Determination pushes Durban entrepreneur to start his own online gaming start-up

Durban entrepreneur Yugan Naik who comes from humble beginnings is now running his own online gaming start-up. Picture: Supplied

Durban entrepreneur Yugan Naik who comes from humble beginnings is now running his own online gaming start-up. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 19, 2024


Durban could very well become a Silicon Valley as the city sees a rise in successful tech start-ups as well as a growing online gaming industry.

Dogged determination has led Yugan Naik, CEO and founder of a growing online gaming player in the industry, Easy Games to build a start-up tech company in Durban.

Naik, 35, said that it was his mum, a factory worker that spurred him on to do the unthinkable.

After a completing school at Phoenix Technical School, a bursary allowed him to pursue an Electrical Engineering course but he would later leave to take a part-time job as a packer for a transporting business.

Once he had saved enough money, he pursued IT where he found true happiness.

“I found my happy space in IT and effortlessly aced my exams – I was then head-hunted by various companies – but it was at Hollywood Bets that I would become head software developer and fall in love with building gaming software,” Naik said.

Naik called his job at the time his life’s work, missing loved one’s birthdays and pulling off on freeways just to finish a projects.

According to Naik, the Covid-19 pandemic saw the online gaming space literally blow up when South African online gambling laws were more relaxed.

“I started building my own games because I had some spare time during lockdown, time being a scarce commodity in the world of tech development.The opportunity was ripe, and the timing was right,” Naik said.

Naik discussed taking the plunge into business with his wife, and she supported him wholeheartedly. He would also discuss his intentions with his superiors at my employers and to his surprise they were also supportive of his decision.

Today his business, Easy Games, is one of the suppliers to Hollywood Bets amongst a host of international clients.

He is proud to say that like himself, none of his staff come from privileged backgrounds but among them is a PhD in Mathematics and several Masters graduates, with ages that range from 23 to 44-years old.

Naik said that the sky is the limit when discussing the opportunities that gaming development offers to South Africans.

“The buzz phrase is 4IR – and we are now witnessing the explosive growth spurt that was expected. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are game changers,” Naik said.

Now it is essential that schools cater for the tech space too.

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