Desmond’s Platform Strives to Become A South East Asia Gaming Giant
What’s your story?
Bountie was co-founded upon the passion our core team has in gaming and my experience working in a digital agency. I have always been inspired to become an entrepreneur and sought different avenues to get into business. 5 years ago, I had the unique experience of failing in business which put me into a depression for 6 months. It was the lowest point in my life but it turned out to be the most fortuitous, memorable, and rewarding experience when I participated in a 10 day insight meditation retreat in Chiang Mai. I developed an understanding of impermanence, suffering, and selflessness.
Since then, I have become quite a meta person and I try to incorporate elements of this understanding in my businesses. Comparatively, I do not think I would classify myself as a successful entrepreneur, but I strive to do my very best, every day, to live in the present and stay focused.
As a company, our mission is to create the world’s best platform for gamers to work, shop, and play together. We hope to provide casual gamers with more sustainable opportunities to monetise from their interest.
What excites you most about your industry?
The infancy of esports as an industry. -Esports has only been around for 50 years but there are already 2.7 billion gamers worldwide. Compared to some of the more popular sports like football, golf, basketball, or tennis, esports is just a baby in terms of history, but one with an immense amount of growth potential. It is for this reason that it excites my team. In addition to that, we feel that gaming is akin to music. It is transnational and transcultural. One has only to decipher the language of gaming to be able to engage the Gen Z and Gen A populations.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore who has had the interesting opportunity to have been a “Singapore Boy” as part of a Singapore Airline Cabin Crew. I had the privilege of flying to almost all major cities in Asia and savour the uniqueness of each culture. As a team, some of our colleagues are based in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. From our platform’s user acquisition standpoint, we are interested in the Asian market starting with SouthEast Asia. We currently have users coming from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar and India.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
To be fair, I do not have business dealings in every Asian city. But based on what I have experience with thus far, I would say Bangkok is most preferred. I like that the cosmopolitan metropolis still retains the warm hearted nature of its citizens and how much respect and hospitality is shown throughout the Government and Private entities with whom our company has interacted.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
There were many given throughout my time as an entrepreneur but what has stuck with me is a chinese idiom, “满招损，谦受益” which loosely translates to “A conceited person receives failure, whereas a modest person receives benefits.”
Who inspires you?
Different people at different stages of my life have inspired me. Right now I enjoy reading about Ho Kwon Ping and watching his speeches.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would be really careful when selecting the core team and I would safeguard it with the best contractual practices. As a startup, we have been through our fair share of internal disputes. These episodes helped us learn and toughen up over time, but if I had to go through this again, I would be more deliberate and intentional about who we bring onto the team.
How do you unwind?
Daily meditation, alternating days of high intensity interval training, and occasional binge watching of the Big Bang Theory.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Ubud in Bali. The “eat pray love” culture is so strong here. It’s a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle and take some time to really focus on yourself. You can join a yoga class, a meditation retreat, have an authentic balinese massage, take a slow walk amongst the rice paddies, or simply hang out with a good book in a vegan cafe.
There is so much “soul” permeating this place that it leaves me yearning for more. I would reckon it is an ideal retirement place, as well.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Asking Why: Selected Writings of Ho Kwon Ping,” by Ho Kwon Ping.
Shameless plug for your business:
Bountie’s mission is to create the world’s best platform for gamers to work, shop, and play together. Within the next 5 years, we strive to become a South East Asia gaming giant and then push further on into the rest of the world. We are game agnostic and would like to connect with any game publishers, tournament organisers, gaming teams, and peripheral brands. The gaming industry is fragmented and we hope to be able to connect with more like minded individuals to bring about greater value for fellow gamers.
How can people connect with you?
Email: [email protected]
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To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.