Khushboo Tulsiani, CEO & Managing Director, Prodigitz talks about her love for board games and the lessons she has learnt by playing various games over the years
BY KHUSHBOO TULSIANI
CEO & Managing Director, Prodigitz
I made my first business deal while I was still in school. I took risks, made mistakes, learnt from them, made more mistakes, lost everything, and somewhere along the line earned ten times more. I learnt how to build on an idea, whom to trust and most importantly, how to smile while all odds stood against me and how to lose with dignity.
And all of this was thanks to my favourite hobby - board games! As a kid, I enjoyed classic games like Scrabble, Monopoly, Pictionary and Chess. But as I grew up, there stood the challenge of finding like-minded board game enthusiasts, and therefore, my exposure to newer games was limited. So, I took to Facebook and found a group that spends the evening playing board games every Wednesday at a coffee shop. I was not only playing the games I loved, but it also opened up a whole new world of board gaming. Before I knew it, I was becoming a novice collector and my passion for board games got another roll of the dice.
Now every weekend plan, either with friends on WhatsApp or family, goes down the same tunnel. Do we catch a new movie, a bar crawl in the evening, chill at home, or meet up for some drinks and board games? Usually when that last option is presented, the geek in me is already game. Playing board games is not an easy task as the first challenge lies in choosing which board game to play. For me it’s like choosing what kind of movie to watch or what genre of music to listen to. If we are in a nerdy mood then we are spoilt for choice: whether it is a strategy game like Dominion and Lords of Waterdeep; a game that transports you to the Renaissance period like HansaTeutonica; or if we feel like taking it easy then the choices range from good old friendship breaker Uno to simply building blocks in Ticket to Ride or Monopolizing the board.
Once we begin to roll, slowly but surely it brings to light the very psyche of every player, which is what fascinates me about this particular hobby. Ultimately whether it is about being competitive or collaborative, a strategist or a schemer, board games are a challenge, both in the obvious sense of trying to win the game, and also in losing gracefully when you know it’s not your day. A game, no matter what the stakes, are not only entertaining, especially with friends, but also very real and honest.
Being completely committed to the game often reminds me a lot about my inherent nature, and how I have been able to apply this understanding of myself and these aspects of my nature to my work and business. I realize that years of playing games has honed my skills in the space of strategic thinking and foresight. If there is one thing I have learnt, both in playing games and running a business, is that no matter what your strategy be, one must always be ready to adapt to the changes on the board or in case of a business, in the marketplace. One needs to have their eye on the end goal at all times, but the path you choose to get there, needs to be constantly evaluated and adjusted. Never get married to one idea or approach, it’s a sure shot recipe for failure.
Also, it’s not just about the strategy. A great board game, just as any good business, is more than a well thought-out gameplay, there is structure, presentation, player interactions, attention to details, but at the core of it all, an idea that holds everything together.
I could go on with the lessons I’ve inadvertently picked up over the years of playing various board games, getting my friends to love Takenoko, making my colleagues roll with laughter at Cards Against Humanity or identifying the unsuspecting at Saboteur. Let’s leave that for a conversation over coffee and perhaps a game of Hanabi. I’m always up for a good game!