Eularie Saldanha
May 11, 2022

The way we socialise is changing and that’s going to be a natural progression for brands: Sukrit Singh

The co-founder of Xp&dland speaks about how the platform works, what differentiates it from virtual reality and what it means for brands

The way we socialise is changing and that’s going to be a natural progression for brands: Sukrit Singh
Xp&d, FoxyMoron and have launched a platform called Xp&dland to help brands find their stand in the metaverse. 
The platform will use Web 3.0 strategies as it aims to toggle between the real world and virtual world for its product showcases, events, and activations.
It focuses on the O2O2M model, which is offline ⇋ online ⇋ metaverse.
We caught up with Sukrit Singh, co-founder, Xp&dland, to learn more about the platform, how it operates, what differentiates it from virtual reality (VR) and more…
Edited excerpts:
What was the idea behind the launch of Xpandland?
The worlds of experiential and digital are colliding today. We’re going to be inside the internet, rather than consuming the internet. This can happen by using a wearable or in the form of an avatar. As an experiential space inside the internet, we are in this collision with communities. It’s a different ballgame.
How are you creating awareness about this platform?
Once we launch, we will have a lot of traction. We already do actually, from clients who are curious about this. We seem to be in the education enabling phase. People are aware of Web 3.0, but they think it’s a hi-fi matrix sci-fi kind of thing. The metaverse is moving fast and it’s something that brands will have to migrate to in the future.
What makes the Metaverse so attractive for brands? It defies the touch and feel element which has been so widely spoken about...
People playing video games are switching between their real personalities and avatar personalities and they don’t distinguish the difference. Not everyone wants their avatars to look the way they do in real life. The consumer is changing rapidly. In addition, when I have a persona inside the internet, I also want to have possessions. Digital possessions will become a reality because of the blockchain. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are not just about art, they’re about digital ownership and community building. Communities will be meeting on the internet inside the metaverse. With these paradigm shifts, brands will have to adapt and move from Web 2 to Web 3. The way we socialise is going to change and that’s going to be a natural progression for brands. However, offline and online will be linked. If there’s a conference going on, 10 of us might be together, but ten of us might join via the metaverse. They will co-exist.
We used to see shows like the auto expo and some print summits at Pragati Maidan. Are these the kind of events you’d be looking to create?
Yes, we are looking at similar events. But apart from this, we’re also looking at creating experiential spaces for brands, including stadiums. Anything that has a physical experiential opportunity will also have a metaverse opportunity.
Have you managed to lock in clients yet?
We began with cricket, through our association with Gujarat Titans. We are working with several brands right now. Every brand that we worked with, between FoxyMoron and us are big brands that are curious and very keen to get on the metaverse.
Any particular cryptocurrency that you'll accept here?
We’re staying completely away from crypto and seeing how digital payments develop over the years. Right now, we don’t need currency. Xp&dland is a concept for us to build unlimited spaces of the metaverse and manage communities in the Web 3.0 way.
How does the partnership between Xp&dland, Noesis tech and Zoo work?
FoxyMoron and Noesis along with Metaform are equal partners in Xp&dland.  FoxyMoron moves the narrative of digital, while we write the narrative of experiential. Noesis is the tech backbone of this and is also a FoxyMoron-owned company. That’s how the three of us come together.
How can brands toggle between the physical world and the metaverse? Would traditional brands come onboard the metaverse too?
Taking Gujarat Titans as an example - we can go offline, pick up people on a chatbot community and take them into the metaverse. At the metaverse, we can let them participate in a contest and win a jersey. So they go back offline. This is how we will toggle between all these worlds all the time.
It’s not about the millions inside the metaverse, it’s about the billions looking from the outside. It's essential for brands to be inside the metaverse right now, to get thought leadership and become pioneers. Many luxury brands like Gucci and Prada already sell digital goods on the metaverse. Meta commerce is going to be a big thing. Traditional brands too will have to be a part of this, since it’s going to become a part of our existence. I can’t say how this will evolve because we learn something new every day. Web 3, Web 2 and Web 0 all need each other.
What differentiates VR from the metaverse?
VR is not to be confused with the metaverse. VR can be high in quality, but it's not a social space where two people can be together. Web 2 is VR and Web 3 is a social reality, where my actions can influence yours and vice versa. That’s a big difference. When we get into a platform like Google or Facebook - they own us and we become a commodity. They’re drawing us inside their platforms and monetising. In the metaverse, there’s a bunch of guys fighting this and they have decentralised organisations that are more democratic. You own your own identity, data and privacy. The metaverse and real-life are not in competition, they are complementary to each other. 
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