GROWING up, Chatri Sityodtong had always been deeply passionate about martial arts and entrepreneurship.
The 48-year-old Harvard graduate, who has over 30 fights under his belt, mashed both interests and founded ONE Championship in 2011, a Singapore-based mixed martial arts organisation.
Over the years, Mr Sityodtong engineered ONE Championship's rise to become Asia's largest sports media company with a broadcast to over 2.6 billion potential viewers across more than 140 countries around the world.
In April 2019, the firm secured a multi-year seven-figure partnership with Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts, the global independent governing body for mixed martial arts, and is currently expanding into the US market with offices in New York and Los Angeles.
ONE Championship is not Mr Sityodtong's only successful venture into entrepreneurship. The self-made businessman was already a millionaire at age 30 after selling his first startup, Next Door Solutions, a Silicon Valley-based software company.
He went on to become a hedge fund manager at US$500 million hedge fund firm Izara Capital Management, but his childhood passion for martial arts prompted him to leave Wall Street to start ONE Championship in 2011.
He was named "Asia's King of Martial Arts" by the Financial Times, and "Asia's 3rd Most Powerful Person in Sports" by FOX Sports.
On July 25, Mr Sityodtong will be sharing his entrepreneurial journey at a public interactive forum jointly organised by The Straits Times (ST) and The Business Times. Known as "Cutting Edge", the series spotlights renowned global leaders and features audience participation.
The forum is organised every quarter and is sponsored by GuocoLand, and moderated by ST associate editor Vikram Khanna.
Mr Sityodtong will be the third personality to be featured in the "Cutting Edge" series, after Howard Yu, an expert on innovation and corporate disruption, and venture capital investor Jenny Lee.
The Cutting Edge forum with Mr Sityodtong will be held at the Sofitel Singapore City Centre Hotel, Wallich Ballroom, Level 5 on Thursday, July 25 at 9.30am. Registration opens at 9am with refreshments provided.
- Limited tickets are available at S$85 per person. Those who sign up by July 12 will enjoy an early-bird discount of 20 per cent. Register at cuttingedge.sphevents.com.sg