This week, industry veteran Lars Kollind joined casino software provider Swintt in the newly-created role of head of business development. Marese O’Hagan speaks to Kollind about his new role, future plans and which territories Swintt could expand into next.
Lars Kollind’s new role at Swintt has been years in the making. Although he had previously held a variety of positions at iSoftBet, Playson and Aspire Global, Kollind had his eye on working for a game developer for quite some time.
“For the last six years, a good part of my career was moving over to the game supplier side of the industry and selling those products,” he says. “It’s been going tremendously well.”
The plan developed gradually. In those six years, he served as the head of business development at iSoftBet, senior business development manager at Playson and global sales director at Aspire Global. He believes this will benefit Swintt in a unique way – mainly, in growing its contact network.
“In all my roles – even way back when I had a consultancy firm – have been within the gaming industry, doing B2B sales,” he says. “So it comes naturally that Swintt will benefit from my experience and my contacts and everything that I’ve built for the last, let’s say 10 years.”
“Now, I can be the person who pushes us to new markets, as I mentioned, but also acquire customers that were possibly out of reach before.”
This experience culminated in Kollind’s recent move to Swintt. Ultimately, Kollind says his decision to move rested on Swintt’s industry reputation, as well as what it offers.
“From a personal perspective, I’ve been following Swintt’s development since they launched and I really like how they portray the company and the image that they have in terms of being the ‘friendly guy’ within the gaming industry,” he says. “Obviously, I also like the products that they have, which makes it for me.”
“If I join any company, I need to be 100% or 110% sure that I can proudly stand behind the product, and I can for sure do that with Swintt.”
Having held similar roles before, Kollind has somewhat hit the ground running. Locking down new, bigger clients is clearly a priority, as is creating a plan of action for pursuing them.
“At the start, obviously I’m going to focus on following the success that Swintt had before by signing key clients and focusing on development, and hopefully signing bigger clients – tier one clients in regulated markets all over the world,” says Kollind. “Also to develop business plans, so that we can compare different markets and see where we’re going to enter first, so we know that we’re making a correct business decision.”
Searching for opportunity
Market expansion forms a large part of Kollind’s role. He will play a major part in scoping out potential new markets to enter, and further down the line, he will be charged with cultivating the ideal team to support business moves such as these.
“I’m going to be the person who’s going to have to evaluate and do the research,” he continues. “Based on my feedback, we then decide which markets we’re going to enter.”
“My long term goal is – let’s say within 6 to 12 months, once we have I have established myself within the company, to grow a small team of people under me so we can work together to reach the targets.”
Following a few turbulent years for the industry amid covid and a difficult macroeconomic and regulatory environment, one may be forgiven for assuming companies are taking any expansion slowly right now. But Swintt has a hectic year planned, with concrete plans to enter several burgeoning markets in 2023.
“This year, we are aiming to enter seven markets,” says Kollind. “We just got the UK licence in 2022, so that’s going be launched very soon.”
“On top of that, we have the key markets such as Ontario, Romania, Switzerland and Italy, which have been proven to be important markets right now since the gaming industry is moving towards a more regulated scene.”
As it happens, a drive towards regulation was one of the concepts that pushed Kollind towards Swintt in the first instance.
“The fact that I’m a big fan of going towards regulation for the gaming industry so we can become sustainable, and the way Swintt are doing that and are pushing for regulated markets is basically perfect for my mindset,” he says.
For Kollind, a smooth transition into his new role will be key in fostering harmony between Swintt’s business ventures and bold expansion plans.
As he says himself, “We go where the big clients are, and where the companies have the most success”.
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