15 Mar ICE 2017: Interview with Albert Radman, Sales Director
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It is no news to the industry that ICE is a must-attend event in the gaming calendar, for it sets the trends that will determine the future of the sector. What’s been your overall impression of ICE Totally Gaming 2017 and when do you expect to reap the benefits of your participation in the international exhibition?
ICE is indeed the must attend event and the experience is always positive. This year’s attendance was perhaps slightly smaller but the quality was still there. All of the three days were busy for us and our expectations were completely fulfilled. The ICE show is truly an event that brings in quality visitors, and the attendance is comprehensive from almost every part of the world. I believe the attendance would be even better if the organisers would consider the Chinese New Year and try to avoid the proximity between the dates. In this case, the attendance from the Asia would be considerably stronger. The benefits of such event are hard to define so specifically, because a gaming company attends many events and does multiple consequent promotions. We’re staying in contact with all of the operators and it’s hard to award a benefit of the business just to one single event. Still, ICE is truly important key event for any gaming company.
Do you anticipate any major changes or hope to see any changes to the gaming industry in 2017 that are going to have an effect on the company’s operations?
Well, the changes in the gaming industry may be related to many things, but in our case, we’re mostly new markets that bring more opportunity to a company like ours. Currently, we are eyeing Brasil, Thailand, and some others as well.
The games that we do, have been around for centuries and there’s not anything that needs to be changed. Many of our competitors are trying to come up with the invention, the twist that will bring them the advantage, yet all of these expeditions ended up to be failures, maybe just good enough for some marketing campaigns. On the other hand, our giant brother, the Slot industry, keeps on progressing, changing, upgrading or downgrading. It’s become a rule that a slot manufacturing company has to launch new games and features, even cabinets, every few months. Luckily, this ‘crazy race’ is not really influencing the field of Electronic Gaming Tables, so we’re able to hold our ground and earn our living without having to improve what’s already proven to be the best.
What is the industry lacking today and what can companies do to fill that void? Will the industry see a shift in focus from major casino suppliers over the next year?
The industry today is lacking personal touch, flexibility, and overall the proper relationship between supplier and the operator. Because of this, I believe the shift is already showing first signs. The giant suppliers of today’s gaming industry are simply too big, too difficult to deal with, and perhaps even to aggressive. They don’t have the time to focus on a specific client, they need to ‘make’ their numbers and their numbers keep getting higher,because…they are too big to feed. I could write a separate book about what’s wrong about the approach of such companies and how is that negatively influencing the industry, yet I believe this is already a common knowledge so I’ll mention how this is helping a company like ours. Alfastreet is a small company, very specifically focused on producing the Electronic Table Games, primarily Roulette. We keep very personal relationship with our customers and we basically tend to any reasonable request we receive. Our response time is direct and immediate and we actually treat our clients in a way they feel appreciated. This i helping us a lot with our business and the marketing we receive from our customers is the one you can no buy.
You certainly invest a lot of money and effort in R&D. What can both operators and players alike expect to see from you in terms of product development?
Our R&D department is always very busy with customising the games for specific markets, sometimes even for specific clients. In addition, we always develop some new things, yet we’re being aware of the fact that our bread comes from the products we’ve been selling for the past 25 years. Our development is still very productive and the products like Royal Derby, Big Wheel, Multi Touch etc., are contributing well enough to our overall success. As usually, we’re not publicising our plans for the future, as we have too many followers that are looking our way to find out what they should do for the future.
What are your aims for the year and how do you intend to achieve them?
Our aims for this year are very simple, and more or less the same as every year. We’re working very hard on staying ahead of our competitors, and maintain our position on the market. Furthermore, we’re finding ways to conquer the very few markets where we don’t have the dominant position, and this is based more on principal than on anything else. Many brands claim to be the leaders of the market, to be the number one, but I say, everyone can’t be number 1, unless everyone’s calculator is broken.
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