The SEOBROTHERS team recently had a chance to sit down with Denis Dzyubenko – CIS Region Director at SIGMA Group – and get his valuable insights on team management, marketing and company values.
1. Hi Denis and thank you for taking the time for the interview! Alexandr Kosohov, whom we interviewed earlier, described you as “one of the best professionals in the iGaming industry”. What achievements have created such a reputation for you? :)
Hi guys, great being here today with you!
Well, Alex Kosohov is a good soul 🙂 I think the best that describes a man being a Man is always following on what you say. iGaming industry is a very volatile and not only in slots RTPs, but also in human relations. I prefer to stick to the rule of following on what I say & do and get such feedbacks like Alex gave you, neither to play crazy “rollercoasters” on a distance.
2. It's been more than five years since you joined SiGMA - the famous event and media organisation in the gambling niche. How your job and everyday life as a CIS Director has changed since last year?
Good old times… Well, when I was joining SiGMA almost 6 years ago, there were not even a thought that my position will change from just a sales guy into someone bigger. I started my path with this company when SiGMA was only 10 people when nowadays we have over 150. Every year is different, with the speed at which the company is growing, you can’t be slow in anything you do, so its an example of a balance between growing fast and achieving the goals! A human being does not develop if “tomorrow” he doesn’t do more than he did “yesterday”!
3. SiGMA is mainly known for its amazing exhibitions. What are the other projects of the company you wish people talked about more?
Interesting question, thank you for this one! Well, I must admit that when the events industry was struggling from COVID-19 almost in every part of the World, our Leader and Founder, Eman Pulis, made a super move and brought to life the idea of building a media company, which later brought to business and industry an excellent SiGMA Play website. Ofc the main push is going into physical summits and conferences, however, we also started pushing the Affiliate part and for a short period of time (1,5 years) & I’m proud saying this, we’re getting good ranking through Ahrefs and continue growing our strength globally. And with hiring more translators, now our website is reachable and can be understood all over the world!
4. Apart from a law degree, what helped you to be elected to the Expert Advisory Council of the Gambling & Lottery Regulation Commission of Ukraine?
You know me well if you found out info about my law degree. In 2020 I’ve returned to Ukraine after almost 4 years being and living in Malta. I was full of enthusiam and ready to concur the mountains and bringing european experience and way of making business to my Motherland! I remember it was August 2020, just after Mr President Zelenskiy signed the bill for regulation, I gathered more than 240 industry experts under one roof at our famous SiGMA iGathering Networking Dinner at Premier Palace hotel in the heart of the center of the wonderful city of Kyiv. It all started back those days. Fellow colleagues were coming and bringing their friends, business partners, influencers etc. Almost everyday I was holding around 10 meetings and on some occasions even more. Ukrainian igaming and gambling market is not that big as you might think, however, back those days it was growing up fast and I appeared to be in the center of it. Ofc SiGMA Group and its Name were the first one to support. Even in Ukraine, SiGMA was already a well known event. Step by Step I met some nice people with whom we went reaching up and opening new doors.
5. What do you think the future holds for iGaming licensing for the CIS region?
For me personally, this is a painful point. I’ll explain.
I was a young romantic, I believed in miracles and in the possibilities of the country, I believed that things would finally go smoothly, while today I no longer believe in the gambling business of Ukraine. I believe that several inhouse market giants will “divide” Ukraine among themselves and that’s it .. No foreign investment, no foreign expertise, no foreign operators and large holdings will enter the market. First, the deterrent now, of course, is the war and russian aggression against Ukraine. Secondly, the trends in the development of the gambling industry show that none of the above is expected or doesn’t want to be seen in our Ukraine! Literally 2 years ago, Ukraine was in the headlines of all gambling media publications as a promising emerging market, and what do we have now? Licenses are issued, then they are revoked (for understandable and incomprehensible reasons), the tax law has not been adopted, the register of gamblers has not been completed and not brought into proper form etc.
6. What advice would you give to a person, aspiring to work in the field of gambling regulation?
I am not the person who likes to give advices to be fair but I believe that any person who wants to grow in any industry, when achieving some results, should not spray on secondary branches, but should be focused on 100% results and move confidently towards his goals.
7. What do you do in your free time, if you have any? :) Is there anything special we could expect from you in the nearest future?
FAMILY! Family is thew most important. I really try to spend my non-working time with my wife and daughter, showing them and myself new places, new countries, different cultures and binging more bright light into our lives.
The War is still happening, people I love and take care of were forced to move and now are spread all around the Globe for their safety, so I’d rather prefer to pack my bag and go travelling to meet them neither choose a club to party or a mojito on the beach. So seeing me one day in UK, other day in Germany or Hungary, a week after in France or Poland – this is what can be expected 🙂
I consider myself as a friendly person, I’m always glad to meet new people, share my thoughts/experience & listen to others. “Special” is a good word, but when life is One and Special – everything and everywhere is Special. Follow me on my social channels and in case you need me, I’ll be there for you!
do you want to work on cool projects together?
We are building a professional community and looking for new members to join our team. Check out our careers page and see where you fit with SEObrothers!