India’s First Financial board game – Chanakya’s Chakkravyuh

A few weeks back at the invitation of Mr Jayesh Chauhan, Founder Enlighten Games I had the opportunity to play an interesting financial game called Chanakya’s Chakkravyuh.  Mr Jayesh Chauhan besides being one of the founders of this game is an avid marathoner and we both train with Striders.  So, one rainy afternoon I went over to his office and we played what they claim to be India’s first Financial Board Game, and the only to my knowledge.

I have often wondered why there is not enough content created by Indians towards understanding simple principles while keeping the context of an environment we live and understand best.  Most of the board games, encyclopaedias etc are of Western origin and it often baffles me why a parent would want their child to learn about American birds while living in India!

That said, this is not a game for children but for young adults and above.  And at the end of the 3 hours spent in playing the game you realise that it can indeed help people get awareness about their behavioural pattern regarding finance and this can be the first step towards changing our investment goals and put us on a path of creating wealth.

The game illustrates very simply and effectively how to make a simple balance sheet for yourself and keep track of events by updating various expenses and incomes, how these investment decisions impact our finances and above all the relationship between our expenses and our passive income.  Indeed if we are unchained from taking care of our expenses how then we step in realm of creating wealth.

It is therefore an education without the standard textbook learning.  For me the game worked on several layers.  It was evident that our philosophy and attitude towards money and investment spilled over to the game, it showed how those decisions could impact our finances.  This awareness if taken positively can actually help put us on a right path and give our thinking a new direction. I interact with many people in the financial field, from people who advise, retail clients who are small investors, day traders etc and it brings home to me the lack of planning and purpose with which we regard our money and investment.  It would be very interesting and educative for all such people to play this game and in a fun way get clarity on several basic concepts and principles.

The game also teaches you softer skills like persuasive communication and negotiation.

There were of course certain things which I thought could be done better or differently, and I have shared them with the Chanakya team.  But that to my mind is going to be a continuous process, if the game has to be kept relevant then little fine tuning will have to be done on an ongoing basis.  And since the game is developed by Indians it will be relatively easy to do.

Another interesting feature of the game was that every time you pick an instruction card after rolling the dice, the card had on its back one saying by Chanakya relating to finance and this is read out aloud for the benefit of the group.  Some of these sayings were extremely pithy and relevant, which is fantastic when you consider that they were thought of in a different time and era 2000 years ago!

Also the game is available in Hindi and Gujarati!  So it ticks a lot of boxes for me.  If you want to know more about this game …they organise Game shows for families, organisations, schools, colleges for a price or if you want to purchase the board game then do get in touch with them at +91 22 2430 2587 or 99874 64809 or visit their web page www.chanakyaschakkravyuh.com.

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