How has Sisal evolved and changed over the last 70 years in business?
Sisal’s 70th anniversary testifies to our ability to stay current and establish a lasting bond of trust with local areas, in a uniquely distinctive evolutionary process built on both innovation and tradition.
Since 1964, Sisal has always worked long and hard to play an important role in the leisure time enjoyed by Italians, successfully integrating an organic approach to corporate social responsibility into the company’s business strategy. It is an evolution that springs from the founding partners’ original plan to help rebuild Italy in the postwar period and relaunch Italian sport. This commitment and the same spirit that made the Totocalcio football pools a tool of national unity and a symbol of recovery and rebirth, still form an integral part of how we do business.
Sisal’s focus on innovation has driven continuous change at the company in many different areas. From what was basically a business built on a single product, the company now has a comprehensive and diversified portfolio of games, supplemented today by a payment services offering that generates more than half the Group’s turnover.
Sisal’s retail network has also proved to be a valuable resource for all Italians. As far back as 1947, after only a year in business, the company already had 11 thousand retailers, rising to today’s figure of 45 thousand points of sale distributed across the entire Italian peninsula.
Growth isn’t only a question of numbers, but of technology too. Innovation is backed by investments to ensure that the sales network is always at the cutting edge. While the 1990s were marked by the transition from hand processing to automation, today our digital offering features products and services that can be conveniently accessed from home, with the introduction of hybrid systems that shape consumption models and define a new relationship with consumers.
What are the strategic priorities that have guided Sisal in 2015 and the main results?
The main drivers of Group strategy in 2015 were product innovation and new technology, the strengthening of the retail network, and diversification.
There was a special focus on new game concepts and upgrades to several lottery products that have become an integral part of Italian culture over the years. We have invested in the transformation of innovative technology into products and services that are easy to access and secure, in accordance with the Group’s business diversification policy. This is an insight that is bearing fruit today by making us more competitive in both the gaming and payment services segments.
These are important results, achieved with the help of both employees and outside collaborators. In 2015, we continued to promote a working environment that rewards merit, professionalism and rich diversity, engaging with multifunctional teams to identify and implement action plans, including the WiSe Team (Women in Sisal Experiencer), the WoW Team (Working on Work), and our support for a modern welfare model.
This organic approach has resulted in constant growth and the redefinition of our business perimeter, as well as helping us overcome difficult moments tied mainly to macroeconomic conditions and regulatory uncertainty.
What are the challenges and opportunities for Sisal in the future and what developments will there be for corporate sustainability? We look to the future with optimism. In the first half of 2016, the Group reported improved performance as a result of the confidence shown in our products. Our investment in the payment services business was a winning move, as was the relaunch of SuperEnalotto, which is reporting growing approval from customers.
Sisal is consolidating its hybrid business model based on the efficient evolution of the retail network, which delivers not only the traditional entertainment offering but also payment services, through the SisalPay brand.
This approach is inspired by consumer needs, transforming retailers, cafes and tobacconists into original one stop shops, where customers can have a coffee, play SuperEnalotto, pay their bills and, in the future, make use of other proximity services too.
For Sisal, innovation is also reflected in its commitment to adopting a responsible approach in the areas of sustainable business management, responsible gaming, and support for the community and local areas.
All without ever losing sight of our roots. Our growth is also the result of our passion and our commitment to enhancing the value of our distinctive features. The cultural heritage represented by our identity and historical legacy, and how they have changed over the years, is now available through the MEIC (Memoria, Evoluzione e Identità Condivisa - Shared Memory, Evolution and Identity) project, offering a key with which to interpret our past, present and future.