much more developed versions and it seems impossible to have survived so many years without them.Although computers already existed, the loading speed of that time would make many people crazy today.Kids today will never know the torture … pic.twitter.com/5zS2pOQRIF– Nick Younker (@NYounker) April 27, 2019The classic 90’s socks were so long that they could be worn in layers.Today’s kids will never know what it was like to have to create your own ankle socks. pic.twitter.com/UbScwjJN3G– OG Brown (@OGBlood_) January 5, 2020The SMS was the WhatsApp of that time and we had to use the right characters so that they wouldn’t charge us for 2.Today’s kids will never know the struggle of exceeding number of characters during texting and using every possible shorthand so we don’t get charged for 2 texts ???? #goodolddays– B (@MsCoralCoast) December 30, 2019To communicate with your friends you had to use the landline and ask your parents before if you could talk to him.Today’s kids will never know what it was like before everyone had cell phones and you had to use your family’s home phone to call your friend’s home phone and ask their parents if you can talk to your friend– Cynthia (@_cynthsj) November 12, 2019If a 32-gigabyte USB stick is not enough for you, you had to try storing your files on floppy disks.Today’s kids will never know the joy of swapping shareware discs with your friends or having to wait for the next episode of doom or Duke Nukem to come out! pic.twitter.com/njD46VA5yH Things of the 90 that have already become very outdatedThe transfer speed of the archives of the timeOr choose one of the few styles of WordArt – Art of Jason Wulf (@jasonwlf) January 2, 2020Finding a song among thousands being able to use only one button was a miracle.Today’s kids will never know how long it took to find the song you wanted to listen to ???? pic.twitter.com/491d3LAa66– Kenya ???? (@_Fuck_Youuuuuuu) December 30, 2019Ronald McDonald’s friends were so famous that they even gave each other as a toy in the Happy Meal.Today’s kids will never know Ronald McDonald used to have a “squad” pic.twitter.com/k8ZNedV1KC– Justin Cider (@PantsDonkey) March 27, 2018One of the most difficult decisions was to choose one of WordArt styles.Today’s kids will never know how hard it was to make this choice. pic.twitter.com/v9neXmmNeU– AsapShakur (@ kemar395) January 6, 2020The maximum happiness of finding a special chrome in the package you just bought.Today’s kids will never know the absolute scenery when pulling one of these gems out a pack. Absolute limbs outside Umars Corner Shop. pic.twitter.com/4W5VU16jE6– George (@StokeGeorge) August 29, 2018A large library of movies on VHS were our own Netflix.Today’s kids will never know ??????????? pic.twitter.com/kM2GkfF0rT– EastAfricanguy (@eastafricanguy) December 21, 2019The computer mouse worked thanks to a ball and it had to be cleaned inside to work properly.Remember having to clean out your mouse every few days? Today’s kids will never know this struggle pic.twitter.com/zeUbTi6SoJ– SimmerJonny (@SimmerJonny) April 24, 2019When a teacher took us to the computer room it was one of the best moments.Today’s kids will never know how big of a deal it was to go to the computer lab.– confusing thoughts: threads 🙂 (@ThreadsThinking) January 1, 2020How annoying it was to want to watch a movie but have to rewind it first.Today’s kids will never know the joy of wanting to watch a VHS tape, only to realize you have to rewind it first …. and the excruciating few minutes it took for it to rewind ????– ???? Rage Kween ???????? (@RaeKillham) December 9, 2019 Person listening to a radio. Image: iStock.