During his session about maximizing revenue at Casual Connect Eastern Europe 2014, Andrei Dementjev also provided a bit of advice to those listening: “Stop ignoring 50 percent of your audience.”
Andrei Dementjev works within the mobile operator relations department as the vice president of operations at Fortumo. When Dementjev first started at Fortumo, the company was just getting started and the team was relatively small. The business idea was much more local and targeted at very specific markets. Even though the company and its goals were small, it was still a challenging opportunity for Dementjev. Now, he has been the leading Fortumo payment coverage expansion strategy for the last five years. When asked what he does at Fortumo, Dementjev says, “operations is all about stress, incident management and expansions. [There is] unbelievable multitasking and project priorities changing every day.” Some of these changes which Fortumo has faced over time were when they shifted from desktop to mobile and then from dumb phones to smart devices. Both of these changes presented completely different challenges in payment flow, UI, and use cases.
Fortumo currently covers a network of 300 operators in 81 countries from Albania to Vietnam. Fortumo is unique as it focuses on emerging markets in Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa. It is in these areas that mobile payments can make a tremendous difference. According to Fortumo’s website, “Fortumo is now enabling developers to effectively make money from more countries . . . than any other mobile payment provider”. A large part of this success is that Fortumo was the first to fill the niche in emerging markets, and it offers instant activation and self-service setup.
With millions of new smartphone users in existence (and prior to released games), Dementjev strongly believes that emerging markets are coming on strong in the gaming industry. As the use of smartphones spreads, game developers are faced with all sorts of new challenges. These challenges are occurring because the product is new to the audience. The “normal” or expected behavior of people whom are introduced to these products for the first time is different than the challenges the gaming industry has tackled before.
Favorite Passions and Past-times
Dementjev stays positive because it keeps him motivated and able to conquer the challenges he faces. In his free time, he enjoys cycling and photography. His favorite subjects to photograph include big city nightlife and beautiful Estonian nature. He also likes all varieties of active team sports. When asked about F2P games, Dementjev said that he has both a love and hate relationship with them. He loves them because they bring “great games to the masses.” His hate of F2P games springs from the fact that “it kills smaller games, genres, and niches.” Andrei’s favorite gaming platform to play on is Xbox Kinect because it is fun and it is a great way to play with friends. In fact, the only console that Dementjev owns is Xbox 360 because of the Kinect.
The Future and Fortumo’s Role
The single event which changed how Dementjev viewed Fortumo was the first popularity boost of Android devices. The Android devices had a “very quick market share rise and ecosystem development”. Fortumo embraced this and was the first company that released a mobile payment product on Android. The proudest moment in Dementjev’s carrier was when Fortumo launched payments coverage in 80th market, saying “every new expansion is unique and unforgettable, with it’s own problems and solutions”. In Dementjev’s opinion, in the next three to five years, the many variations of smart devices such as phones, fridges, wearables, tablets, glasses, and cars will keep growing. These new devices will interact and communicate with each other in innumerable ways. Fortumo’s role in this will be to ensure proper content and game monetization in emerging markets around the world.
Emily Baker is the Production Supervisor for www.gamesauce.biz. Emily loves learning about cultures, taking care of her hobby farm and spending time with her two kiddos.