- Nov 15 • 2 years ago
Walk & Talk with Dexter Cutajar 3 of 3: NetRefer’s Next Foray into New and Emerging Markets
In this final part of our conversation, Dexter will level with us about the company’s long-term strategies and the next step of entering exciting new and emerging markets and regions.
Dexter, in talking to you, it’s clear that you’re someone with a strategic mindset; someone with a high-level overview of the company’s operation and the industry as a whole. And so, in that sense, it seems like this choice of location – the Lascaris War Rooms – seems particularly appropriate. Talk a little about that and what motivated the choice of this location.
Choosing this location was truly a no-brainer. Especially, if you look at what we’ve been doing within and outside of the business, and our journey over the past 3-4 years. And, we’re currently at a place, where we’ve worked ourselves through the business and the industry; understanding the appropriate positioning. And, just like we’re seeing this map here in this room, now, we have clear visibility as to what lies ahead. We’ve done all the grunt work. Now, we got to a point where we can really start benefitting from the work we’ve done.
In my role as Head of Commercial at NetRefer, one of the biggest challenges is ensuring that you are positioned well enough to have that strategic oversight. By strategic oversight, I mean being able, through understanding data, to understand tangible facts, and we have a lot of data. We’re positioned in the industry and market in a way because the value proposition provides us with sufficient data, where, in analysing and interpreting that, you can really see the trends unfolding before your eyes.
It all starts from the individual partners and clients. From there, you start to form a map and you start seeing those trends. And that’s when you start setting out and predetermining what needs to happen within 6 or 12 or 18 months-time. For you to be able to determine that, you still need to have the long-term know. So, as we were saying previously, where will we be in 2030? For us to get there by 2030, where does the business need to be in 2028, 2025, 2024, and so on? And so, you keep working your way backwards until you get to a point where you can ask where you have to be by this time next month.
If I understand correctly, you’ve got telemetry from your platform about how your partners are using the product. And that allows you to gain insights into where the business is headed in the years ahead. Am I understanding correctly?
We have telemetry coming from the platform as well as from interactions with our clients; from sitting down with different industry leaders and understanding what has become a new concern, what has been resolved, how we look to the future. All of this is data. Even during a simple session with one of our clients, you can gather data, which then, when mapped out, starts to give you full visibility of things to come.
The roadmap materialises ahead of you.
Yes. Where it really starts to become intricate is when you start taking all those pieces of data coming from different departments within NetRefer and you start putting them together in order to form your business roadmap.
When I joined NetRefer, one of the first conversations I had with Raphael (CEO) was about how he had a vision of changing the industry, starting from the business and taking an inside-out approach.
That’s interesting because NetRefer is well-known in the industry as an affiliate marketing platform. But operationally, how are things going to change in the road ahead according to your conversations with Raphael?
The conversations I’ve had with Raphael as well as the ones I’ve had with Jackey (CPO) – the generals of this business. And making sure that we interpret them well enough in order to execute on that vision.
Now, operations are changing. All we’ve been doing over the past years is changing them, ensuring operational stability, so that we can start executing on that vision. Now, we’re at a point where each and every function within the business, which is represented by the different departments, which internally is represented by the different divisions – Commercial being one of them – can support the achievement of that vision.
Again, we have our values – Clear, Fair and Trusted. How do we incorporate these values into everything we do? Hand in hand with the values, we also have our mantra – and our mantra says that we want to do things differently. But for you to do things differently, you need to see things clearly first. And again, for you to see things clearly, you really need to start by having a grasp or understanding of the ins and out of the business. Not only NetRefer’s business but also that of our clients and partners.
That makes sense. Now, tying that into the overall geographical overview, what regions do you see a lot of growth happening in iGaming, and regions that you’ve got your sights on as a company? And from the standpoint of someone with commercial training, how is iGaming changing as we move ahead into the years to come?
Different regions are in different situations at the moment. So, if we look at the European market, we see that it’s going through a consolidation. It’s been going through this consolidation for a couple of years now. And I believe, this will continue to happen for the next few years.
Would you say that it’s quite mature as a market?
Yes, it’s quite mature. Then, you have other industries, which are still emerging. We have Latin America and the U.S., which in my opinion, is about to explode. We are seeing the giants of the iGaming industry currently operating within the European market, that are looking at the U.S. as the next big thing.
For us, tying in what what we were saying earlier, we’re there to support our clients. In doing so, we need to make sure that we’re following suit. For NetRefer, the U.S. will be the next frontier. And we’re already getting up to supporting operations within Latin America, in Asia, and in Russia.
Presumably, each one of those arenas has a very different regulatory environment.
Regulation is now playing a huge role. As the different markets start to realise the potential that comes with an industry like iGaming, we’re seeing more and more regulated markets come to fruition.
Regulation, in itself, carries with it different challenges. Again, it all comes from understanding the different needs of the different businesses.
Very interesting strategic insights, Dexter, thank you. And thank you also for introducing me to the Lascaris War Rooms – a very fascinating slice of Mediterranean history. It was great having you talk with me today and I’m looking forward to our next in the series Walk & Talk with NetRefer.
You’re very welcome and thank you for this opportunity.
Watch the next entry in our Walk & Talk series with NetRefer’s Head of Business Operations – Charlie Williams.
A special thank you goes out to Andrew Bonello for conducting the interview.
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