CEO of BetConstruct, Vahe Baloulian, explains the importance of freedom and flexibility and why they are a way of life for the company.
[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ast month, BetConstruct announced that it had already released a small portion of its Player Management System on GitHub as the industry’s first open-source gaming platform, allowing operators to take advantage of the product and enabling developers around the world to add new innovations and amendments. According to CEO Vahe Baloulian, this courageous leap of faith is all in the name of freedom.
Over the course of BetConstruct’s stellar ascent as a major force in the gaming industry, the name has become synonymous with innovation and risk-taking. Now the firm has taken another leap in the dark, with the release of its Player Management System as a piece of open-source code.
This remarkable decision is in keeping with BetConstruct’s desire to learn from great minds outside of the industry.
When a piece of code is shared on GitHub – a sort of Facebook for developers – it invites collaboration from other techies, and CEO Vahe Baloulian is confident that this will include coders from multiple industries and regions of the world.
But the decision is not just about code, but also about BetConstruct’s partners, future and present. In this new phase of the company’s development, the watchword is ‘freedom’: freedom to customise, to amend and to adapt each product to the operator’s unique identity.
To find out exactly what this means, Betting Business spoke with CEO Vahe Baloulian.
At the release of your open-source system, you talked a lot about freedom and flexibility. How important are these terms for you as a company?
We are in a constant change. The ability to change without constraint and without failing is what freedom and flexibility are about. These qualities are not simply important to Bet- Construct. They are our way of life. That’s what made us successful and that’s why we want our partners to embrace these qualities as well. We are a horizontal company in a sense that everyone can talk to everyone regardless of their position. Members of our team know that they are free to suggest new ideas and ways to improve what we are doing irrespective of their primary roles. If they lose that feeling – we lose as an organization. When we are discussing a new project, there could be many arguments which we’ll take into account and which may alter our next steps. There is one argument, if it ever comes up, that is always ignored: it’s never been done before. And that for me is one of the fundamentals of freedom and flexibility.
BetConstruct has always been very clear about using the term “partners” rather than “clients”. Why is that?
When we forgo the use of ‘clients’ in favour of ‘partners’, it is not just about semantics. We want the word to reflect our vision of relationship with the people and companies who have selected BetConstruct to empower them on their path to success. It is very personal for us and we try to keep it that way. With realisation that we are not perfect and can inadvertently allow a slip-up, we designed everything, from our pricing structure to our face-to-face meetings, to make sure that we succeed only when our partners do. And, in this case, success is not only defined by profitability but also by rapport we have with them, by how comfortable our partners feel with us. Here as well we encourage BetConstruct team members to think of ways to enrich our interactions with partners.
How do you strike a balance between giving your partners the help they may need and empowering them to find their own solutions and identity as a business?
We recognise that each of our partners is unique, not only with their own set of requirements, expectations and dreams, but also with their own experience, culture and mindset. When it comes to finding their own solutions and identity, we provide them with everything they need to do that. The latest step in ensuring that they have the ultimate freedom in differentiating themselves is releasing Spring’s Player Management System as open source. Although BetConstruct is the first gaming company to do that, it was not the key factor in our decision to provide free of charge what we until now have quite successfully been selling. With the open-source technology they are able to add any functionality they want and gain benefits inaccessible to their competitors. In the market full of alike solutions, the ability to customize will make a huge difference.
With partners that range from startups to multi-national firms, is it really possible to treat everyone equally?
Absolutely yes. However, it depends on how one defines equality in this case. Let’s say one person has to carry a few items and another person has only one item. The way we see equality is to provide each person with everything they need to fulfil their task and grow from there. Another approach is to provide both with the same capacities in which case one of them will have more or a lot less than they really need. Following the first approach, we make a considerable effort to get to know our partners and then we custom-tailor our services to fit their relevant sizes and demands.