Mr. Vladimir Dokov, CEO at Euro Games Technology, gave an interview for Vagabond magazine, in which he speaks about how EGT became one of the biggest manufacturers and providers in the global gaming industry and what sets the company apart from its competitors, what are the markets it is aiming to expand in, the modernization plans for the future, how the 360-degree closed production cycle makes EGT almost entirely independent and why this is so important.
VLADIMIR DOKOV: CHANGING THE GAME
interview by Maria Petrova; photography by Nelly Tomova
The CEO of EGT on turning a local company into a global industry leader
Euro Games Technology (EGT) is an example of the concept that everything is possible when the right goals are set, and innovation goes together with strategic management and a winner’s mindset.
Established as a local manufacturer in 2002, EGT has grown to a tech-leader in the global gaming and casino industry, selling in five continents in over 100 countries. It has offices in 26 global locations managed by Bulgarians, who have built their careers within the company.
EGT is profiled in the development, production, and distribution of hardware and software solutions for the gaming industry, including slot machines, accessories, game mixes, and casino management systems. Aiming at independence and uncompromised quality, the company has implemented a 360-degree production cycle in its pursuit of perfection.
Vladimir Dokov has been the CEO of EGT since the very start, managing the overall operations and resources of EGT to achieve its long-range goals, related plans, and policies. He is overseeing the strategic direction of the company and its ongoing operations. His ambition and outstanding management talent are at the core of the EGT’s success. With the constant modernisation and optimisation of processes and production, he keeps leading EGT on its path to further expansion.
From a local manufacturer to an international leader in the gaming industry – how do you see the path to EGT's success today, what were the key steps in the right direction?
With 20 years of industry experience, we at EGT know how important it is to use the knowledge and expertise we have gained to continue to grow. One of the main principles we always follow has been to invest in innovation and in the potential of our employees. For us, these processes go hand in hand and this is undoubtedly one of the pillars of our success. The second important quality we possess is that we, as a team are all passionate about our projects! This is the winning formula that has driven our growth from the first days of the company until now. I am extremely proud of our achievements as a Bulgarian company, that has become synonymous with quality and innovation in our industry.
Your products and services are available in more than 100 countries, and you manage a team of over 2,500 people. What are the challenges in running a business on such a large scale?
We face different challenges but thanks to our approach and values, we manage to unite people in achieving common goals. The team is the core where everything begins. To be successful, it is extremely important to be flexible because the competition is huge. We are always looking for the new, the next solution. So, we make sure that we offer the best in entertainment to our partners. We think globally, but we apply a local approach to our work. This helps us a lot in building long-term relationships with our partners around the world.
What are the new markets in which you plan to operate?
There are still so many opportunities – we are in the process of expanding our sales team to meet the demand of the global markets and broaden our presence on the international gaming scene even further. While strengthening our partnerships on five continents and over 100 countries, in 2022, EGT aims to explore new territories and continue to grow together with our clients and partners.
What obstacles and difficulties does a local company that creates its products in Bulgaria face?
One of the increasingly rare difficulties is the initial distrust of foreign customers of products produced in Bulgaria. I am saying “increasingly rare” because the dedicated work of our specialists proves every day why we are one of the leaders in the international gaming casino market. As a challenge, albeit globally, I would also identify EGT's desire for gambling rooms to be perceived as entertainment centres.
How did you come up with the idea of a closed production cycle and how long did it take to realise it?
Our growth implies a desire for greater independence in all processes. An important guarantee for us, through which we can provide our global customers with even higher quality. Achieving a 360-degree production cycle is a long-term task that we have completed step by step. We can safely say that this has led to optimisation of processes and improvement of our work, which has made us a partner of high confidence. Keeping production in-house is the best way to ensure corporate standards are being met every step of the way.
Why is it important for EGT to produce most of the components itself?
In addition to the international certification of a number of processes, we also have our own extremely high standards for the quality, durability, and reliability of the systems. This helps us a lot to meet the demand and provide even more to our customers than they expect. In this way, we always manage to be highly competitive and diversify our sources without compromising the quality of the final product.
What sets you apart from the competition in the market?
The most important thing for us is that we are flexible, we follow the needs of our customers, and we are always there for them to find the best solution for their business. At the same time, we work hard without getting ahead of ourselves, carefully analysing our actions, processes, and desired results. Our sales team are more than consultants to our clients, which creates a favourable environment in which we do not just close deals but create long-term partnerships with a solid background. This is a big plus for both sides which we are of course proud of.
What elements does the EGT production base include?
There are many different elements involved in our production. Our material and technical base covers 5,000 sq.m and the manufacturing facility includes 4 main workshops, each of them equipped with modern high-performance machines. This allows us to provide a wide range of processes for our needs such as 3D CAD engineering, laser cutting, sheet bending, robotic welding, powder coating, and others.
We also take care of the final assembly of our products which includes hardware and software installation, logistics, and many other processes. Our quality of workmanship is guaranteed by management systems that cover all stages – something that is very important to us.
All these elements are a vital part of our 360-degree production cycle that includes everything – from slot machines, accessories, and game mixes to systems for complete control over casino operation.
At this moment, our manufacturing facility holds 20,000,000 materials from 6,854 different types, which we will use for producing 165 different products.
You emphasize the importance of the management systems you use, what makes them so important?
EGT has never stopped looking for new opportunities to improve its performance. That is why we implement and use a number of systems to ensure better performance of the various units. What I mean is systems that help our teams achieve better quality control and implement new strategies that secure deliveries to maintain and develop our partnerships. We have successfully implemented and use SAP ERP in our Head office and in many of our international offices. Тhis allowed us to optimise the production processes and gain faster and more complete access to financial records, thus achieving improved control and management. During the pandemic period, we optimised our production process by implementing the 20 keys of lean manufacturing, which helped our production team to further improve its work.
We have successfully implemented Field Service and Sales modules of Sales Force CRM system for our offices, and we are extremely proud of it, as it gives us better visibility of our opportunities and clients base.
What is the focus of your production modernisation plans?
We plan to introduce more modern technologies to support the work of our specialists. This includes automated warehousing systems and production lines, which will optimise our operating costs and facilitate processes. We plan to continue working to improve the functionality of existing systems and processes, such as the robotisation of specific phases of production. Our goal is to increase productivity and the level of service, which will allow us to be even more flexible and continue to give the best to our partners. Of course, in the path of digitalisation, we never forget that all systems are there to assist our team and to help it grow together with EGT.