Nazara Technologies will be the first pure-play gaming company to debut on the Indian public markets – analysts are all in for it

Nazara Technologies will be the first pure-play gaming company to debut on the Indian public markets – analysts are all in for it
Nitesh Mittersain, founder, NazaraBCCL
  • The 22-year old company’s ₹583 crore initial public offering (IPO) issue opens today, where the company will sell 58.9 lakh shares.
  • Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Nazara will sell its shares in the price band of ₹1100-1101 per share.
  • Here’s why analysts are bullish about the company’s market debut.
Gaming and sports media company Nazara Technologies heads for the public markets today. The 22-year old company’s ₹583 crore initial public offering (IPO) issue opens today, where the company will sell 58.9 lakh shares.

The hype around the company is real as it rides on the digital excitement in the public markets, and of course, also because it is backed by ace stock market guru Rakesh Jhunjhunwaala. The stock market expert holds 11.38% shares in the company, and is not selling them with the IPO.

And analysts are all bullish about the company’s public market debut.

Name of Broking HouseRecommendation
Aditya Birla CapitalSubscribe
Angel BrokingSubscribe
BP EquitiesSubscribe
Kotak SecuritiesNot Rated

Nazara eyes India’s vast internet market

Nazara is betting on India’s big and burgeoning internet ecosystem. In an interview with Business Insider, the company’s chief executive officer Manish Agarwal said that the IPO is a huge milestone in their goal of being one of the top 5 global gaming companies.

For youngsters in India, 14-25 year olds, gaming is becoming the go-to entertainment and that will drive growth. “It’s different from people like us for whom movies were the source of entertainment – that’s a big shift, which makes gaming in India a very attractive market,” he said.

And analysts agree. “The gaming industry is set to witness over 30% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over 2020-2023 (estimated) on the back of high mobile penetration, increasing internet penetration and increasing number of gamers. Nazara has a widespread presence both in terms of geography and product portfolio which offers strong growth visibility,” said a report by Aditya Birla Capital.

Strong growth performance so far – losses can be managed

The company has reported strong year-on-year revenue growth, which analysts say adds to its credentials.

FY2018₹181.9 crore₹1.02 crore
FY2019₹186 crore ₹6.7 crore
FY2020₹262.1 crore -₹26.6 crore
Six months ended September 2020₹207.06 crore -₹10.1 crore

The company’s foray into new categories and acquisitions of startups in the sectors like gamified e-learning, sports media and more, have also hurt the company’s profit and loss statements, but analysts don’t seem to mind the same.

“The company has been reporting losses as they have increased their spending significantly on advertising and promotion from FY2020 onwards which will help drive strong topline growth for the company,” said analysts at Angel Broking.

Analysts at GEPL capital agree as they said that while the growth has come at the expense of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) margins and return ratios, the pivot was an essential strategy to foray into diverse lucrative opportunities, leveraging an ecosystem of partners and creating business moats. “All these acquisitions were funded through internal accruals. As the synergies and growth from these investments kick in, the margin profile and consequently return ratios will return back to a path of steady growth,” said the GEPL capital report.

Nazara’s CEO Agarwal told Business Insider that their growth has come from their fundamental knowledge of the Indian gaming market and knowledge of the consumer trends. It also helps that Nazara holds the licenced mobile gaming rights of popular cartoon characters like Chhota Bheem, Motu Patlu and Shikari Shambhu.

“A key factor to its success is the local knowledge, presence and focus on addressing the specific and unique opportunities and challenges in the regions it operates in. The Indian Gen-Z and millennial population form a significant portion of the gaming user-base, and companies including the company, have capitalised on the ever-growing interest of this population segment in sports and eSports through popular and relatable content,” said analysts at Kotak Securities.


Global presence another plus point for Nazara

Nazara’s presence across geographies also helps in its business potential, even as 41% of its revenue comes from India. It has established itself in 64 countries across Africa, Middle East, South East Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.

“The company believes that expanding its offerings footprint to heterogeneous cohorts of gamers will further deepen its competitive moats to defend and grow its strong market position. Considering its leading position in the mobile gaming industry in India with a presence across emerging and developing countries and ongoing positive sentiments for new IPOs in the current scenario. We believe a decent listing gain is possible,” said analysts at BP Wealth.