Olgierd Cieślik is appointed CEO of Totalizator Sportowy, Poland – Our Interview

Totalizator Sportowy gets positioned for a new era of innovation and growth

Olgierd Cieślik graduated from the Faculty of Management and Marketing at the University of Economics in Katowice, and then graduated from the MBA Program for Finance at the School of Entrepreneurship and Management.

In the role of Member of the Management Board and Chief Financial Officer, he was responsible for the creation of financial strategies and the day-to-day management of finances of companies and capital groups at Netizens Ltd., AT Group SA, Cerg Sp. He undertook numerous projects aimed at increasing the value of companies as well as advisory projects for entrepreneurs nationwide.

Mr. Cieślik is knowledgeable about the functioning of capital markets and the principles of corporate governance.  Totalizator Sportowy , owner of the LOTTO brand in Poland, is a limited liability state-owned company, operating for more than 60 years in the lottery market.

Tell us about your training and working career.

Mr. Cieślik: For many years I managed companies from various sectors of the economy. I gained experience holding management board functions in companies and when working in a consulting firm, when I worked on complex projects for customers from many industries. I was responsible for creating long-term company strategies, business models, financial strategies and day-to-day management of the finances of companies and capital groups, including those listed on the stock exchange. I also took part in investment projects designed to increase the value of companies and to optimise the operations of businesses.

What were the primary functions in your prior positions?

Mr. Cieślik: I performed each task or project as if it were a new challenge for me. Even actions of ostensibly minor significance were important for me. I believe that is how we should work, i.e. engage our whole being in every project we undertake.

What is your vision to your new function?

Mr. Cieślik: We must above all remember that the Company I am pleased to manage is working not only for the state budget but also for the development of national sport and culture.  That’s why it’s essential for Totalizator Sportowy to optimize outcomes and effects in both those areas. It is therefore important to be in a process of continuous development and improvement: increasing the attractiveness of products, investing in employee development, and also, significantly, continuing to develop relations with the international community.

What is the current situation of your Lottery in your country?

Mr. Cieślik: The situation looks very good – last year we achieved the best financial result in our history. Apart from that, we are at a crossroads because on 1 April the new gambling act came into force. As a result of changes in the law, Eurojackpot will be starting in Poland in September. What is more, we can already introduce our lottery products into the internet and for mobile devices – which our customers had been expecting for many years. The company will also be operating in the field of automatic gaming machines and e-casinos. The activities of Totalizator Sportowy will no longer be limited to number games and money lotteries. This is a historic change, not just for us, but for the entire Polish gambling market.

What first actions will you take in this new function?

Mr. Cieślik: The first actions necessarily had to be geared towards accelerating and completing works intended to reorganise the company before entering new areas of the gambling market. This applies not only to reconstructing the company’s business strategy, but also to a change of thinking of company employees, who in a short period of time have to get used to working in new conditions and in a new business environment.

What will your lottery organization look like in 10 years?

Mr. Cieślik: At the European Lotteries Congress in Kraków we talked a great deal about the direction our industry is moving in. In a period of digital revolution – the development of the mobile market and the social media area – we have to be innovative. Traditional lottery games won’t become a thing of the past, but our products must keep pace with our customers. We have to be where the customer is. Customers must have access to them at all times and places. That’s why, in ten years’ time, I can see a company which is basing its sales strategies and channel mix on the latest technologies and trends, continuing to ensure that players have the greatest possible security. I also believe that in a decade Totalizator Sportowy will be a company that has been developing excellently in the field of e-casinos and low-winnings automatic machines.

What do you expect from EL and from your interaction with its Members?

Mr. Cieślik: I hope for a continuation of the existing cooperation, which favours the development of European lotteries. Exchanging experience and know-how often provides an inspiration for new and interesting activities. Nor can we ignore the fact that European lotteries are contributing considerably to the development of society. That’s why I believe that such areas as sport, culture, protection of the national heritage and health protection will continue to be supported.

What do you think are the benefits of being an EL Member?

Mr. Cieślik: Participating in meetings, conferences and the work of committees and working groups are all valuable benefits. I’m very pleased by the fact that Totalizator Sportowy’s representatives are present in such groups. It’s an extremely important element in cooperation between members and the organisation. For me, European Lotteries is an excellent platform where knowledge is exchanged, but it’s also a place where we speak with the same voice when it comes to caring for gamblers, social development and balanced development. After all, the organisation’s motto is “For the benefit of society”.

I’m also pleased by European Lotteries making constant efforts in the field of European legislation, and that we all work together to build a certain kind of solidarity among lottery operators.

In your opinion, what would a world without State Lotteries look like?

Mr. Cieślik: I can’t imagine a situation where there would be no companies supporting the development of sport, national culture or other important areas of social life on such a scale.  It would be an enormous loss, not only for society but also for individual economies – after all, members of European Lotteries contribute a total of 20 billion euros to them. Such a situation would be unimaginable. And anyway, a grey area would dominate the market. No one would care about gamblers any longer.

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Olgierd Cieślik a été nommé PDG de Totalizator Sportowy, Pologne.  Olgierd Cieślik a diverses expériences à son actif et a occupé plusieurs postes de direction dans différents secteurs économiques. Il a exercé des fonctions de direction au sein de conseils d'administration dans des entreprises et en tant que consultant dans un cabinet de conseil, où il a travaillé sur des projets complexes pour des clients opérant sur plusieurs secteurs. Il était responsable de l'élaboration des stratégies d'entreprise à long terme, des modèles économiques, des stratégies financières et de la gestion quotidienne des finances dans des entreprises et des groupes de capitaux, y compris au sein d'entités cotées en bourse. Il a également pris part à des projets d'investissement conçus pour augmenter la valeur des sociétés et optimiser l'exploitation d'entreprises. Olgierd Cieślik : « L'année dernière, Totalizator Sportowy a obtenu les meilleurs résultats financiers de notre histoire. Nous sommes désormais à la croisée des chemins, car la nouvelle loi sur le jeu est entrée en vigueur le 1er avril. En raison de l'évolution de la loi, Eurojackpot va commencer en Pologne en septembre. De plus, nous pouvons déjà introduire nos produits de loterie sur internet et les proposer sur les appareils mobiles. La société va également intervenir dans le domaine des machines automatiques et des casinos. C'est aussi pourquoi nos activités cesseront bientôt d'être associées uniquement aux jeux de chiffres et aux loteries d'argent. C'est une évolution historique, non seulement pour nous, mais aussi pour la totalité du marché du jeu en Pologne. Nous allons accélérer et terminer des travaux destinés à réorganiser l'entreprise avant de pénétrer de nouveaux domaines du marché du jeu. Cela s'applique non seulement à la reconstruction de la stratégie commerciale de l'entreprise, mais aussi au changement de mentalité des employés de l'entreprise, qui devront s'habituer en un temps court à de nouvelles conditions de travail et à un nouvel environnement commercial. La participation aux réunions, aux conférences et aux travaux des comités et des groupes de travail est un des grands avantages dont bénéficient les membres d'EL. Je suis très heureux de voir que des représentants de Totalizator Sportowy sont présents dans ces groupes. C'est un élément extrêmement important dans la coopération entre les membres et l'organisation, et c'est l'occasion pour nous de parler d'une même voix quand il s'agit de prendre soin des joueurs, du développement social et de créer un développement équilibré. Après tout, la devise de l'organisation n'est-elle pas « Au bénéfice de la société » ? »
Olgierd Cieślik ha sido nombrado director ejecutivo de Totalizator Sportowy, Polonia.  Olgierd Cieślik tiene a sus espaldas una carrera como gerente en diversos sectores de la economía distintos al de la lotería. Adquirió experiencia trabajando en el consejo de administración en varias empresas y en una consultora, en la que se ocupó de proyectos complejos para clientes de numerosos sectores. Era el responsable de crear estrategias a largo plazo en la empresa, modelos de negocio y estrategias financieras, así como de realizar las gestiones cotidianas de las finanzas de empresas y de grupos de inversión, incluyendo las que cotizan en bolsa. Asimismo, ha participado en proyectos de inversión diseñados para aumentar el valor de las empresas y optimizar las operaciones de los negocios. Olgierd Cieślik: “El año pasado, Totalizator Sportowy alcanzó el mejor resultado financiero de la historia. Ahora nos encontramos en una encrucijada, porque el 1 de abril entrará en vigor la nueva ley sobre juego. Como resultado de los cambios en dicha ley, Eurojackpot comenzará a operar en Polonia en septiembre. Por añadidura, ya podemos ofrecer nuestros productos de lotería en Internet y para dispositivos móviles. La empresa también operará en el sector de máquinas automáticas y casinos electrónicos. Ese es otro motivo por el que nuestras actividades pronto dejarán de asociarse solamente con juegos de números y loterías con premios económicos. Esto es un cambio histórico no solo para nosotros, sino para todo el mercado polaco del juego. Aceleraremos y terminaremos el trabajo previsto para reorganizar la empresa antes de adentrarnos en nuevas áreas del mercado del juego. Con esto, no nos referimos únicamente a reconstruir la estrategia comercial de la empresa, sino también a un cambio en la forma de pensar de los empleados, que tendrán que acostumbrarse en poco tiempo a trabajar en unas condiciones y en un ambiente nuevos. Entre las valiosas ventajas que conlleva ser miembro de EL están la posibilidad de participar en reuniones y conferencias, así como ser parte de comités y grupos de trabajo. Estoy muy contento de que los representantes de Totalizator Sportowy estén presentes en tales grupos. Se trata de un elemento extremadamente importante para la cooperación entre los miembros y la organización, y para que hablemos con una única voz cuando tengamos que cuidar de los jugadores, del desarrollo social y del equilibrio entre las partes. Después de todo, el lema de la organización es “En beneficio de la sociedad”.”
Olgierd Cieślik zum CEO von Totalizator Sportowy, Polen, ernannt.  Olgierd Cieślik hat einen vielfältigen Management-Hintergrund in verschiedenen Wirtschaftsbereichen. Er sammelte Erfahrung in Managementfunktionen bei Unternehmen und einer Beratungsfirma, in der er an komplexen Projekten für Kunden aus verschiedenen Branchen arbeitete. Er war verantwortlich für die Erstellung langfristiger Unternehmensstrategien, Geschäftsmodelle und Finanzstrategien sowie das Finanztagesgeschäft von unter anderem auch börsennotierten Unternehmen und Kapitalgruppen. Er nahm zudem an Investitionsprojekten zur Steigerung des Unternehmenswertes und der Optimierung von Betriebsabläufen teil. Olgierd Cieślik: „Letztes Jahr hat Totalizator Sportowy das beste Finanzergebnis seiner Unternehmensgeschichte erzielt. Wir befinden uns jetzt an einem Scheideweg, da am 1. April das neue Glücksspielgesetz in Kraft trat. Infolgedessen wird ab September Eurojackpot in Polen angeboten. Zudem können wir unsere Lotterieprodukte bereits über das Internet und auf Mobilgeräten anbieten. Das Unternehmen wird zudem auch in den Bereichen Glücksspielautomaten und e-Casinos tätig sein. Dementsprechend werden wir bald nicht mehr nur für Zahlenspiele und Geldlotterien bekannt sein. Das ist eine historische Veränderung – nicht nur für uns, sondern für den gesamten polnischen Glücksspielmarkt. Wir werden Initiativen zur Neustrukturierung des Unternehmens vorantreiben und abschließen, bevor wir neue Segmente des Glücksspielmarktes ins Visier nehmen. Das gilt nicht nur für die Neuausrichtung der Geschäftsstrategie des Unternehmens, sondern auch nur für eine Einstellungsänderung bei unseren Mitarbeitern, die sich in kurzer Zeit an neue Arbeitsbedingungen und ein neues Geschäftsumfeld gewöhnen müssen. Die Teilnahme an Meetings und Konferenzen sowie die Arbeit von Komitees und Arbeitsgruppen sind wertvolle Vorteile der EL-Mitgliedschaft. Ich freue mich sehr, dass Mitglieder von Totalizator Sportowy in solchen Gruppen vertreten sind. Dies ist von enormer Bedeutung für die Zusammenarbeit zwischen den Mitgliedern und dem Verband. So können wir besser mit einer Stimme sprechen, um uns für Spieler, sozialen Fortschritt und eine ausgeglichene Entwicklung einzusetzen. Das Motto des Verbands ist schließlich „Zum Wohle der Gesellschaft“.“

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