Interview with Gene Chayevsky, General Manager, BMM Europe, and Managing Director of BMM’s Branch in Romania
VP, Europe and South America
1. We know that BMM has been very active in the Romanian market for several years, focusing on providing certification and audit services to Romanian iGaming operators and that you work with several local gaming manufacturers to help them bring their products to markets outside of Romania. We now hear that you are opening a lab in Romania. Is this true?
While we have been preparing quietly for the launch of our lab in Bucharest over the past few months, we are now thrilled to be able to officially confirm that BMM established a branch office in Bucharest in April 2018 and we have launched our commercial operations at the end of June.
Our Bucharest lab will be focused on expanding our existing Romanian business to new segments, which can only be serviced through a significant local presence – providing certification services for gaming equipment manufacturers for games sold or placed in the Romanian market (through issuance of type approvals) and on conducting periodic and verification inspections of gaming equipment placed in the market. In addition, our Bucharest office will allow us to provide closer support to our existing iGaming customers and to our local gaming manufacturing customers with respect to their international certifications. Our customers are excited to have BMM even closer to them!
2. Sounds like you are making a significant commitment to Romania. Why now?
We have had a very positive experience with our Romanian customers over the years and have been monitoring and studying the local market opportunity since 2016. While we were initially “invited” to open a local office in 2017, the timing was not right for us and we did not have a strong local team to get started. All that changed for us in 2018 – and with the continued growth of the market and continuing expressions of interest from our customers, we decided to move and move quickly. And yes, our commitment is serious and long term, with Romania becoming an important part of our European business.
3. Are you concerned about your competitors – the local metrology market is dominated by a state- owned monopoly BRML – how can you compete with such an established player?
We of course looked at the issue of competition very carefully before making an investment to open a local lab. After studying the market, the competition, and speaking with our existing Romanian customers and global customers active in the local market about our potential market entry, we were encouraged to hear from our customers that they have a strong interest in having BMM as an option in Romania.
While BRML is certainly a very strong and established competitor with high quality trained professionals, we felt that the market is open to a new player – a large, global private testlab like BMM that can introduce some innovation and efficiencies to the market and offer customers greater choice for their metrology services.
We also were encouraged by the presence in the market of two smaller Romanian labs, who also apparently felt confident in entering the market and competing with BRML. Increased competition usually generates greater value for customers and is healthy for growth and maturity of any market and BMM’s philosophy is always in favor of finding ways to generate value for customers – if we do that, our customers will reward us, and our business will continue to grow.
Also, very importantly, we felt comfortable with our ability to execute on our plan through great local partners and staff, who bring extensive market experience and credibility and should allow us to achieve a rapid launch and build a long-term business that becomes an important part of the Romanian gaming industry.
4. Sounds like you have a lot of confidence in your team. Tell me about them. Who will be managing your operations in Bucharest and how will you be set up to provide services across the country?
Our operations in Bucharest are part of our existing business in Europe and will be managed by our senior European team, including myself and Marc Lee, Senior Vice President of Operations for Europe and South America.
In addition, we have teamed up with a very well-known figure in the Romanian gaming industry – Dan Ghita, president of Rombet, as our local partner and advisor.
We have also been fortunate to bring on board Carmen Olteanu, former head of Inspection Services at BRML, to head up this area for BMM in Romania. With Carmen’s 17 years of gaming industry metrology experience and deep industry relationships, combined with our processes and technology, we are confident that we will be able to provide a very high level of service to all customers!
BMM has already hired a network of experienced inspectors based in all major areas of the country and are offering inspection services country wide since the first day of operations.
We of course are also providing type approvals to our manufacturing clients from our Bucharest office.
We will also consider adding dedicated iGaming certification resources to our lab to work with our existing and new potential iGaming customers.