Kindred is extending its award-winning proprietary Kindred Racing Platform into a full in-house Sportsbook platform. This reflects Kindred’s long-term strategy of greater end-to-end control of its product offering and customer experience. We are well into the development stage and we are recruiting the necessary talent to complement our existing teams. As a result, we plan to have a state-of-the-art platform in place in the coming years.
One of the pieces in this puzzle is Daria Avtonomova, tennis Trading Manager at Kindred Group. Originally from Ukraine, she was born and raised in Mariupol but moved to Kyiv at age 18, where she studied management at the University. It was also there that her journey within the gambling industry began. With the boom in the poker world, she became curious about games. I had the opportunity to sit down with Daria while she shared her story, her passion for tennis and how it is to build a tennis Trading team from scratch.
We are Individuals United
Tennis Trading manager is a new position at Kindred and a part of building our Kindred Sportsbook Platform (KSP). Listening to Daria on why she chose to apply for the role gives us a deeper understanding of the importance and strength behind a company’s values: “The main Kindred’s value is “We are Individuals United”. It means a lot to me. I am Ukrainian and my country is fighting for its freedom. A year ago, all Ukrainians realized we needed to be united to survive and for our children to have a peaceful homeland. We all had different jobs, knowledge, and backgrounds, but since then we work together. No matter where we live now, we help our soldiers, humanitarian organizations and Ukrainians in need worldwide. Ukrainians are individuals who are united to save their country. So, when I read the news that Kindred announced building its own in-house Sportsbook, I had no doubt I wanted to be a part of this family, especially in such a challenging and ambitious project.”
Tennis Trading Manager
When asked what it is she actually does, Daria explains her role as someone who leads a team of traders, and together, they will do their best to provide Kindred’s customers with the best odds, promotions, and entertaining sports betting products in general for all sports lovers. Daria tells the story of playing poker online and has her TV on with sports channels as a background. After a while, she found herself enjoying watching tennis. Daria elaborates on how poker and sports betting are close to each other in entertainment. And when a tennis trader vacancy opened up in Ukraine, she thought it was a good chance to learn something new and combine her interest in tennis with the analytical skills she got while playing poker. “ I fell in love with trading. After so many years in the industry I am happy that my job is my hobby too”, she said.
They say tennis is a chess game on the court
During my conversation with Daria, I wondered if there is a need for any special skills in tennis to be a tennis trader? Daria explained that she spent a couple of years learning to play tennis to understand the game better, Which she did, she said. But then she laughed and added that she still needed to figure out the playing tennis part. She continued: “Tennis is a hard game with many different techniques you can use. They say tennis is a chess game on the court, players need to be physically and mentally strong. Players plan their tactics for every match and very often they need to adapt during the game. Player who better anticipates and prevents opponent’s plans will win a match. It is a decision-making game. And decisions need to be made quickly. It is an amazing sport. Usually, a player needs to win five matches during a week to get a trophy. Every week there are new tournaments. Not many people can survive psychological pressure and I admire those who achieves and have achieved results in tennis. Maybe that’s why this sport has so many fans worldwide.”
Kindred Sportsbook Platform
Daria does not shy away from a challenge. Building a tennis trading team from scratch is a challenge she looks forward to: “From one hand, it is very exciting as we can build a new product as we see fit. We don’t need to concern ourselves with using old technology or systems. But on the other hand, it is also very challenging because we need to put together many different pieces and make sure they will work fine as one big entity. At the moment all departments are working closely with each other to provide development teams with everything they need regarding sportsbook product information, strategy and future-proofing.”
Best sports memory
Looking at the watch, I see that our time is running out, but I can’t let Daria go without answering one question that I am really curious about: which is her very best sports memory? She pauses and thinks awhile: “There are quite a few. But the most powerful emotion I experienced was when I saw Roger Federer playing at Davis Cup in Switzerland in 2014. This is a tournament where players play for their country. Watching the best player of all time playing in front of you for his country is the best thing a fan can imagine! I was impressed by how easy his play looked. It seemed he was dancing on the court. And he was relaxed and made jokes with Swiss spectators during breaks. “
Someone has to be the first!
Women in the gambling industry are a minority and it made me wonder how Daria experiences not just being a female in a male-dominated industry but also the first female tennis Trading Manager at Kindred. Her answer was as quick as determined, “Kindred just started building KSP; someone has to be the first!” She continued: “But I believe that if you compare numbers of how many men like sports and how many women do, that will be the answer. Gender doesn’t stop you in any way. It is the same with trading. If a person has an interest in something, it doesn’t matter what field that is. If you are interested in this field, go try it out. I don’t think there are any reasons to think of being a woman as being a blocker to getting where you want to go. I rarely consider things like this. I think if you have a goal, just do your best and you will find a way to achieve it.”