Haseeb Awan is the co-founder of BitAccess, a leading Bitcoin ATM manufacturer with operations in 15 countries across 4 continents.
What’s your story?
During my Engineering days, I got involved with an automobile startup that exited before I could graduate and that gave me a taste of tech entrepreneurship and I decided to take it as a career path. In between, I moved to Canada and got early into cryptocurrencies which led to co-founding BitAccess. We got accepted into Y-Combinator that changed my life. Since then I’ve invested in 30 companies, advised a dozen on marketing, branding & sales across the world.
What excites you most about your industry?
My first investment was bitcoins and possibly the best decision that I’ve taken so far. My name literal meaning is ‘Accountant’.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born & raised in Pakistan where I still maintain ties. In addition, I’ve done work in Japan. I am really fascinated by how fast Asia is growing while the West is slowing down. I’ve travelled extensively in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines & South Korea which has helped me in understanding the market gaps.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Tokyo, Japan. I am humbled by the support I’ve received in Japan. Japan is culturally rich and I love the food. In addition, it has a very favourable business environment.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Stay Hungry Stay Foolish. It basically tells you that you should always be eager to learn and grow. With the passage of time, we decrease our risk tolerance that reduces our ability to learn.
Who inspires you?
It’s a long list and it’ll be unfair to credit a single person, however, I have massive respect for everyone who is building a better place for others to live.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Power of compounding is an interesting concept that changed my life. While we do aim for moon shots, doing small things over a longer period of time has better yields.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Fire immediately! Few times we give more time to things that include people and ideas that are toxic and non-productive. Anything that brings you down should immediately be detached from because it’s only going to get worse.
How do you unwind?
Spending time with family, catching up with friends and speaking to my support and mentor network.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
This is a tough one, but I’ll probably say the northern part of Pakistan such as Hunza. There isn’t a place like it.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One and Hard Things About Hard Things are the two favourite ones
Shameless plug for your business:
I am really good at marketing and branding! Happy to chat about it all day long.
How can people connect with you?
Haseebawan.com is my blog and my contact information is there
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
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 of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.