Funky Monkeys Play Centres: A Trailblazer in Indoor Soft Play

 Binita Bodani Putcha,   Founder & Managing Director

Binita Bodani Putcha

Founder & Managing Director

Active playtime is the cornerstone that strengthens the foundation for motivated, healthy & happy children. In fact, numerous research studies have shown that playtime not only enhances physical activity levels & cognitive skills (creativity, problem solving & more) in children, but also teaches them to negotiate social relationships, regulate their emotions and control their own behavior. Fortunately, many parents today are aware of this fact and hence strive to establish a balance outside of the regular school routine by encouraging them to indulge in free play activities. However, during the peak summer and monsoon seasons, parents in India struggle to entertain & occupy their children in an active manner due to the limited outdoor free play options, and hence kids end up mostly playing at home or worse, get addicted to the TV or
a gadget.

Funky Monkeys Play Centers – India’s Premier Indoor Play Center & Birthday Party Venue for Kids, is an enormous boon to these parents as its world-class indoor soft play centers enable kids to enjoy outdoor-type, healthy active play in a clean, safe, fun and climate-controlled environment. “At Funky Monkeys, they get 60 active minutes – running, jumping, climbing and sliding – doing what kids do best – Playing!!” asserts Binita Bodani Putcha, Founder & Managing Director, Funky Monkeys Play Centers.

A One-Stop-Shop for All Kid-Related Events

As the pioneer of the Indoor soft play segment in India and the only play center company with a pan-India presence, Funky Monkeys today stands tall as the undisputed industry leader with nine centers across seven cities. Exclusively designed for children aged six months to 12 years, its centers offer hands-on discovery & learning through spontaneous and unstructured ‘Free Play’, while incorporating elements of fun and entertainment.

These centers have fully equipped cafes and birthday party areas overlooking the play zones, making Funky Monkeys the perfect place to host play dates, events (Halloween, Xmas parties & more) and birthday parties of all sizes & budgets. It is also a popular destination for schools to host their field trips & school outings. Funky Monkeys is today one of the most sought after destinations for kids & families to spend a fun day out at!

Funky Monkeys’ brightly lit play centres have an open plan design with safe, high-tech & colourful equipment in primary colours, procured from one of the world’s leading indoor soft play equipment suppliers. With separate Toddler (kids up to three years) and Junior (three to 12 years) zones, Funky Monkeys offers varying levels of adventure, as children explore and navigate their way around the multiple levels of the play centre. Funky Monkeys offers very affordable and competitive pricing to its customers. One kid & two adults can get an all-inclusive 90 minute play session for a fixed price (Rs. 350/- to Rs. 580/- depending on the centre’s location). An equivalent time slot in a gaming arcade would typically cost parents several thousand rupees. Furthermore, its unique ‘Go Bananas’ rewards program allows its customers to earn & redeem points across all its centres nationwide.
The Birth of a Mini Industry

The revolutionary idea that led to the creation of an entirely new business segment in India stemmed from the constant struggle Binita faced to find engaging and stimulating activities for her infant twin girls. As she surveyed the limited options, she learned that this was not her problem alone but one that extended to all parents & children across India. Realizing this was an opportunity to make a difference, Binita founded Funky Monkeys along with Sanjay Ghadiali (Co-Founder & Director), with the very first center opening in Lower Parel, Mumbai in 2012.

But blazing a trail calls for navigating tough terrain! The duo had to start almost from basics, needing to drive awareness and dispel misconceptions about what an indoor Soft Play center is! “We created India’s first Google search strings on indoor play centers. It is flattering to see that it’s a mini industry today,” reminisces a proud Binita. Opening centres beyond their home city, without compromising on the brand’s standards & quality, was a difficult balancing act at the best of times. Binita and Sanjay have been laser focused on recruiting the right kind of team, training and putting key standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place. As they built the team, Funky Monkeys has grown from the success of their first centre into a nationwide phenomenon with nearly a hundred employees.

Another key differentiator for Funky Monkeys is its focus on children’s safety & security. The quality of the plastic used, the thickness and durability of the foam padding, the absence of sharp corners or edges, all make for a qualitatively superior and safe experience for their clients.

Funky Monkeys centres are equipped with first aid kits, CCTV cameras and security guards monitoring the entry/exit points. Additionally, all centres conduct weekly safety checks and adhere to all local fire safety regulations.

We created India’s first Google search strings on indoor play centers. It is flattering to see that it’s a mini industry today

Funky Monkeys Play Centres have catered to over a million kids and hosted over 7000 birthday celebrations. This is a testament to the success of their formula and the enthusiastic response from parents and children across India. Its success looks even more inspiring considering the fact that numerous indoor soft play centers have opened up since 2012, thereby validating its original concept and vision, although none have come close to the scale and nationwide reach of Funky Monkeys. The tremendous brand recall value of its iconic Monkey logo and the strong bond it has created with children is evidenced by the fact that Funky Monkeys was the first kids’ entertainment brand to develop an extensive range of merchandise featuring its popular & lovable monkey.

New Mountains to Climb

The work culture at Funky Monkeys is relaxed and most staff are trained to assist in different aspects of the business. Funky Monkeys regularly conducts in-house training programs for its staff.

Constantly raising the bar higher for itself, Funky Monkeys periodically freshens up the play zones by introducing new elements to provide a unique experience to its guests. Currently, it is keen on upgrading some of its older centers with new play elements and to introduce an AR-based game that enhances the playing experience.

Funky Monkeys is setting industry benchmarks with a CAGR of 52 percent over the last seven years and is planning to expand into densely populated areas in tier I & II cities

Binita Bodani Putcha, Founder & Managing Director
A serial entrepreneur, Binita brings over 24 years of entrepreneurial and management experience to Funky Monkeys. She co-founded and ran ActiMedia, one of India's leading lifestyle PR agencies in the mid 1990s and also started a portal for journalists.

Sanjay Ghadiali, Co-Founder & Director
Sanjay brings nearly 15 years of financial and strategy experience to Funky Monkeys. Prior to FM, Sanjay was involved in setting up and developing India’s first five star hospitality venture in Daman. Sanjay started his career as an analyst at HDFC Growth Fund in 2002 and then moved on to work for Lehman Brothers in New York.

Locations: 9 centres across Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Surat, Chennai, Pune & Amritsar