Hari Vijayarajan is the Group Chief Commercial Officer at ONE Championship. ONE Championship is currently Asia’s largest global sports media property in history, with a broadcast to over 2.6 billion potential viewers across 140 countries.
Prior to this, Hari was also the Chief Business Officer of Lazada Singapore, and the Category Leader of Electronics Devices & Accessories at Lazada Group, handling the vertical’s P&L across the South-east Asia region. Throughout his career, Hari has extensive global experience across the United States and the Asia Pacific, in countries such as Singapore, Japan, and also China.
Listen to the full discussion here:
Connect with the Guest:
Hari Vijayarajan: Linkedin
Some of the highlights from the podcast:
- How is the COVID-19 crisis affecting the e-commerce ecosystem
- Opportunities during a crisis
- Pivoting during crisis and what it takes
- How the digital transformation process is accelerating
- The core values of ONE Championship
- How to get employees to be on-board with company mission
- [1:06] Good to have you here with us today, can you tell us a little about yourself?
- [1:36] I am the Chief Business Officer of One Championship, which is Asia’s largest sports media property in history. Prior to this, I was the Chief Business Officer of Lazada Singapore, also managing the Electronics Device’s P&L across the SEA region.
- [3:36] Given the current crisis on the market, can you share some thoughts on how this would affect the direction of our eco-system in the next 6 months?
- [3:50] It is an unprecedented crisis, but it also opened up opportunities in multiple segments. Pivoting and being agile is most important to manage this.
- [5:40] South-East Asia is very exciting, given the young consumer market and the GDP per capita is growing consistently. The next 3-5 months will determine companies’ direction for the future.
- [8:00] Understand that ONE had to cancel multiple pre-planned live events, hence could you share with us some case-studies on how ONE is pivoting in the crisis?
- [8.30] Just an example – due to this virus, we had a closed-door live match which we broadcasted online, and we had a record viewership of 35 million views across the globe. Shows that there’s an opportunity within every crisis.
- [11:00] Also started a new business line such as podcast, eSports, reality TV show, since there is a need for more positive content.
- [17:11] It’s almost a cliché to say the COVID-19 had accelerated the digital transformation process. Could you share your thoughts on how important is digital transformation and some case-study from your end?
- [17:21] The company who are successful in this time, is the ones that embraced digital transformation. The ones that will come out stronger than before, will be the ones who continue to adopt the digital ways
- [19.50] ONE Championship has an eCommerce arm that manages the sale of merchandize – would love to hear your thoughts about eCommerce strategy in the current market as you came from marketplace background and currently as a brand-principal
- [20.20] Being a brand-principal, we make use of both brand.com and marketplace channels to reach a larger audience base. We also want to use our own brand.com to create a story-telling brand which our fan can interact and follow
- [24.05] ONE Championship’s core-values of “Building real-life Superhero” – How did having a strong company identity helped the organization grew internally, and also how do you get employees to buy-in?
- [24:30] Our employees live and breathe these core values because people like to be associate with good values. Also, the leaders need to lead by example and walk the talk.
- [33:30] I’ve read that you wrote to Chatri (Founder of ONE) over LinkedIn mentioning that you’ll work for him in any roles after hearing his speech at an event, could you share more of this story?
- [34:15] I have heard him speaking at an award ceremony that I’ve attended to represent Lazada, and it almost brought me to tears listening to his life-story. I went back to read about the company, wrote to him on LinkedIn, and here I am
- [38:00] This is a great story and more people should hear this story. It should inspire people to have the humility to reach out to others, be it for job hunting or other matters
- [38:20] What do you think is the most important action for a leader in these times, and also what skill-set do you think is most in-demand?
- [38:42] To the best you can take care of your talents. You need to let your employees know that if they go all-in, you’ll do anything you can to take care of them. The sense of security is important.
- [44:25] Being a positive person, is there a silver-lining that you see in this crisis?
- [45:00] It gives us the time where we didn’t have before, to do new things, to try new things, and re-define your priorities.
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