Sergey Portnov, CEO of Parimatch, took to the virtual stage yesterday at Collision at Home – a global virtual conference which brings together tech leaders and high-potential start-ups to discuss the issues effecting the tech industry.
During his speech, Sergey Portnov captivated Collison at Home’s 30,000 strong audience with his experience of transforming Parimatch from a physical bookmaker into a leading international tech and entertainment brand, giving viewers his top five tips on tech transformation.
On transforming into a tech business, Sergey Portnov said:
At Parimatch we are obsessed with technology. We are a business built by businesspeople with management backgrounds, but now we have taken a major step to becoming a tech business – an endless journey with no destination.
“Tech can either be used as a tool, or can be used to describe a culture, a mindset. Previously at Parimatch, we used tech as a tool, but not anymore. Tech isn’t something which can be outsourced, it has to flow through your DNA. Only once you have this tech culture ingrained in your business will your company start to move ahead.”
Sergey’s top five tips on tech transformation:
Lesson 1 –Accept the sacrifice
“In the journey to tech transformation, you need to accept that you will lose things along the way. You may lose employees, customers, partners, maybe even revenue. Whilst this can be painful, this loss has to be accepted in order to transform and ultimately become stronger.”
Lesson 2 – Hire the best
“Don’t take the easy approach when it comes to hiring talent. We all know that it is people who make (or break) a business. Invest in the best people, and pay them a lot. People should be a serious financial investment. But don’t just pay them well, give them freedom in their role. Motivate them, and give them time to shine.”
Lesson 3 – Speed is of the essence
“For me, tech means speed. Every aspect of a tech business needs to be working at speed. The sports and betting industry are very fast paced, so we are able to surround our brand with that speedy energy. Be audacious and brave, create a culture of speed.”
Lesson 4 – Build company culture
“We are continually working on how to foster loyalty from our existing employees. We work with all of our people and spend time building culture and values. These aren’t just words on paper, we live them and people can see them in our actions. Values need to be authentic, and are essential to building a positive culture, and need to form the backbone of a business.”
Lesson 5 – Balance experience with ambition
“It is important to balance experience with ambition. When one outweighs the other, it causes problems. We were ambitious with little experience once upon a time, we made mistakes and learnt from them. On the other hand, you have businesses with lots of experience but no ambition, they have become complacent and are not likely to last into the future. The ideal balance in 51% ambition and 49% experience.”