International Lottery Systems SA
It turns out this man's name is Kourosh Shifteh and he's the CEO. I tell Shifteh what I do and ask if he has a few minutes to answer questions because I'd like to add ILS to my list of companies visited. He agrees but first says he has to make an important phone call. As he talks on the phone I roam around his large corner office furnished in the same modernistic décor as the lobby area. The floor is black tile and the brightest item in the room is definitely the bright red leather sofa with the two black throw pillows anchoring the ends. Several framed family pictures sit on his L-shaped desk along with a computer. I count two real plants and a black leather couch-similar to the kind of couches psychiatrists are suppose to have in their offices (having never been to a shrink I'm only going by what I see in the movies). On one wall there's a bookcase containing a wide variety of books including several bibles. But, the coolest items in his office are definitely the three 150 year-old single shot pistols which were a gift from a customer in Bulgaria.
Hanging up the phone, Shifteh says something has come up and he has to make several more calls and asks if it's possible to come back later in the day. Unfortunately I can't. I do ask a couple quick questions and find out his company produces lottery tickets (you know -the ones where you scratch off the numbers) for 14 countries. Most of the space in this building houses the state-of-the-art presses capable of spitting out 12 million standard format tickets per day. He's coy when asked about company revenues (it's privately held) but he doesn't confirm nor deny when I throw out the figures "between $50 and $100 million?" I ask one final question, "why are you headquartered here in Bulle?" Shifteh answers, "because I live nearby". Boy, Shifteh sure wins high marks from me for his openness and flexibility.