Having recently celebrated his 18-year anniversary with Entain, we sat down with Craig, Senior Product Manager. From the people to Cheltenham Racecourse, discover what has kept Craig at Entain for so long as he continues to strive to do what's right.
Tell us a little bit about your role. Where are you based? What are your main responsibilities?
I’m a Senior Product Manager. I split my time between our London offices, home (Bromsgrove in the Midlands) and our fantastic retail estate. My role is to drive product development and prioritisation for retail and omni-channel.
I’m currently focused on assisting our electronic point of sale (EPOS) system development, supporting the prioritisation of features, stakeholder requirements and colleague feedback. I work closely with my product colleagues and the wider teams in Coral and Ladbrokes. I enjoy the exposure of working with our internal teams, third parties and, most of all, our retail shop colleagues and customers.
How long have you been with Entain? What has been your career journey within the organisation?
I’ve been with Entain for 18 years and feel lucky to have worked with such fantastic people in that time, as well as having had some great experiences. I started working in Ladbrokes retail shops in my hometown of Wednesfield in Wolverhampton. I was lucky enough to progress and went on to manage Ladbrokes shops and on-course operations around the West Midlands. I especially enjoyed managing Wolverhampton Racecourse and manually settling bets, as well as the Ladbrokes betting operation at Wolverhampton Wanderers. I’m a big Wolves fan and current season ticket holder, so that was a great opportunity.
I progressed to become Area Manager, the highlight being overseeing Ladbrokes shops in Birmingham and the Black Country, as well as Cheltenham Racecourse. Cheltenham remains a special place to me – our operations and the people that I was lucky enough to work with were amazing. I then moved into an omni-channel operations role, and the Ladbrokes Coral merger gave me a great opportunity to learn about the two brands and drive our omni-channel strategy – we remain the key omni-channel operator in the industry as our tech is second to none.
This is all complimented by our people. I enjoy being a point of contact for retail colleagues and internal stakeholders. With the GVC acquisition, I moved into a product role and have progressed to the role of Senior Product Manager. I get to work with virtually every aspect of the business, across the UK and globally, which has allowed me to create some really valued connections.
What initially attracted you to working here? What has kept you here for so long?
I love sport. That was a big driver for me, piquing my interest in the role. I also find betting and gaming interesting and enjoy working with people. I have ambition and have been given opportunities to develop and progress, which is a real attraction.
But it’s the people that are the biggest driver, whether that’s my direct reports, line managers or the colleagues I work with on a day-to-day basis. The industry and company remain exciting and innovating. The continued innovation, the striving for success, the resilience in the face of challenges and the desire to do things in the right way. This is why I’m still at Entain.
How would you describe the culture in your team?
The Product team culture has a strong work ethic and drive for success, and I believe that resonates throughout the team. We work with stakeholders and want to play a key part in driving our product proposition for colleagues and customers. We’re approachable and don’t take ourselves too seriously. But, ultimately, we get the job done in the right manner.
What advice would you give someone joining Entain?
Work hard, reach out to people and aim for the sky. If you look across the group, many colleagues have progressed and continue to develop and evolve. We all have a role to play – contribute, collaborate and don’t accept mediocrity.
What have been your favourite and most challenging moments?
I’ve been lucky that there have been so many: having the unique opportunity to drive omni-channel across two brands was fantastic; being involved currently with the EPOS project and working with great colleagues across the business; Cheltenham Racecourse was amazing; being Area Manager for hundreds of great colleagues over the years.
Some of the regulatory challenges have been difficult. However, we continue to meet these challenges and I firmly believe we will continue to drive responsible entertainment and support our customers in a socially responsible manner.
What excites you most about our changing to Entain and the spelling out of our new vision, purpose and strategy?
Technology innovation and omni-channel playing a fundamental part of our future. I believe in the need to continually evolve and at Entain we have a clear mandate to do this. I hope I can play a part in the company’s next chapter and drive success and innovation for our colleagues and customers.
One of our pillars is Do What’s Right. What does it means to you and why is it so important?
I believe in strong morals and integrity. These are important to me. I strive to live and breathe these values in my working week. It’s good and important to me that Entain has this as a value. The commitment to ensure we drive social responsibility, trade solely within regulated markets, as well as the continued support to colleagues globally during the COVID-19 pandemic is testament to this.
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