While literacy remains one of the biggest problems facing India as a developing nation, a lack of fiscal literacy is one which needs to be overcome as well. Young India might be getting connected and earning disposable incomes, but knowing how to invest that money is something most people are still not comfortable dealing with.
The Bombay Stock Exchange hopes to change this through an online campaign being carried out in collaboration with the Dalal Street Investment Journal. Called the Stock Market Challenge, the Facebook app (which is also a standalone game you can access through the BSE website) is essentially a simulation of the stock market – presented as a game, where you can compete with your friends and win bragging rights over your friends.
Ambarish Datta, MD and CEO, BSE Training Institute, said, “Our stock market business simulation learning tool allows participants to tackle real business issues and bring-in understanding of difficult concepts. Students gain experience working in real market conditions and hone their skills in a risk-free environment.”
In the game, participants directly engage in the virtual stock market and buy and sell stocks for profit. The game picks up live feed from the exchange accurately replicating stock exchange trading scenario in real time. You start the game with a lakh of virtual money, and the daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly winners can all earn real money, a total of Rs 30 lakh, for doing well in the virtual stock market.
The idea, they say, is to encourage people in this way, to learn about the stock market in a safe manner and encourage them to enter into the actual stock market after that. All practical issues faced when a stock hits a circuit, illiquid stocks, corporate benefits are all captured and simulated so as to ensure a realistic experience, and already, with almost ten thousand users a week after launch, the game has already got its first crore earned.
Users can also see the transaction history of the leaders, and this is hopefully going to help people understand why others did better than them.
Rajesh Padode, MD, DSIJ, said, “Whether you're new to the stock markets or an experienced investor, this is a powerful tool for building skill, evaluating and tuning your strategy, and gaining important investing experience. The market realism, the simplicity, the ranking, the community features makes the experience very enjoyable and educative."