Spotlight on … Paul Sulyok, CEO & Founder of Green Man Gaming
We’re going to the International Festival for Business this month and will be hosting a unique event Inspiring Entrepreneurs ‘Going Global’ where top business people will tell us the secrets of their success. One of these entrepreneurs is Paul Sulyok, CEO and Founder of Green Man Gaming. Green Man Gaming is a pioneering, global eCommerce technology company that has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2010. We asked him how he did it.
Hi Paul! What were you doing before you started Green Man Gaming?
My first venture as an entrepreneur was building customised algorithmic trading engines for the cash equity markets. I’ve also been a management consultant, a banker, and an Officer in HM Forces before founding Green Man Gaming in May 2010.
Where did the idea for Green Man Gaming come from and how did you get started?
The idea for Green Man Gaming came about when we were considering where the games market was going to go and what was going to happen next. There was a strong business model in trading in games in the industry and there was the start of the move to a fully digital marketplace. The coupling of these two market mechanisms were supported by research from London Business School showing that a customer’s propensity to purchase is heightened when offered the option to trade-in a product or recoup some of its value. So the “big idea” was to combine digital and trade-in into the same platform, effectively being a retailer and a marketplace on one global digital platform.
What makes Green Man Gaming unique?
Green Man Gaming is the first choice for millions of passionate gamers around the world that come to our store to browse and buy from a wide catalogue of digital games online, ranging from AAA to indie titles across multiple platforms. On top of this, we have a thriving community of gamers who discuss and track their game achievements on our community platform. Our publishing arm helps developers bring their games to market, supporting them from a retail, marketing and PR perspective as well as providing finishing finance to get their games over the line during the last few difficult months before release. The fusion of Green Man Gaming’s eCommerce store, a strong community generating billions of data points and publishing support, sets us apart from our competitors and makes us unique in the market.
Did you plan to do business overseas from the start?
Our initial business plan was to start in the UK market and then move on to Europe in 18 months and to the rest of the world in 36 months. However things didn’t go quite to plan because within the first 6 hours of going live we sold 400 games in Japan. This meant that from the start we were always going to be a global company. Green Man Gaming has been listed as the 53rd largest exporter in the UK out of 354,000 SMEs in the Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 list.
What advice would you give to any small business owners thinking of exporting?
Researching your global marketplace and having a deep understanding of your market is fundamental because it informs the business on trends that can further improve the business as a whole.
In your opinion, what necessary traits should an entrepreneur have in order to succeed in business?
Integrity, ubiquity and agility.
Finally, what’s next on the horizon for Green Man Gaming?
We’re working hard on addressing the mobile audience with a new mobile platform and app which will be coming soon.
You can hear Paul, along with a panel of other successful entrepreneurs, speak at our upcoming Inspiring Entrepreneurs ‘Going Global’ taking place at the International Festival for Business this month. Get tickets here.