Åsne Havnelid has been appointed the new CEO of Norsk Tipping. The former Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross, Havnelid succeeds Torbjørn Almlid who will stay at Norsk Tipping as a special advisor to the CEO for an interim period. ‘
La Fleur’s Magazine interviewed Havnelid on the major challenges facing state-owned European lotteries today.
“I have to start by pointing out that I have just started as CEO of Norsk Tipping and that my background is not from within this sector, but from sports, business and the humanitarian sector,” noted Havnelid. “With that said, in our new corporate strategy Norsk Tipping has pointed out a few perspectives that addresses your question. I want to highlight two, the need for major strategic innovation and the need to profoundly change our current operations.
“Of course, any company must focus on continuous renewal and development. But we are entering a phase where we need to acknowledge the need for more emphasis on strategic innovation. The world around is changing very rapidly due to the more and more rapid digitalization we see around us. We have to accept that this will affect our sector as fundamentally as it has changed for instance media, entertainment and banking and which will affect many other sectors in the coming years,” she said.
“Customer behavior is changing, our products are changing, our distribution is changing and the fundamentals in our current business model are changing. Just as an example of the latter point—it is easy to see how our reliance on nationally defined marketplaces are challenged. In short: We have to realize that we are on the brink of a paradigm shift and act accordingly,” stressed Havnelid.
“Which brings me over to the second point: operational change. The same paradigm shift does not only require that we renew our offering, we have to think new on our operations and the way we organize our operations. We need to rethink our long-term goals and priorities, our culture and key processes,” she said.
Harnessing technology to meet consumers’ needs and expectations is critical to success. “Norsk Tipping is, due to our 100% registered play, fortunate enough to have a fantastic customer database and insight into the demographics and behavior of every single customer. We see this as maybe our most valuable asset for the future,” said Havnelid. “It might be stating the obvious, but the winners of tomorrow will be those that have access to detailed customer insight and have the ability to utilize these data in both their day-to-day market operation and as a driver for innovation. And for our specific sector it is also important to emphasize that access to real time customer data is the prerequisite for an effective responsible gaming framework.”
Havnelid noted that she is humble and proud to head a company with Norsk Tipping’s reputation in the global lottery world.
“My predecessor, Mr. Torbjørn Almlid, was a strong advocate for international cooperation. I share his perspectives and Norsk Tipping will be a driver for intensified cooperation also in the future,” she stated.