Can you introduce yourself?
Greetings ! My name is Haig. I might be 28, but I try to stay in touch with my inner child as much as I can! Kids are naturally curious, and learn everything quickly and easily. I work on maintaining this willingness to acquire knowledge. It translated into a thirst for travelling, by following training programs, doing internships and learning new languages across Europe, Latin America, and Africa. This curiosity also made me graduate with a Master’s Degree in business engineering at Solvay Brussels School. These broad studies provide you with knowledge in both business administration and technology, to help you come up with solutions within complex organizations. Joining Sparkers was thus a natural decision to make. A fast growing company that combines data analytics, business decisions, latest tech innovation? Sign me in! All that I am, I owe much to my family and the values they have inculcated in me. They keep leading me by example, and I am forever grateful for their supportive love.
What is your role at Sparkers and what is your career path so far?
Sparkers is the first company I work for. I started 5 years ago as Market Analyst, and with the guidance of our management, I am now the Director of our Armenian office. Firstly, I joined the company end of 2016, soon after the GSD (Games Sales Data) project was initiated. I was part of the three initial analysts. As the project was at its early stages, we prepared the first video game sales reports, documented the first guides, built the first relationships with our international users. It was very exciting to be part of it! Then, the project rapidly grew in size, and simultaneously so did our team. To keep up with a growing company, it is important to focus on your own self-improvement. With the seniority I had acquired, I became the team lead, coaching our new members and managing their daily tasks. I moved twice to Madrid for a total of 7 months to train our colleagues there as well. These new responsibilities, combined with the trust and support of my superiors, gave me the confidence I needed to make more impactful decisions. Therefore, I was able to step up a notch further, and became the Operations Manager for the entertainment department. My role is now to take full responsibility of the GSD delivery operations and to coordinate the analyst team with the rest of Sparkers. However, the biggest step of my career came last year. With a better understanding of our operations, I realized that I could help the company further grow by opening an office in Armenia. The workforce here is highly educated and multilingual, with a similar level of professionalism as in Europe. I knew that we could benefit from this to search for skills that were otherwise hard to find. With the mentoring of our Chief Operating Officer, I moved to Armenia to do just that! Today, after 5 years of collaborating with Sparkers, the company gave me its trust, the backing and the opportunity I needed to become the Director of the Armenian branch. Besides my regular operational roles, I manage the office here, with all the various aspects this encompasses.
What does a normal day for you look like?
My workdays are very versatile. I can start the day by discussing with the analysts to check on their progress and give a hand when needed. Then, I will catch up with the development team and the enrichment team, to follow up on the evolution of the GSD project and see if any task can be delegated to an analyst. I also take care of certain administrative duties related to managing the Armenian office, and have regular calls with Belgium to make sure we are aligned. When not busy with the above, I work on the improvement of our services and optimization of our processes, and prepare trainings related to this… But of course, I always make time for a friendly game or two of ping-pong.
Why do you like Sparkers?
The reasons why I am committed to Sparkers are two-fold: first, the humane oriented leadership; second, its promising but realistic vision for the company’s future. First and foremost, have you ever sat in an open space next to your senior officers and learned directly from them? Worked in an office with a family-like atmosphere, where you are liked, respected and welcomed? Where you interact with people from different backgrounds all around the world? Where your contribution is acknowledged and your work appreciated by your peers and superiors alike? Where the company puts its trust in you and in exchange, you are motivated to get the work done? Where you have the opportunity to express your opinion, leave your mark, and to experiment in different fields? As far as I am concerned, it is in such an environment that I learn and grow the most as an individual, and that is exactly what Sparkers has been offering me since I joined the company.
Secondly, I believe in Sparkers’ strategic approach to its future. That is personally a key driver for my motivation at work. We namely accompany our partners in understanding their commercial performance within the gaming market. To do so, at our core, we have the rigor of our employees and leading edge computing. Rigor in maintaining and expanding an exhaustive video game database, analyzing data in depth, anticipating trends. Computing for data integration, statistical techniques, reports generation and delivery of our services. By leveraging both our human skills and disruptive IT approach, we are able today, to provide the most comprehensive view of the video game market and have acquired the trust of the big actors in the industry. And we are far from stagnation! We are both strengthening our core services by entering new territories and market segments; and in the same time are leveraging our core capabilities by moving into adjacent services such as our recently announced Audiences insights. This sound approach towards healthy growth makes the journey at Sparkers very promising!
What are your favorite video game & hobbies?
Without hesitation, I will have to root for Naughty Dog, a studio which, throughout the years, has never failed to entertain, captivate and spoil me in many ways. I literally grew up with them! As a child, I used to spend hours on their PlayStation One franchise, “Crash Bandicoot”, with a straightforward storyline and cartoon-like visuals. Then, in my pre-teen years, I was immersed into the universe of “Jak and Daxter” on PlayStation 2. Set in a much darker Sci-Fi world, it presented the perfect balance between a kid-friendly gameplay and a narrative-driven game for a more mature audience. As a teenager, Naughty Dog exceeded my expectations with “Uncharted” games on PlayStation 3. The action-packed cinematic masterpiece filled with witty humor made me dream of travelling and adventures. For their last PS3 entry, Naughty Dog greeted my early adulthood with “The Last of Us” and its post-apocalyptic world. The storyline was tragic and complex. It displayed horrible scenes where the player was confronted with ethically challenging situations. As such, as I grew in maturity, so did Naughty Dog and to a further extent, the industry as a whole. The studio’s PS4 entries combine everything they have learned so far, namely in terms of narrative, action sequences, fun gameplay, humor and of course, technical performance; all this to deliver emotional rides like no other. I am impatient to see what they will prepare for the new generation of consoles ! Other personally beloved franchises: Metal Gear, Portal, Assassin's Creed, Super Smash Bros., LOTR games.