Getting To Know You: Jamal Hassim, Founder and CEO, BOLT.Global


Jamal Hassim the Founder and chief executive of entertainment platform BOLT.Global tells us what defines his way of doing business

What do you currently do?

I am the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BOLT, the world’s first open entertainment platform integrated with real world application of cryptocurrency and blockchain. It is a revolutionary mobile focused, video content ecosystem with a mission to empower over half of the world’s population who are currently underbanked and unbanked users to access truthful, curated and aggregated digital information and entertainment on a mobile only, low data-bandwidth platform.

Headquartered in London and Singapore, and with offices in Kuala Lumpur, and Nairobi, BOLT is currently accessed by over four million users via Android and Web platforms across Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Kenya.

Our innovative platform provides access to live content (Terrestrial TV and sports) and trendy video highlights (under 5 minutes per clip) around the world, with a particular focus on opening new possibilities to Emerging Markets that are constrained by bandwidth and access.

Given its unique access to untapped markets, BOLT has secured licensing agreements with a range of leading media content providers including CNN, Al Jazeera, ViKi Rakuten, Reuters, AFP, amongst many others. BOLT has also secured the digital clip coverage rights for the ICC World Cup 2019 in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.  BOLT provides quick turnaround 3D international football league and cup competitions highlights, as well as test and league cricket highlights.

Unlike other streaming platforms that have a narrow target demographic, our primary goal with BOLT is to empower the unbanked and underbanked – audiences known to have limited access to formal banking structures and on the lower spectrum of data accessibility. We therefore focus on providing these frequently ignored demographics with access to the information superhighway in a revolutionary business model.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

Through my previous experience of running television and media networks across Emerging Markets in Asia and Africa, I have been significantly touched by the real-life stories of people on the ground who are being left out of the information highway. This was my inspiration for BOLT. Enabling information, entertainment and financial inclusion for all is our overall mission.

My vision for BOLT is to enable people from all walks of life, to have access to information that is original, truthfully curated, and aggregated digital content and entertainment that is accessible via mobile using minimal data-bandwidth, ensuring the underserved are not left out of the news and entertainment stream. Essentially, to for empower millions without having to spend millions will helping to achieve several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including Goal 4 Quality Education and Goal 10 Reduced Inequalities.

What defines your way of doing business?

Face-to-face communication is key. Even with the wealth of communication technology at our fingertips, it is important to ensure you have quality face-to-face interactions with your team. I personally take it upon myself to travel to our offices in London, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as frequently as possible. Being flexible, proactive and adaptable is paramount to managing a global workforce. It is important that a strong sense of community is adopted amongst the individual offices.

I ensure that I remain committed, retain focus and maintain an open and flexible mind to quickly fine tune your strategy, even when nobody else believes that you can make it. International expansion can be a difficult process and no major business decision comes without hurdles but having partners and a team that understand the local market, have the passion and ability to communicate your company’s USP to that market, is a significant advantage.

What do you admire?

Passion, drive, hard work and dedication. Not only are great leaders passionate about their work but they also inspire others to work towards the achievement of mutual goals. Ambition drives innovation and you need innovation to succeed. I admire those who strive to make the world a better place and who are ambitious enough to make a difference.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

I am a strong believer in learning from your mistakes. Without the choices I have made, I would not be in the position I am now. I don’t believe that I would have done anything drastically different.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Nothing ventured is nothing gained. Take calculated risks. Maximise your chances of success from the outset and throughout. Spend time and effort learning from others and analyse business plans before you start building your own. If you are passionate and strategic, you will succeed.