Wild Digital presents 15 questions with Chatri Sityodtong

Wild Digital, Southeast Asia’s premier digital conference, is known for bringing together the region’s most successful and exciting Internet leaders. Attended by leading tech CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, senior executives and investors from around the world, Wild Digital explores the trends shaping the industry and region, and discuss strategies for building billion dollar businesses in this space. This year’s conference will be held on May 24th and 25th at Le Meridien, Kuala Lumpur – you can get your ticket here.

Chatri Sityodtong is Chairman of ONE Championship, the largest sports media property in Asian history. The company hosts the largest sports entertainment events across Asia featuring the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions, on the largest media broadcast in Asia. Martial arts have been a part of Asia for the last 5000 years, a part of the region’s fabric, culture, tradition and history. ONE Championship recognizes this and celebrates this history with the aim of unifying Asia through sharing the stories of the martial artists as Asia’s sports heroes.

Business Insider sits with Chatri leading up to Wild Digital to get an early insight, with our 15 questions series.

1. If you were a superhero, what would your trait or power be?

I would want the power to see into the future, so I can shape my reality today and make ONE Championship into a global sports media property that inspires billions, so that we can change the world and make it a better place.

2. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are the 3 things you must have with you?

My favourite food (good ol’ Thai), a martial arts heavy bag so I can train everyday still and a diary to write about my life experiences and life lessons.

3. If you could tell your 18-year old self one thing, what would it be?

I would tell them not one, but five things:

  • Have the courage to do what you love, because when you love something you give all of your soul, all of your passion to. It doesn’t matter how intense it is you will overcome your obstacles
  • Find mentors in life that have achieved what you haven’t done already, because you can learn from their lessons – both successful ones as well as their failures
  • Surround yourself with greatness to unleash your greatness. Who you include as part of your daily life is really meaningful in terms of bettering yourself
  • Have an attitude of continuous self-improvement, 1% a day. If you compound something by 1% everyday for 70 days, it will double in value – that’s a mindset that we should all have.
  • Possess a warrior spirit. There are many, many challenges that are out of our control. It is normal and ok to fall down and if you do, have the will to get back up and keep moving. Life is simply a fight for your dreams, for your loved ones, for what is in your heart. Be unbreakable. 

4. Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

The best piece of advice I’ve been given is from my late martial arts master, Kru Yodtong Senanan. When you step into the ring, it’s not about whether you try to win but it’s whether you gave 1000% of heart in the ring. Of course we always want to be successful as a human being, but there will be times where we fail, but you have to give 1000% of your heart to whatever your path is.

5. What would be the title of your autobiography?


6. Who is your inspiration in the Internet industry, and why?

My inspiration is Steve Jobs, as an entrepreneur and a definition of somebody who through his work has changed the world.

7. What is the most important trait of a successful person?

Having a genuine, kind heart.

8. What was your first business venture?

When I was 27 years old I started an internet company during my second year at Harvard Business School.

9. If you could pitch to one person, who would it be?

Masoyoshi Son from Softbank.

10. What is the most exciting thing about your job?

That I get to change the world through my greatest passion in life, by inspiring billions of people to live their greatest life. One Championship is creating sports heroes who inspire the world. And for me, that means inspiring Asia with hope, strength, dreams, inspiration for everybody – not just for fans of martial arts. That gives me much deeper meaning to my job – knowing that somehow, somewhere my work is touching many lives’ who are going through a tough time.

11. What was the biggest lesson you’ve learnt and how has it impacted the way you work?

During the Asian Financial Crisis in the 1990s, my family and I went through a very difficult time where I was left to become the primary caregiver for my mother and younger brother. Martial arts gave me the mental strength & desire to continue to improve myself, establish strong work ethic, courage, discipline. All those were very applicable to that time in my life – I didn’t have a lot of things but I did have my martial arts strength to help me overcome that. It’s taught me how to learn from my failures, and given me the strength to overcome my obstacles, the desire to better myself. I still carry the lessons that martial arts taught me that I apply as an entrepreneur, to build One Championship.

12. What’s the biggest challenge facing the sports industry in SEA today and how do you foresee it getting solved?

The biggest challenge for sports in not just SEA, but all of Asia is that there has never been a sports industry in Asia. What I think is a multi-billion dollar sports industry in Asia and One Championship is leading the way. But the fact that we have to create everything from scratch, is one of the biggest challenges possible but I also think it’s one of the most exciting things because it impacts so many people in the world. With One Championship leading the way, there are other sports companies in Asia that are starting to showcase sports as a part of life across the world.

13. What do you think is the hottest vertical in the region right now?

I think Anthony Tan at Grab is doing really exciting work in the region.

14. What is the most exciting trend emerging in the region right now?

Sports technology is most interesting because it’s a multi-billion-dollar opportunity and sports traditionally has never been a big tech enabled industry. And it’s the first time in history we see a lot of technology whether through OTT platforms, social media platforms, virtual reality, the gamification of sports. There are so many amazing things that are combining what we see as technology and sports together. This is a big trend and will continue to be so for a long time.

15. What are you looking forward to at Wild Digital this year?

To learn as much as I can, to meet like-minded people and share the One Championship story.