September 11, 2014

Gamification of Investor Education – Chanakya’s Chakkravyuh

Sadique Neelgund

Wouldn’t it be just great if potential clients gave you insights about their attitude towards wealth, how they made money-related decisions, how comfortable are they in taking risk, or how well they really understood various types of investment products – all while playing a financial game and having fun at the same time!

Or what if potential clients, who have almost no idea/interest in investments and finances, have one high-impact experience, in which they realize just how important financial planning is in the fulfillment of their personal financial (and life) goals. Sounds interesting right? Well, there is a financial game which does this. It is called Chanakya’s Chakkravyuh, and it is designed to change people’s perceptions about finance and make them financially literate.

Learning the art of making money work

(Image Source:

(Image Source:

The main concept of Chanakya’s Chakkravyuh is that people who don’t really believe in planning their finances, and who rather depend on “Active” income for their day-to-day living expenses, are often hard-pressed for money. In contrast, people who have planned their finances, acted upon the investment opportunities as they have come, and have made their money work for them, seem to be free of day-to-day financial worries. While playing this game, participants realize that even though many of us are full-time employees or professionals, we do have opportunities to invest and achieve our financial goals in life – if we have the right mindset towards wealth.

And what about the Chanakya part?

(Image Source: Enlighten Games)

(Image Source: Enlighten Games)

The game includes various sutras that are taken from the Arthashastra – a book written by the prominent economist Chanakya around the year 300 BC. These sutras allow the players to learn about Chanakya’s philosophy related to money and finance. The sutras are carefully pre-selected by Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai, author of the book Corporate Chanakya and one of India’s foremost authorities on Chanakya’s philosophy. It is amazing to notice that sutras written even 2000 years ago still make complete sense in today’s times and are sometimes ignored by us.

Gamification of investor education

(Image Source:

Chanakya’s Chakkravyuh is also an innovative way to conduct investor education. It is not a presentation about the power of compounding or what an index fund is. It is a fun-filled experiential journey with a personal connect.

Clients discover themselves

The game environment gives people a chance to learn about themselves, about how they make financial decisions, and what their behavioral pattern is towards personal finance. Some even use the game session as a chance to test their preconceived notions about money, albeit in a safe environment with “mock” game currency. Playing this game in a group helps various players learn from each other. They observe how different people take decisions regarding investments, and they share knowledge (consciously or unconsciously) with each other.

A personal connect

People who play this game tend to directly relate various scenarios, which come up during the game, to past events in their own life. For example, people start to remember moments in their past when a good investment opportunity came up, but they did not act on it. Some people realize that it may be better to invest money and put it to work vs having loads of cash sitting in a savings account. Realizing by themselves (without anyone telling them) what they ought to do and what they have been doing wrong is a feeling that resonates with people; it galvanizes them into taking action. Many start their SIPs, increase their AUM, understand the power of equity, and even postpone buying expensive cars on EMI

Who does not like playing a game?

Financial Planners in Mumbai at Monthly Study Group Meeting playing the game

Photo from the Monthly Study Group Meeting of Financial Planners in Mumbai playing the game

An investor education program is efficient when the message is understood not just by one segment of the crowd, but by people of all age groups/backgrounds/qualifications. Playing Games helps in achieving that, as it is meant for people aged 14 years and up. It requires absolutely no background in finance prior to play. A game based environment helps drive home important points regarding financial planning, and also create an initial rapport with clients – no matter what the demographics are.

And lastly…..

Often times, a person who doesn’t need a loan has the best credit worthiness. A person who can afford to pay is bombarded with  ‘early bird’ discounts. So is it that all the goodies in the world are for people who could very well do without it? But they still get all the goodies! This is nothing but the state of attraction of wealth and goodness in life. This phenomenon is responsible for the rich getting richer !

Visit Chanakya’s Chakkravyuh Game Website

Authored by,

Ruchik Chauhan

Enlighten Games Pvt Ltd

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