Gamenomics – Gamifying Stock Investments

StockGRo graphic

Economics is a fascinating subject! As an Innovation Evangelist, I’m drawn to see the possibilities of innovation through the economic paradigm. In this article I explore one such business innovation anchored around economics and the genius application of gamification for the same!

When an economy grows, its financial sector grows faster. In the financial services segment, financial markets grow disproportionately. As in all emerging economies, in India too, stock markets are making rapid strides. Stocks, in the long run, have outperformed all other asset classes. The Sensex (100 in 1979 is now above 60000) has delivered around 16 percent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) during the last 42 years, beating all other asset classes by a wide margin.

In spite of this impressive performance, only a small minority of Indians have invested in the stock market. Even though the number of Demat accounts is growing impressively, even now only around 5 % of population (70 million Demat accounts in September 2021- source NSDL & CDSL) have invested in stocks. Indian households have been reluctant to invest in stocks. The basic reason for the under-investment in stocks is the lack of financial literacy.

Ajay Lakhotia, Founder of StockGro, decided that this has to change. More people have to enter the capital market and start investing. But then, stock market investing needs expertise. Therefore, investors have to be trained in the art and science of stock investing.

Why aren’t people investing in stocks?

The main reasons as sited by market research done by experts in the field are:

  1. Most people are unaware of the potential of stocks as an asset class.
  2. People are afraid of losing money. Since stock market is highly volatile, they feel stock market investment is very risky.
  3. Majority of retail stock market investors have lost money due to excessive trading and speculation. Stories of these losses restrain potential investors.

In brief, investors have to be made financially literate and trained in trading and investing.

StockGro an Indian startup based out of Bangalore, decided to address this issue through a gamified app. Let’s explore how they leveraged gamification to teach stock trading basics to beginners and empower them to make wise investment decisions to grow their wealth.

StockGRo graphic

Gamifying Learning

Interestingly, the USP of StockGro is that it does not participate in actual buying or selling of stocks, but helps users understand what the stock market is all about: like the terms, fundamentals that determine stock prices, trading strategies etc. So, the gamified app is primarily used to impart the knowledge and skills needed to be a smart investor/trader and, most importantly, to give opportunities to users to put these skills to practice through the gamified platform.

Removing the Fear factor

As stated earlier, a strong deterrent to people entering stock investments and trading was the fear of losing money. What StockGro did through gamification was to remove that fear through a game like environment. The interactive platform gives each user a virtual money of 10 Lakh rupees to buy and trade stocks without having the fear of losing your hard-earned money.

Autonomy and Choice

User engagement is key to the success of any app-based venture, and one way to bring out this engagement is through autonomy and choices. Millennials and Generation Z love to be in control of every aspect of their life, and this reflects strongly in the way they engage with any tech medium.

StockGro has beautifully leveraged this insight into their game design by allowing autonomy and choice through the app UI. They have various leagues that users can enter, based on their confidence and experience in trading. The leagues have many interesting contests and competitions that can fetch them rewards. There is an immediate impact and feedback on every choice you make in this platform and this proves to be an effective way to learn – making informed choices and calculated risks.

Rewards, Recognitions and Incentives

The StockGro app does not charge the user for using the app. However, a fee is charged for entering the contests for which you can win cash price (real money). The start-up claims to be dispensing 6 Lakh rupees in price money per day through the platform.

A maximum of 20,000 users and a minimum of 10,000 users can participate in the challenges, for which they get reward based on ranks.

The home page of the app also features the top winners of the day.

Social and Peer Learning

The app also allows users to chat with each other, check their investment strategies, seek advise from experts and influencers on the platform etc. In short, the gamified app is doing more than enabling learning the basics of stock market investments; rather it is building a community of stock market enthusiasts who are helping each other build and grow their wealth!

Stockgro screengrab

As a game designer, I have drawn inspiration from many such exceptional applications of gamification for learning. Here are few questions that might help you do the same:

  1. How can I help people learn better through gamification?

It is not about some jazzy UI/UX, rather about bringing a game-like safe and fun environment that would help people put their knowledge and skills into practice.

Example: We allow our learners to pick a fictional character/avatar for the course of the workshop which creates a safe and fun environment for learning.

  1.  What ‘fear factor’ can I remove through gamification?

I believe that a game, especially when designed for learning, should start with the end in mind (you need to work backwards).  The fear factor that StockGro removed was ‘the fear of losing money’. What is the deterrent that you have to remove to create a safe space for your learners?

Example: We removed ‘the fear of failure’ (which is the biggest deterrent to experimentation) through a prototyping game we do as a part of our Design Thinking workshop.

  1. How can I gift people the power of autonomy while learning?

Learning is powerful when people learn through the choices they make. Thus autonomy is a pertinent part of game design while using gamification for learning.

Example: a game we recently developed, empowers leaders to manage the VUCA world. The game is themed around a ship journey and the volatilities and uncertainties that come along with the expedition. The players were given choices to decide the route of travel, the money they could spend, the resources they can raise, the roles they would play etc. This gives them a sense of control and accountability, which helps me as a facilitator to powerfully debrief the learning from the game play. (Feel free get in touch if you would like to know more about this game)

I hope these questions inspire you to unleash the power of games to positively impact lives of people you work with!

Images from : www.stockgro.club

Namitha VijayaKumar
Namitha Vijayakumaris an Innovation Evangelist and Co-founder of a Bangalore based firm, Learning Ethos. Learning Ethos is a Learning & Development consultancy that focuses on Gamification, Blended learning and Innovation through Design Thinking. They leverage the power of micro learning, gamified and game-based learning solutions to offer customised, experiential learning solutions for corporate clients.To find out more about the creative learning methodologies used by Learning Ethos visit Namitha’s Website, her LinkedIN profile, her Instagram, or Podcast

2 Comments

  1. Namitha, we, L&D Global Kolkata ( members are from Training, HR background and Coaches) desire to do a virtual program on Introducing Gamification in Trainings. Will you be interested? Regards Madhusudan Dutta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*