Play is a fundamental building block of who we are as an adult. Physically, psychologically, emotionally and cognitively, childhood play shapes the person we all become.”- Shalini Bajaj Vij.
Shalini Bajaj Vij is a confident and compassionate leader. She has studied Business Administration at Northern Illinois University, Illinois, USA. With experience in Management and Human Resources from many US-based Companies, Shalini has revolutionised the concept of entertainment in India with Hang Out and her entrepreneurial skills and passion.
By studying Child Psychology, Shalini has a detailed understanding of the child and parental psych and needs. Her brainchild Hang Out, with a foray of technology-driven and contemporary entertainment experiences, is a milestone in the Entertainment Industry.
She believes “Playtime is the beginning of Early learning, and it can enhance the child’s skills in a fun-filled environment by giving them age-appropriate activities and safe surroundings.”
After living in the US for 14 years, when Shalini moved back to India, she realised the need for a complete entertainment centre for families with children could enjoy themselves. Her children inspired her to put together the concept of Hang Out, a one-stop shop for complete amusement, in 2009, with a mission ‘To make Playtime more fun.’
Hang Out is a family entertainment Center which promotes family interaction. Understanding family needs as a whole; they ages two and you too. Hang Out currently has its presence in Select Citywalk, Saket, New Delhi and Bharti Pavilion Mall Ludhiana. Hang Out is not just another gaming zone or toddler area, but it’s a comprehensive family entertainment centre for parties, play & family fun.
According to Shalini, Hang Out’s success is bringing smiles to the innocent faces of children and seeing families bond over playtime & mealtime. With a belief to give back to society, Shalini invites children that are less privileged and have special needs and terminal diseases through a lot of NGOs & schools, including Prayas, DPS Mathura Road’s Ibtiba Shiksha Kendra, Make my wish Foundation and Lakshyam.
The country-wide lockdown during the pandemic confined people to their homes, limiting the options for entertainment. Sahil Vij, son of Shalini Bajaj Vij, conceptualised Neon by Hang Out, a neon-themed family Hang Out, post-Covid inspired concept to cater to young adults, teens and tweens- all age groups. Sahil believes in evolution and unleashing the child in everyone. He says Neon by Hang Out is “Evolving Technology & trending in Time with Entertainment in Mind.” Offering the newest in entertainment and technology. Neon by Hang Out is giving families the environment to bond over playtime and mealtime.
With an aim to cater to all age categories, Hang Out have certain zones and anchors that unleash the child in everyone.
The newly launched virtual reality is as close to reality as it gets. Hurricane 360, the newest technology in VR and the first one in India is the pride of the place. A 3-seat model, 6-Axis Motion Ride with a 360-degree rotation capability, which makes it a 7DOF (dimension of freedom in VR terminology). The ride uses specially designed Shoulder Harness Coaster Seats, 6DOF with 360 rotation, Special Effects including Water, Rain, Airblast, Fog and Snow devices, Dome or Flat Screen options, 2.1 Sound System Quality, VR or 3D Ride Licensed movies like Arabian Nights, Wasteland, Fly Bike, Dino, Mission Mars & Island Coaster to choose from.
Neon-themed, glow-in-the-dark Bowling Lanes.
Pool tables & Air Hockey to unleash the child in you.
Gaming Zone with Arcades, tickets and prize-winning games catering to all age groups.
Vortex Tunnel giving to a vertigo experience. Vertigo is a sensation of feeling off balance, and dizzy, where you feel like you are spinning or that the world around you is spinning. A sensation worth experiencing.
My Town is an area designed for younger Kids from 2-8 years old with a fully foamed toddler area touching the fine motor, sensory, cognitive and music skills, 2 level playground, role or pretends play rooms like the grocery store, hospital, bakery and Ice cream parlour & more.
Neon-themed Cafe with a wide variety of cuisine choices on the menu with an hourly show by their Mascots.
Winners Circle is the ticket redemption counter where everyone is a Winner at Hang Out.
Neon-themed family Hang Out catering to All age groups.
Bringing smiles on the innocent faces of children and parents and promoting family bonding has been the constant values for Hang Out over their more than a decade-long journey. They have accomplished guest satisfaction and an increased level of family interactions.
Hang Out is a member of IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions & IAAPI (Indian association of Amusement parks & Industries) and has won the best FEC Award North Region in 2012 & 2013 & 2014 consecutively.
Hang Out has been nominated at the IRF (Indian Retail Forum) and on the speaker panel at a session in regard to Entertainment.
Hang Out won the Times hospitality Iconic Awards-Hang Out-Iconic venue for food & Entertainment 2019
Talking about the challenges in her entrepreneurial journey, Shalini says, “Challenges and competition bring out your optimum potential. Aiming for perfection and higher than what is achievable surely leads to attaining Excellence.” Her mantra to overcome challenges is to have Faith in God, hard work, discipline & patience.
Children’s entertainment Centers are a sensitive market, and a one size fits all concept doesn’t work. It is important to understand parental child psychology and demands. Thorough market research and study prior to the planning stages is imperative to create a customised, tailor-made solution depending on the cultural background.
Hang Out Clientele
An average of 25-30 birthday parties are hosted at every location of Hang Out, and they also have an average weekend footfall of up to 400 guests a day. Their elite clientele includes celebrities like Mandira Bedi, Monish Behl, Mr LK Advani, Jayant Advani, designer Shantanu, Nikhil, and JJ Vallaya, among others. However, the ones closest to Shlaini’s heart are events for less-privileged children or children fighting terminal diseases like cancer and AIDS through the Make a wish foundation.
Although a lot of commercial gaming zones are entering the industry but are limited to the age categories, they cater to. Hang Out by Shalini Bajaj Vij, being a one-stop shop of entertainment, is making playtime fun for everyone. Understanding the parental psych and family needs and promoting family bonding over playtime and meal times is what separates Hang Out from its competitors. They offer personalised customer service for children, giving them one-on-one attention and assurance of safety and security to the parents.
Like every other business, Hang Out was also impacted by the pandemic, and its centers were closed. The present scenario at Hang Out is re-opening the Centers and upgrading them, bearing the import and travel restrictions in mind.
Shalini Bajaj Vij’s future plan for Hang Out is to expand its presence across PAN India to provide an entertainment Center available to all families. They are intent on opening new Centers in various states.
For young entrepreneurs, Shalini Bajaj Vij mentions a piece of advice from her father, “to have the courage to dream, the power to plan, aspire to achieve and the strength to execute your dreams.”