SBC News Nir Saadon, 10bet: a ‘copy and paste’ approach won’t work in Africa

Nir Saadon, 10bet: a ‘copy and paste’ approach won’t work in Africa

SBC News Nir Saadon, 10bet: a ‘copy and paste’ approach won’t work in AfricaWith “decades of experience” in different international betting markets, 10bet is confident that it can transfer this knowledge to its African operations. But something that will help drive the company’s expansion across the continent is its focus on localisation. 

Nir Saadon (right), Chief Operating Officer 10bet Africa, spoke to SBC News about the need for gambling operators to offer a bespoke package of products, services and operations when entering a new market, warning that those who implement a “copy and paste” strategy do so at their own risk.

SBC: How are you planning to draw upon your expertise in international markets to drive 10Bet’s growth across Africa? 

10bet has close to two decades of international know-how and we consider ourselves experts when laying the groundwork for penetrating new markets. I will not disclose all our secrets, but I will outline some of our most important focus areas regarding our operation in Africa. 

Localisation

We know how important localisation is to commercial growth, and this is one of the key aspects we’re focusing on. I’m talking about localisation of product, offering, services, operations. We never approach a market with a copy and paste strategy, but we do rigorous research, invest in developing strategies and tools that will best serve this market and then implement them. 

Of course, constant analysis, development and improvement are an essential part of the game. We also like to brag that we have some of the best technology and people in the industry that help us in this process. 

For decades we created, analysed, and improved our models and technology, always staying ahead of the curve. 10bet has proprietary business, strategy, trading, acquisition, and retention models. Player experience is our top priority, so we know how to create the most user-friendly journeys for each market. 

The other part of the equation is the human factor. With our customer-centric approach we want to be close to our bettors. Therefore, 10bet has operational hubs in every market we’re present in. We hire local teams, train them, develop them, and trust them to drive our business forward. We’ve learned that excellent people and high-end tech is all you really need.

Automation

In order to be fast and agile and to move with the pulse of the business, we invest heavily in automation of processes. Every big idea is automated immediately, and every human decision is documented in a way that makes operating 10bet easy even for people who have never run a betting site. We create outstanding automated customer journeys, automatically tailored to the specific interests in each market and each player segment.

I will spare the technical lingo and will put it simply – we take manual processes and automate them; this makes us faster in adapting to market needs. 10bet creates personalised experiences at scale that bring the best of artificial intelligence (AI) and human support together. 

Speed & Payments 

The faster a player has access to their funds, the happier they are. Africa is very different in this regard as well – there are different payment systems compared to developed countries. We had to localise our payment methods in many cases country by country. 

We’ve been successful in establishing strong local partnerships and 10bet’s players can take advantage of each country’s major payment methods, such as vouchers, cards, EFTS and mobile money. Not only this, but we can claim that in South Africa we will provide our bettors with the fastest withdrawals in the country (all in line with KYC and AML policies of course). 

Compliance Expertise

Legal issues can greatly jeopardise the growth of the gambling business in some parts of Africa. The continent doesn’t have a long history in online gambling and while local authorities are figuring out the best frames to legalise betting, we need to be extremely adaptive as the legal frames are vastly different. 

In some places there are strict limitations imposed on gambling operations by government agencies, so a strong compliance team with local support is essential for successful operation in every African market. We have complete confidence in the expertise of our compliance and legal teams and our local partners. 

SBC: 10Bet is now live in four African markets. How have you ensured that you have effectively localised your offering to each of these markets? 

We’ve done our research, we have our operational expertise and we’re constantly analysing and adapting. 

In every African market where 10bet is operational we have a locally customised UI, unique offers that are of interest to the local bettors, custom acquisition and retention strategies, local teams that take care of the customer satisfaction and local operations. 

And it works – for less than a year we have over half a million registered players and millions of bets accepted. 10bet’s app and betting methods are quickly becoming a preferred choice of local online bettors. And thanks to our localisation strategy, we have very high customer satisfaction rates.

SBC: With that in mind, what have been the biggest differences in your offering in these countries? Are there certain sports that appeal to certain bettors, but not others?

We have everything – every sport, every league, thousands of betting markets, exciting live betting options, huge range of slots and casino games. So, once a bettor lands in the 10bet universe, there’s something for everyone. 

If I have to generalise, I would say Africans are predominantly soccer fans, but it depends on the time of the year, what competitions are in the calendar, etc. For example, while Zambia is predominantly soccer oriented, there’s more diversity in the sports interest in South Africa towards not only soccer, but also cricket and rugby. 

SBC: As we understand, 10Bet carried out a series of tweaks to ensure that your product was optimised for mobile bettors. What have been the key challenges in doing this?

In Africa there are a lot of technology and infrastructure limitations – data is very expensive, bandwidth and connectivity are limited. There’s also a phenomenon where for a lot of people the first time they interact with the internet is through their mobile phones – a lot don’t own a desktop. 

We had to strip our product of all the ‘flashy’ stuff to accommodate the requirements of low-tech mobile phones and also develop SMS betting for the bettors that don’t have smartphones. We managed to keep the content light, but engaging despite the region’s data challenges. 

10bet’s Africa-facing sites and apps have a clean, workable interface that is a pleasure for our audience to navigate. We’re also one of the few operators in Africa that provides a comprehensive mobile site and a dedicated mobile app. The mobile site and app are fast, functional and offer all the same bets and functionality offered by the desktop site.

SBC News Nir Saadon, 10bet: a ‘copy and paste’ approach won’t work in AfricaSBC: Tell us about some of your partnerships with local football teams – how are these helping expand your brand presence? How will these investments help support local communities?

Part of our strategic focus to grow a sustainable business is to invest in local communities. Currently, we’re the proud sponsors of several football clubs: Red Arrows in Zambia and  Dodoma Jiji in Tanzania. 

We also immerse ourselves into the community by supporting various local sports clubs. For example: we gave out football kits to 14 teams in the Ndondo Cup in Tanzania and we had similar activities in Zambia and Kenya. This approach would also be a focus for our operational success in South Africa. 

As I already mentioned, we want to stay close to our players and we emerge ourselves in the local communities to better understand the culture and to support it. 

SBC: Finally, can we expect further expansion into more African markets in the near future? 

At the moment we’re focusing on the current African markets we operate in – South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. With the dynamic market landscape, we want to make sure that 10bet becomes one of the market leaders in every operational market we’re present, offering the best possible product and customer service to our bettors, and then focus on further expansion in Africa. 

Our long-term strategy is to have a Pan-African operation, so expanding in more African countries is definitely in our pipeline. 

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