- Let us begin with a quick introduction about yourself. Our readers love to hear top technocrats talking about themselves.
Professionally, I’ve first got involved in iGaming in 2008 when I was responsible for organizing the Gaming Executive Summit. Following on from conferences, I worked briefly in payments before moving to a casino sales role at Chartwell in 2010, which eventually became part of the Amaya story. I joined VSoftCo in 2015 to work on their virtual products, before joining Digitain in 2019.
From a personal point of view, I love sport, both playing and watching – especially cricket, which is great way of relaxing at the weekend. I also enjoy reading especially biographies of political or sporting figures.
- You joined Digitain in June 2019. How was it like driving growth during this Covid-19 affected period?
As a Sales Department, when the world went into lockdown, we had two choices, to either take the bull by the horns and try and grow or sit back and become stagnant. I’m delighted to say that the Sales Team were ready to take the bull by the horns and see where the ride took us.
As a business we focused on Digital Marketing and our B2B Marketing team did a great job in assisting us in driving potential sales opportunities. As a result, I was able to expand the Sales team from 6 to 12 in 2020 and we are now at 13.
I focused on building sales momentum, a key ingredient in my view, and an important lesson I learnt from my professional sportsman friends. Key to building that momentum in the sales team was the removing of “excuses” – reasons why the team could not sell – and focused on solutions. I also adapted my leadership style, to deal with the new challenges – encapsulated in the following quote;
“Leadership is not about being in charge, leadership is about taking care of those in your charge”.
I am proud of how the team has developed over the last 12 months – in terms of deals but also the ability for the team to develop professionally, with 5 internal promotions over the last year. The pathway to professional success for colleagues is as important to me as achieving sales targets.
- Could you share some success stories in terms of new client acquisitions and new market entries during this period?
We signed more new deals last year than in 2018 and 2019 – fantastic performance given the unusual circumstances, plus we are already seeing 50% growth over 2020 and we are tracking to hit our annual target. We saw good success in LatAm, with the help of Digitain’s Account Management team, where our monthly revenues have continued to grow. Additionally, we have seen many new partners go live with impressive numbers in both CIS and CEE regions.
- Tell us about the latest features of Digitain Turnkey solution. How does it stand apart from the competitors?
Our turnkey iGaming platform is an amazing, fully featured, one-stop shop suitable for any betting and gaming operator, new or existing, with everything they need to get to market quickly and run a successful, profitable business, whatever the global location.
In terms of highlights, these include our sportsbook, especially our lighting fast in-play odds and results service with the fullest range of sports and betting opportunities available, our recently enhanced eSports area, dedicated to the new customer demographic, which no astute operator can ignore, with the all the key eBrands covered, and including our own Cyber Masters eFootball and eBasketball leagues.
Add to that our award-winning games portfolio, developed by our own in-house Fast Games studio and a wealth of other cutting-edge gaming products and you can see why our Turnkey solution is so highly regarded by our partners.
- Could you tell us more about Digitain API and how it can make life easier for igaming operators?
Not all operators, especially established ones need to swap their platforms. Our range of APIs allow partners to quickly and seamlessly integrate a range of our products into their existing back-office.
For example, if they choose, operators can integrate our world-class award-winning sportsbook on its own, a highly competitive product supported by 150 developers and 700 experienced traders, covering over 70,000 live events per month with over 3000 betting markets plus live video streaming and a wealth of stats, results and interactive data. A highly effective way of achieving a competitive advantage for this hero product in our industry.
- Now, let us ask a simple customer-centric question. What are the benefits can a new gaming or gambling operator expect from a technological collaboration with Digitain?
A simple answer then – from an operator’s perspective we believe their success is our success. Entering the world of online betting and gaming as a new operator is exciting, but also a potentially scary endeavour. We are a long-established igaming platform provider with a management team with excellent industry experience, and we pride ourselves on our ability to help new businesses successfully launch and build their online operations – whether that help is licensing, marketing or product development.
- What are the steps Digitain takes to ensure that all your customers get the best of your products, irrespective of the jurisdiction they operate in or irrespective whether they operate land-based or online?
From the minute the prospective partner comes into contacts, their needs are put first. We operate a needs-based sales process focusing on the Features, Advantages and Benefits that the Digitain product can bring to the prospective partner. Further to the sales process in parallel, we undergo a rigorous scoping procedure to work with the partner to understand the requirements and scope this into the technical delivery of the project. It is joint effort between Sales and the Partner Relations and Implementation Division of Digitain to ensure that the customers’ needs are put first and always met. This includes use of localized versions of our products to ensure fitness-for-purpose wherever they are in the world. Our omnichannel solutions mean that if you are online or retail focused or even both, we will service you in a seamless manner.
- You have stated that expanding the business into Asia and Latin America is one of your ambitions. How much progress has been made so far in that regard?
I was delighted to promote one of my Sales team to the role of heading up our international expansion. Also, we have appointed an Africa Regional Director, opened an office in South Africa and are now looking to expand further.
We also have deals in place in Asia and LatAm, but we understand to best serve the markets we operate in, we need to be there with the customer. As I have always said Digitain has a Glocal focus, a global outlook with laser-like local focus. To that end we’re currently undertaking a rigorous interview process to find the best people to be our “boots on the ground” in these new markets.
- How does Digitain constantly upgrade the software platforms with respect to fast changing technology, such as new machine learning theorems, new digital payment formats and even new forms of fraud attempts?
We believe that research and development is a key differentiator in our industry, where there is a lot of “me too” product developments. We have a product group dedicated to optimizing new technology, including AI and machine-learning. One exciting outcome from their effort is our new, fully-featured CRM system – which has many benefits for marketing, risk management and ensuring responsible gambling.
- Let’s conclude the interview by a look into the immediate future. Could you share some expansion plans or new product launch in the pipeline at Digitain?
So much going on its difficult to choose. As mentioned, we’re excited about our new CRM product, developed using AI and machine-learning. It will give our partners a great advantage in customer retention. It also has several additional potential benefits including highlighting potential responsible gambling customer issues to enable speedy operator intervention.
Other highlights for the future include the launch of our new platform, our live dealer products and some serious enhancements to our eSports and Table Sports products.