The founder of sports media property ONE Championship believes that the deep-rooted Asian values of martial arts are vital to entrepreneurial success.
What motivates you to get up in the morning?
I love martial arts – it’s who I am. I am truly blessed to do what I love every day, and I am forever grateful for the precious opportunity to change the world for the better. Our mission at ONE Championship is to unleash real-life superheroes that ignite the world with hope, inspiration, dreams, and courage. I can’t wait to jump out of bed every morning because our mission is my obsession.
With so much on your plate, we can only imagine how busy you are. Can you take us through a typical day of yours?
I don’t have a typical day. Most days, I am in one of the iconic cities of Asia – Shanghai or Tokyo or Bangkok or another amazing city – for a full day of meetings with government officials, CEOs, athletes, employees, and other partners. Other days, I am doing media interviews or press conferences. And some days, I am running around Singapore for meetings. No matter where I am though, I usually work 16-18 hours a day, 7 days a week. Actually I wouldn’t call it work because I have so much fun. I love what I do and I do what I love!
As someone who has an intricate knowledge of both martial arts and managing businesses, do you think there are parallels between the two?
Yes absolutely. The deep-rooted Asian values of martial arts are integrity, humility, honour, respect, courage, discipline, and compassion. As a lifelong martial artist, I carry those values with me everywhere I go. The greatest misconception about martial arts is that it is about fighting or violence. It is the farthest thing from the truth. In fact, it’s the greatest platform to unleash human potential. Apart from inheriting these amazing values, martial arts also forges a warrior spirit to conquer adversity in its practitioners. These elements are all vital to success in business. To be a hard-core entrepreneur, you must have an unbreakable fighting spirit to turn dreams into reality.
ONE Championship is based in Singapore. Any particular reason why the Lion City was chosen?
For me, Singapore is the greatest country in the world. I love how cosmopolitan it is. I love the food, the people, the weather, and the activities. As an entrepreneur, I also appreciate the Singapore ecosystem that makes everything so efficient and easy. Singapore is genuinely one of the best-run countries I have ever seen, and I’ve lived in the US, Japan, France, and Thailand. I also love the transparent environment of integrity and rule of law here in Singapore. Lastly, as a foreign entrepreneur, I’ve received a lot of support from the Singapore Government, and I am full of gratitude and appreciation for everything. I don’t think ONE Championship would be where it is today if it wasn’t born in Singapore.
ONE has a massive global broadcast reach of 1.7 billion potential viewers across 136 countries. How does ONE ensure quality of production and broadcast across various channels?
To unleash your greatness, surround yourself with greatness. I am blessed to serve the world’s greatest sports media team as its leader. I am surrounded every day by superstars, dreamers, rebels, adventurers, mavericks, rock stars, and original souls. Without a doubt, the reason for ONE Championship’s success is our team.
The ultimate vision for ONE is content ubiquity across platforms (free-to-air TV, paid TV, digital, social, etc) and devices (TV, computers, mobile, etc) with 24 hour accessibility, 365 days a year. How close is ONE to that goal?
The launch of our mobile app in May 2018 will change everything. Our fans will finally be able to engage directly with ONE Championship and our content anytime and anywhere.
Is there a quote you live by?
Adversity is the mother of greatness.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Success does not create happiness. Happiness creates success. Do what it is that ignites your soul.
For more insights on the business of sports broadcast, join ONE Championship’s Chief Financial Officer, Hua Fung Teh, at ConnecTechAsia Summit 2018’s BroadcastMedia Track. Suntec Singapore, 26 June 2018. Delegates may register for the Summit here.