Founder Nat Ramachandran cites an article by Professor Greg Mankiw of Harvard in The NewYork Times as the inspiration behind the creation of the app. In a NewYork Times column of 2010, Prof. Mankiw writes, “With the rise of 401(k) plans and the looming problems with Social Security, Americans are increasingly in charge of their own financial future. But are they up to the task?” Mr. Ramachandran continued, “In the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis it struck me that traditional ways of learning about finance are too abstract and disconnected.”
Mr Ramachandran says, “I thought of coming up with a solution which could be fun and educational. Me, and my co-founder, Kannan Mahalingam, were inspired to create Wonga Bazaar, where you can learn basic finance through role playing and experience the fluctuations of a business cycle without bankrupting your 401(k). This is targeted at the socially connected and mobile youngsters who can learn from their own and each other’s experiences.”
The app creatively showcases the fluctuations of demand and supply in an entertaining manner. Despite the complexity foisted by the world of modern finance, the app distinguishes itself by showing the simplicity involved in trading within a self-contained village ecosystem. Events in Wonga Bazaar range from the seasonal weather changes to the autocratic whims of the Prince and culinary experimentations of the Princess of Wongaland. The trader has to constantly make a choice between timing the market and holding a diversified portfolio of commodities and navigate the challenges endured by a village economy.