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How board games are helping children navigate finances and goal setting

Two engaging educational toys are helping children navigate essential life skills, ranging from financial literacy to personal goal setting

Lakshya highlights short-term, mid-term, long-term, and legacy goals

By Abhilasha Ojha

LAST PUBLISHED 17.08.2023  |  09:00 AM IST

Most of us seek knowledge of self-improvement tools and effective time management skills either in books or on the internet. Sadly, we arrive at this quest quite late in life, for such life skills are not discussed in schools or homes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if children could find these tools at an early age? Wouldn’t it help them become emotionally and mentally stronger to cope with whatever life brings their way?

In late 2021, Noida-based Gaurav Bhagat Academy (GBA), which is a licensed 10X sales coaching academy, specialising in training employees of corporate companies—helping them scale up profits based on global teaching modules—, introduced a board game, titled Lakshya: The Goal Setting Game. It also introduced another stock market-inspired game around the same time. With over 10,000+ units of the two games having collectively sold, the academy is confident about introducing more strategic games, specifically targeting the young adults. No surprise then that the company is in the process of gets deals with stock broking companies and asset management companies to do 3,000 units of the stock market game for their clients. 


Interestingly, another educational institute, three-year-old Rishihood University in Sonepat had launched Manifesto: Ab Kiski Sarkar two years ago as an electoral politics card game. Created by the institution’s co-founders, Sahil Aggarwal, Soumya Aggarwal and Shobhit Mathur, with their friends Aman Gupta, CMO, Farmley and Shubham Kumar, director, SEWA International, the game aimed to make kids, aged 12 and above, engage with the subject of public policy better. 

Coming back to Lakshya, this game can be played by two or four players from a varied age group—from six-year-olds to those in their 60s, or more. Interestingly, GBA has also introduced another stock market-inspired game.

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Lakshya  comes with a game board, an instruction sheet, 240 illustrated “goal action" cards, four-player tokens with six-goal compartments, 24 goal pegs, four-goal dices highlighting short-term, mid-term, long-term, and what the promoters call “legacy" goals. The short-term goals are quicker to achieve than, say, legacy goals. To start, the players choose the action cards and roll the appropriate dice to keep moving towards their goals.

Though fairly complex for my six-year-old daughter, Lakshya nonetheless caught her attention: Initially, it was the engaging illustrations on the cards and then, the conversations the game sparked. And it is here that the success of this game lies—it allows for pertinent discussions between family members. The “action" cards such as focus on healthier eating, family vacations, finding the right job, or learning to play an instrument become prompts to start talking to one another. 

Don’t be surprised if, as an adult, you too end up internalising a lot of learnings—it will make you think hard about some of the important facets of your life that haven’t been addressed. For instance, an action card that resonated with me was “building a villa for parents/planning a world tour for parents". It was a choice I had been grappling with.


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My daughter saw a “join a yoga class" card and immediately started talking about sessions in school. I have enjoyed the fact that I have been able to introduce her to the concept of six significant areas of life highlighted in Lakshya, including work (in her case, this meant study), health, family and relations, finance (piggy bank), lifestyle and mental well-being.

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Gaurav Bhagat Academy’s other game—The Stock Market Game—seeks to introduce youngsters (12 years old and above) to the trading world. Interestingly, the five-year-old company aims to bring out one or two games every quarter. By early next year, it will bring out ten more board games on entrepreneurship, sales, and leadership.

The creator of these board games, 47-year-old Gaurav Bhagat, was in his teens when he started designing card and board games for the toy company Leo Mattel. At the age of 17, he also started trading in the stock market. Today, he is the founder of Gaurav Bhagat Academy besides being a board game developer.

He had designed a similar board game on trading in the early 1990s. While that game was immensely successful too – Leo Toys bought the rights of the board game and sold 50,000+ units paying Bhagat a royalty on every piece that was sold. The new version focuses on familiarising youngsters and adults with the world of trading so that they don’t get intimidated by aspects of financial investments.

Like Lakshya, the stock market game comes with an array of instructions and elements, including stationery, a calculator, portfolio sheets, trading card information, chips, notes of different denominations, and more. Bhagat sats that banks and financial planners are beginning to opt for the stock market game for their families, friends and clients.

While classic board games such as Snakes And Ladder, Monopoly, Scrabble and Pictionary build other skills, games such as these introduce children to a new vocabulary to navigate real life.

Abhilasha Ojha is a Delhi-based art and culture writer

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