The Rewards and Reality of Relocating to Malta
Matthias Kaiser, Head of CRM at Tipico, talks to Why iGaming about his career in iGaming, but also about what it is like to move to Malta as part of the package.
Matthias, what is your role and back story in iGaming?
Well, after having previously worked in the Retention Marketing area in other industries, I started working in the iGaming industry in 2014 back in Germany.
5 years ago, I joined Tipico, moved to Malta and became Tipico’s CRM Manager for the German speaking territories, which is our core market. Only half a year later, I got promoted to CRM Team Manager, and since October 2019, my role has been Head of CRM. In this position, I am managing the Retention Team consisting of 20+ specialists. Our goal is to keep customers active and engaged across all of Tipico’s products, explain new features, manage the communication strategy, and listen to our customers’ needs. We are consistently challenged to find new innovative approaches to create new communication methods and campaign ideas to improve our customers’ experiences with all our products.
Before relocating to Malta, had you ever lived abroad before? If so, what was your experience?
Yes, actually I have lived abroad before moving to Malta once before. Around 9 years ago, I moved to Lille in France for a semester abroad for Erasmus, since I learned French for 7 years during my A Levels. While I was very happy with the time I spent there, it was certainly very different to my experience in Malta. The weather in the North of France is obviously much colder and the lifestyle is totally different – nothing compared to our Maltese ‘island life’, where there are 200 days of sunshine each year! The actual move to Malta, was a lot easier than my previous endeavour. My employer, Tipico, supported me a lot in this regard, not only cost-wise but especially when it came to accommodation. I was granted 1 month living for free in a company flat, until I managed to find my own place to stay. This type of support was unfortunately missing during my move to France, which is why it was naturally much more pleasant at Tipico.
When you applied for the position were you motivated by the role, the company or the opportunity to relocate? Or a combination of course!
Personally, it was a combination of everything! I had already worked in the CRM area in the sports betting field and wanted to remain in this industry. Tipico, being the market leader for sports betting in Germany, was a key driver for my decision to move to Malta. I aimed to work with the best and learn from the champs, and with Malta being one of the industry’s hubs, it was my clear destination. While the weather here in Malta is surely a nice addition to the package, it was never a key reason for me to come to the island. On the other hand, relocating to a new country though, is always exciting and pushes you to think outside your box, which obviously served as an extra plus point to join Tipico.
What were the challenges of moving to Malta? Did your company assist with the move?
As I mentioned before, my employer helped me a lot in the first weeks and months. Not only did they pay for my flights and the transportation of my belongings to Malta, but they also provided me with a company flat to live in for a whole month for free, and supported me in finding my own flat afterwards. One of the main challenges one frequently comes across when moving to a new country is getting to know people, however, thanks to Tipico, this was not a major one at all! Since there are hundreds of people from all kinds of cultures and countries working with the company here in Malta, it is easy to find friends quickly. Another challenge is very often the paperwork when relocating, although in my case, since I was moving from one EU country to another (Germany to Malta), this process was quite straightforward. The de-registration in Germany was relatively easy and not too bureaucratic, and Tipico was there once again to help get all my documents in order here in Malta.
What are the highlights of Malta, what do you enjoy most about being here?
Malta’s biggest asset is most definitely its people! In Malta one can find a nice blend of locals and foreigners. With the Maltese locals being very friendly and helpful, and the foreigners on the island coming from diverse cultural backgrounds, there is so much to learn from all these various characters on the island and getting to know new people is super easy!
Also, the fact that ‘island life’ comes with many activity possibilities which you would not have in your home country, at least not in Germany. While it rains or snows in Germany, you can still enjoy the nice weather on the island. In summer, you can enjoy a relaxing boat cruise or rent some jet-skis if you’re feeling adventurous! Alternatively, you can also enjoy the nice beach bars and restaurants or take a historical walk through medieval cities. The possibilities are endless! On the off chance that Malta ever becomes too small, the airport is super close and offers frequent direct flights to many destinations. In fact, travelling from Malta to my family in Germany, takes me door-to-door in less than 5 hours!
What are the challenges of living abroad?
I guess the hardest part of it all is always that you might miss your friends and family at home from time to time, especially during COVID times when travelling was not that easy. Luckily, technology can quickly connect us together and allows us to video call each other. Plus, as said before, there are many flights to bring you close to home for a holiday, or also to work from home for a short period. Besides that, there are not really so many challenges with living abroad. I believe that there are a few once you start to settle down abroad, like finding friends, figuring out the exploring activities, getting around the island or learning the language. However, once you really start living abroad and are open to the experience, there aren’t any challenges in the mid- and long-term anymore!
What word of wisdom would you offer to anyone considering moving to Malta to pursue a lifestyle and career?
In three words: Just do it! The worst thing is never trying out something you’ve wanted to! If you are considering it, there is nothing better to do than to try it out for yourself. If it does not work out, you will always be able to go back home, but it’s always worth a shot!
There is a lot to gain, such as new friends, new perspectives, improving your language skills, and obviously it’s a great adventure to live on a small island with an almost endless supply of sunny days.