Telematic Interactive Bulgaria (TIB) is the first Bulgarian company in the online gaming industry to be listed on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. This will happen in early 2022 and the major motive for this decision is the desire to improve the trust among market participants. According to shareholders, this will strengthen the reputation of TIB EAD as a stable company with responsible behavior.
“Our goal is to make the activity fully transparent not only for the National Revenue Agency, where each of our transactions is registered, but also for the public at large and the investors. We want expand our business to foreign markets”, says Milo Borisov, a major shareholder in TIB.
As of 2018, TIB has been developing the Palms Bet brand by acquiring a sports betting license. Over the past two years the company has undergone rapid development with very high growth rates and an even greater potential.
Technological developments are affecting the gaming industry too. Just a decade ago, online games looked “avant-garde” and nobody knew how and when will they penetrate the market. However, all of this happening at an accelerated pace and “…in 2008 we decided to develop the online business because we are an engineering company. It turned out we were on the right track”, says Milo Borisov.
In the early 1990s he graduated in Manufacturing Automation with an IT profile at the Senior Machines and Electrotechnical Institute in Sofia, now renamed to the Technical University. That is why Borisov turned his attention to the IT business which had found its application in the entertainment and gaming industry. Gradually, he entered the segment related to casino games and over the past 13 years the business he is successfully running has focused on creating a product port-folio the crucially important parts of which are two specific platforms. One of them is the remote game server – RGS – which allows the developer to provide its own games to customers who are business operators and have online gaming platforms for multiple territories not only in Europe, but also in Latin and Central America and in Africa.
The other tool is the online betting platform, which /after obtaining a license from the State Commission on Gambling/, operates under the brand Palms Bet. Thus, the two business lines develop under one umbrella: b2b, with a product created for other businesses and the online betting platform, which is b2c and is currently targeted singularly at the Bulgarian market.
Globally, the online gaming industry is a business that has been growing at double digit rates each year. Telematic Interactive Bulgaria complies with the legislative requirements valid for the markets on which it is present. The products are certified in international laboratories and the company works with many specialists not only for the creation of games, but also regarding the legal aspect of the business relations and the international standards. Telematic Interactive Bulgaria shows adaptability and flexibility when entering new markets or when changes requiring a quick response have to be implemented.
More and more countries are legalizing the online gaming industry, as the development of technology and 5G networks games become more and more attractive. The European logic is that “one way or another water flows so why not fill the dam…”
Milo Borisov and Rossi McKee are siblings. When she was a medical graduate in Sofia, he had already set up his own business and invited her to join in. Rossi took this step and both went on to build a business based on the strength that only a close knit family can have. She went to the United States and helped the company set foot on new territories. Her brother Milo is gaining experience in the markets of Asia and Africa thus allowing both of them to gain a global understanding of the gaming industry.
The success formula in a family business is built on trust and mutual support”, says Rossi McKee.
It is obvious that the company has set up a very good team that works on designing the games. Gaming content is specific and it can be created only by ambitious young professionals.
“The gaming industry is a complex mix of technology, creativity and art. We work not only with developer engineers, but also through a creative cooperation between artists, designers, composers”, explains Milo Borisov.
Good customer knowledge is crucial from where the need of careful in-depth market research. The games have to be adapted to the needs and requirements of each separate market. Close study of both the market and the consumers is key to the successful development of attractive products. It is an ongoing, daily process capable of offering the services people are looking for.
The experience gained over the years, in combination with the use of the latest technological innovations, are the main ingredients in our recipe for success”, says Lachezar Petrov, CEO of Telematic Interactive Bulgaria.
Another prerequisite for success is the ability to look ahead at a horizon with no limits. If obstacles arise we must be able to see not the barriers but the possibilities. To run a successful business in a dynamically changing environment you need to be an open-minded person, says Rossi McKee, a major shareholder in “Telematic Interactive Bulgaria”.
Bulgaria has become a technological hub in the gaming sector and indeed, many foreign companies operating in the sphere are setting up their own development centers here. The country boasts young specialists who are well prepared for such work although it is often difficult to find the right people to work in a team, as many of the proven professionals have commitments to foreign markets. It is the pride of “Telematic Interactive Bulgaria” that a team of motivated people, with a sense of belonging to the group, has already been created. Over 90% of employees have developed their skills and have grown professionally within the company. The philosophy of “Telematic Interactive Bulgaria” is to give all of them equal opportunity for expressing their ideas within the organization in the comfortable environment for creativity and guaranteed growth within the company`s structure.
In terms of personnel we are in a constant competition with the leaders in the industry. They want our specialists to work for them and we need to be better so that we can keep them for ourselves and to attract new people so that we can all grow” says Milo Borisov.
In this sector of the industry, the Bulgarian professionals already earn more than their counterparts in a number of European countries. If the team and the work environment provide opportunities for development, IT specialists and the people working in the creative industries enjoy the most favourable of conditions in Bulgaria and, indeed, more and more specialists who have worked abroad are now attracted to come back and work at home. And it turns out that companies operating in Bulgaria have higher profitability rates than their competitors in the West and quite often small teams operating in Bulgaria achieve results which are off-limits to much larger teams working in the West.
Life took the two siblings to different geographical locations where each of them spent a significant part of the time. Business in Bulgaria has remained as their priority but the opportunity to explore other cultures took the two main shareholders out of the narrower scope of thinking and gave them the sense to discover new business horizons. Rossi McKee and Milo Borisov`s father, for example, was an innovator too and it is he who taught them that “..everything anyone has ever achieved is because they did not think it was impossible”. Both are optimists who say that “the glass is half full”.
These are people accustomed to finding a solution to the “impossible”. It is an approach which they try to pass on to the company`s work teams plus the “winning” formula, which they see as finding the balance of people`s interests which will them make things happen in the best possible way. Wide open eyes, positivity, dialogue, delegation of responsibilities are the guiding principles which enable the teams to develop the business without being restricted by the shareholders. Lachezar Petrov, for example, used to work in the structures of the company but after Milo Borisov discovered in him a number of valuable qualities he gave him the chance to develop in the online business and since 2016 – thanks to his abilities and input – the results achieved have been impressive elevating Petrov to the position of CEO of Telematic Interactive Bulgaria.
Telematic Interactive Bulgaria is a socially responsible company and an active supporter of sports, culture and charity including a sponsorship for PFC Levski, support for various athletes, young talents and cultural events including the recently staged ballet Pilate’s Dream as well as activities related to environmental protection issues.
It is now 15 years since Telematic Interactive Bulgaria participates in a successfully developed joint venture with the largest German company in the gaming industry – Mercure. Their latest project is set up at the Millennium Grand Hotel in Sofia, where they have jointly built a large entertainment complex with an Asian and Mediterranean restaurant, an event center and a casino. The best of its kind on the Balkans.