With over 20 years experience in the gaming industry, Betinvest is renowned for taking a personal approach with its clients to ensure strong partnerships and ongoing success, a concept which also extends internally too. Discussing finding her dream role as the company’s CFO, Olena Kopeikina extols the virtues of workplace learning, teamwork and why finance is ‘always’ about creativity…
How did you get to become Chief Financial Officer at Betinvest and what sectors have you worked in previously?
Before I came to Betinvest I was working as a specialist for IFRS – International Financial Reporting Standards – on the IPO projects. One day, I decided that I had achieved all that I could in that regard and decided to reorient my career towards management. I didn’t have a new job offer at the time and I didn’t know where I was going to work, but I signed up for a CIMA course to learn new skills. My journey towards the CFO position began in education, and one thing led to another. I dreamed of a job that I would really enjoy; one that would stimulate my creativity. Betinvest offered me what I was looking for.
How does working at Betinvest motivate you to bring your A-game to work everyday?
First of all, I’m motivated by the whole team and by our continued growth. We’re expanding into new markets and launching new projects, all of which is very interesting. My main source of motivation comes from these projects, and from a positive financial result, of course!
As for our team, it’s great when people feel inspired and collaborate with each other autonomously. Over the past few years Betinvest has changed its vision and attitude towards our product line, as well as our client approach and marketing strategy. We get very positive results which, in turn, motivate us. All these things are made possible thanks to an amazing team.
The company is recognised for its gaming business expertise across four continents, what’s your favourite region you’ve worked in?
The Asian market is a point of significant interest to me. It offers a lot of great opportunities for business development and the culture is very interesting, too. I love Europe, but I find Asia particularly appealing.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that isn’t on your C.V?
Learning is a big part of my life. I’m currently half way through an MBA course and the timing has been perfect: had I done this earlier, I might not have understood everything fully so wouldn’t have been able to get the most out of the training. The MBA isn’t on finance; it’s about how the company works as a whole organism. It’s something I wanted to understand and this course is revealing a lot to me.
Combining family, work and study is hard, but the return on this investment will make it all worthwhile. If we took a look at my schedule, we’d see that I work 80% of the time. Realising that I didn’t have time to study was actually a sign that it was time for me to study.
Fintech and financial markets have a reputation as being all numbers and spreadsheets, what’s the most unique part of your job?
Finance is always about creativity, it’s not just numbers. Nowadays, your average finance employee, at least in terms of numbers and calculations, can be replaced by a computer. But to make decisions and interpret data, you need to employ your human experience and common sense. Only people can say ‘let’s try’ despite what the facts show or realise what needs to be improved and how to do it. Most of all, I like analysis and data interpretation. I love looking forward.
Which business figure do you most admire and why?
As a leader, I admire and am inspired by Matsushita, who was a Japanese businessman. I like the style of his management where he describes the leader as being a creator and team player. For him, it was the idea and the mission that really charged both the team and himself. I stick to this rule in my life and in my work. First, my team and I should find satisfaction in our work and only then should we think about the financial rewards, which usually take care of themselves.
Betinvest’s team works together pursuing common goals, which achievement are you most proud of?
Our team has formed over the three years I’ve been at Betinvest and I’m so proud of them. All of the refined processes, the automation and implementation of new systems and approaches to decision making are possible thanks to them.
I’m proud to say that we recently integrated Oracle Monetization Cloud and made the Power BI system available. We’re Oracle’s first client in the gaming industry. Not many companies can have a partner like Oracle, and I don’t just mean within our industry: not only is it expensive, the company must have some good financial specialists who are able to work with the programs, as well as a project team who can implement them.
Outside of work, which hobby most defines you and why?
This has to be studying. Reading a good book at night invigorates me. The more you read, the more you feel inspired. If I have free time, I really value it: I try to spend it effectively and get something in return. I mostly read books about business. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to read fiction.