An exclusive interview with Sagar Nair, Co-Founder & CEO, Qlan

The world of esports is constantly evolving and Indian players in vast numbers are entering the field to explore their opportunities. Qlan is a platform designed keeping in mind the requirements of this gaming market. Bizbehindsports had the opportunity to speak to the co-founder & CEO of the company Mr. Sagar Nair, on their future plans.

What inspired you to come up with the idea of Qlan? Brief us about the company? 

A whole lot of unanswered questions is what led to the inception of Qlan. When we started interacting with the industry we came across a lot of barriers at the grassroots of gaming and esports. India in particular in the recent past has seen the emergence of the first breed of pro esports athletes & gaming content creators, the aspirations among the larger gaming community are set, however, there’s no platform that paves the path for the aspirants, Qlan is designed to be that platform which facilitates opportunities for all future gamers. Be it esports, content creators or other professions in the world of gaming.

Can you talk me through both the founder’s background and how you got into the gaming and esports sector?

The founders come from varied backgrounds that form the right combination for a platform like Qlan. A seasoned businessman who has built two profitable ventures, a brand builder and marketer with a keen user understanding, a veteran techie with two decades of experience in consumer tech and an ex-pro esports athlete who has represented India on the global esports stage.

How and to what extent can Qlan contribute to the gaming and esports industry in India, how the app resolves the many unattended issues of the esports community?

Qlan contributes to the gaming market by its unique design to build a robust set of features that bring together various aspects that contribute majorly to the gaming community like tournament operators, content creators, gaming professionals, esports organizations, and gamers, both professional and casual. The app resolves the major issue that is a dedicated application just for the gamers and for them to discover various opportunities within the gaming ecosystem.

What kind of opportunities does Qlan offer to its users; please tell us about the features of the app?
In terms of opportunities, for gamers, Qlan’s helps them to explore tournaments & scrims, earn various badges and to apply for various rosters. Coming to the professional side, one can explore various job opportunities with a custom profile and apply for the same with just a click of a button. The application also has AI-based matchmaking which helps users connect with new users and game together!

While being a social networking app dedicated only to gamers, how would Qlan manage to stand against the giant social networking apps like Instagram, Facebook?

While giants like Instagram and Facebook are social networks that focus on content and entertainment across multiple genres, Qlan is a solution-driven network focused on gaming and esports as a genre. The depth at which Qlan understands its users is unlike IG or FB which helps them interact and connect with just the right people. When it comes to content, gamers have to break the immense clutter on these platforms to find the right audience and then start building, on Qlan creators have a tailor-made audience who actively seek gaming content, they can start building from the get-go and not worry about finding an audience.

How beneficial is your platform for the advertisers?

On Qlan, advertising is a future play at critical mass. The focus now is to build a thriving community of gamers and esports enthusiasts. Brands will be able to benefit from this very Gen Z and millennial dominated community in the future, with native and branded content. The brand will also be able to collaborate with creators and influencers exclusive to Qlan; Qlan Qreators!

As the app is still in its beta launch, how much traction has the app received till now – gender, demographics and age group and when can we expect the final launch?

Qlan has 30K+ downloads with more registering every day. Currently being our launch market, Indians form the largest percentage of the user base but word of mouth among gamers active on Qlan has helped our community go global at this early stage, acquiring gamers from the USA, UK, Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Singapore & Iraq among others. The full version update is just around the corner.

How does Qlan prove to be distinctive from its foreign counterparts like UNBNLD, GamerLink, etc?

UNBNLD being an interest-based community platform caters to varied interests and has a location play to it. Qlan is a genre-specific social network solely focusing on gaming and esports, to which there are no boundaries of any kind. While Gamerlink operates in a similar space, Qlan goes further in breaking down a gamers’ profile, in-game stats, gaming device, language preferences and more. Qlan also offers Squad profiles for competitive esports teams and Org profiles for established and budding gaming and esports companies.

How does the platform enable professionals to seek job and career opportunities and help gaming organizations reach out to a targeted audience, all within a single ecosystem?

Qlan as a platform has a whole module under development that governs the professional side of esports that helps aspiring gamers reach out to esports organisations, and professionals to discover opportunities. The major highlight in this is that the platform lets the user download a CV with just a click of a button and share it where the user needs to.

How does the platform function – how much tech is involved in building a platform like this?

The application currently runs on react native. One can expect ML & AI to play a crucial role as we scale and cater to a growing user base. Qlan features at its core are built to be data-driven, games played, in-game stats, language proficiency, content preferences etc will play a pivotal role in a gamer’s journey and experience on Qlan.

Are you planning to raise investment soon?

We are in the process of raising pre-seed funding and are in conversations with strategic investors. We’re looking to join hands with investors driven by a similar sense of passion and outlook. We should be able to share more at the right time. 

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