hat did Konami present in ELA?
We brought all the new products. The market is very competitive here, so we had to start with the best. We presented the Podium cabinet and Advantage 5. These are the products with which we compete in the American, European and Latin American markets. Mexico has an advantage. We brought the complete portfolio of products for them.
Which was the evaluation of the event?
It is our debut in Mexico and it was excellent for us. Class III started around 12 months ago and we have already been with the main local operators, and started negotiationg with several groups. Last year we assisted to the event, but just as visitors, because the Mexican market was not prepared yet. The difference between the 2009 and the 2010 edition was quite big. This year, the main providers of products worldwide were present. The winner will be the Mexican operator: all the companies offer the best they have and the operator may choose among the best products approved in the global market. As a consequence, Mexican players will have a very wide variety of products. The progress was quite large.
Which was the feedback of the public in general?
Everyone was very happy. Our Podium cabinet is really very attractive and attracted the attention of all the visitors that came to the booth. It has an innovative design and set of lights.
Did you have the chance to assist to EY!10 Encuentro Yogonet? Which is your view on the cycle of conferences?
Encuentro Yogonet was very interesting for Mexican players, and interesting for the industry in general. I think it was positive because of the presence of Juan Bosco Martí Ascencio, head of the Government Unit of the Mexican Secretary of the Interior (SEGOB), because, this way, the entity could see that operators and providers are really working in the market seriously. With the backing of the government, I think it will be easier for the industry in general. Besides, the talks of operators, manufacturers and other issues discussed were also very interesting. I think they were useful for the Mexican operator.
Which are the main markets of Konami in Latin America? Could we perform a ranking of markets?
Nowadays, it is difficult to tell which are the main markets. Surely, Mexico is among the main ones, because its potential is quite large. Several companies are still in the process of changing Class II to Class III, and the opportunities of companies such as ours are quite big. Argentine and Uruguayan markets were excellent last year. Operators invested a lot in new products. We were successful. The Chilean market was doing well, but unfortunately, they had a problem which is impossible to predict and control. Surely, in a near future, the country will emerge and will reach the same level than before the earthquake.
We could say that Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile are key markets. Colombia was also good, but I think this market was a bit more affected by the crisis than the rest. Panama also continues being a pretty nice market.
In general, markets are not in a bad condition in Latin America. They are not as they used to be, but operators continue investing although those investments are more planned and thought. They are dedicating more time to see what products do they really need. It is not as it used to be, when they bought everything because the market was so strong that they could afford it. Now, the purchase decision is more planned.