Olzhas Zhiyenkulov, Co-founder and CEO of Paladigm Capital

Olzhas shared his inspiration story and some amazing tips with us that helps people to learn and implement when they face challenges in life or business. Read more of what Olzhas Zhiyenkulov has shared with vizaca!


Tell us about yourself?

I am an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and a vegan. That is probably the shortest way to describe my core values. I see my purpose in delivering value to the world through entrepreneurship, I believe giving to the society and creating progress is the best way of life and veganism is the answer to the majority of modern issues.

I am from Kazakhstan. Usually, at this point, I get something like: “Did you say Pakistan?” “Turkmenistan?” “Oh, Borat?” No, just the 9th biggest country in the world, the place from which the first human spaceflight took place and the home of the apple. Basically, I am from the Garden of Eden. I was born in the last century, in a country that does not exist anymore (USSR) in a city that is more than 2000 years old (Taraz).

I come from humble beginnings. My life turned around when I won a full government scholarship and got into one of the best business schools in the world (Cass Business School, London). After that, I moved back to Kazakhstan and started my professional career performing financial analysis and building international relations at one of the top brokerage and consultancy houses. After a number of years and a number of industries, I was invited to head the Europe and CIS desk of a large Hong-Kongese/Singaporean asset management group. The business got sold and my management option was cashed out. I finally got the resources to start my own business, which has always been my dream. After a while, I partnered up with a famous Kazakhstani entrepreneur Damir Karassayev. That’s when my business really picked up.

Also, I am a Freemason.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

I remember my first time in a large supermarket in the UK. I had to stock up on cereal, but after I witnessed a staggering variety of products, I forgot why I came. I spent quite a bit of time understanding the difference between various types of maize treatment and processing, determine the optimal level of fiber, considering a small matter of taste.

The idea to start Paladigm Capital came from a realization that the same predicament is present in the world of finance. Active individuals don’t always find time to research and regularly monitor the market, analyze tax consequences and put in place the necessary investment and holding structures.

In the retail sector, there are companies that pride themselves in putting only the best products on their shelves. They aim to filter out the noise of the market and make our lives more efficient. We strive to do the same but in our sector. We’re a Financial Supermarket. On our shelves, you will only find best-in-class investment opportunities and wealth management setups.

How much potential market share can you achieve in next 3 years?

The financial industry is like the circulatory system of the world economy. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where it begins or where it ends, impossible to overstate its importance and thus difficult to calculate market share. However, to put a number on it, I want to manage 1 billion USD in 3 years.

How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?

We work with High Net Worth individuals, so the biggest advertisement for us is a recommendation from our satisfied clients to their friends and family. Also, as the CEO I regularly participate in various conferences, roundtables, investor rounds and expert panels in order to share our expertise, increase our market reach and raise awareness regarding our brand and our products.

We pride ourselves in being an IT-savvy asset management company, so when we hit certain size we started actively using Social Media Marketing. We use Search Engine Optimization to increase our Google visibility as well as do marketing campaigns using Instagram, Linkedin and other resources.

Furthermore, I maintain a professional blog on Instagram (olzhas_tesla).

How do you advertise your business?

As mentioned before as the CEO I regularly participate in various conferences, roundtables, investor rounds and expert panels in order to share our expertise, increase our market reach and raise awareness regarding our brand and our products.

We use Search Engine Optimization to increase our Google visibility as well as do marketing campaigns using Instagram, Linkedin and other resources.

Also, we occasionally host conferences and sponsor charity events like the Pink Bowtie Ball.

What made you choose this type of business?

I have always felt that my purpose on this planet is to enable progress and support innovation in the world, to make it a better place for human beings. Before leaving for London I was given an opportunity to go to Moscow to study Nuclear Physics (yes, I am a nerd). At first, I thought here is my chance. Who else can make the world better if not someone who can potentially invent the cheapest and cleanest source of energy? Then I remembered how long it took James Dyson to find an investor albeit having an ingenious piece of technology in a far more predictable sector. If only the financial sector was more efficient in supporting geniuses? I believe we should not underestimate the innovation and disruption that can be achieved by increasing the allocative efficiency of the financial sector. The best part is that it also results in higher returns for the investors. Look at LeapFrog Investments.

What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs?

First – follow your dreams. Make sure that the enterprise you want to endeavor corresponds with your purpose in life. If you don’t feel you have a clear purpose then start with that! Clear purpose in life is a must!

Second – increase your energy output. Have you ever seen annoying people who seem to have endless batteries? Become one of them! It can be trained by a combination of mental discipline, nutrition and sport.

Third – skill-based education. A bachelor’s degree is a good start. Yes, Steve Jobs dropped out, but it doesn’t mean that you have to. After that don’t go for fancy degrees, look at the skills you really need. On-demand skill based training is the best. Check out Sapio or GetSmarter.

All of the above is not textbook stuff, I learned through self-experimentation, so I really stand by this advice.

Why will customers stay or do repeat business with you?

Because we deliver innovative products even in the most conservative fields like Fixed Income and we have the courage to dive into new areas of investment. For instance:

In Fixed Income – we have one of the few products that is yielding 7-8% on a conservative investment grade portfolio, yet it is well prepared for the coming interest rate hikes.

In Venture Capital – we give access to some of the most restrictive, lucrative and disruptive investment opportunities in the Silicon Valley while currently charging 0 management fees.

In Advisory – we are giving access to some of the most unique One Belt One Road investment opportunities in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

We also have exceptional opportunities in medicine and noisy markets of cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge?

I had three great challenges in my life.

One, a challenge of my childhood, when my father died in the line of duty. My mom, myself and my little sister had to overcome a great number of challenges. A bit too intimate to share here.

Second, a challenge of adolescence – giving up meat. I come from a very carnivorous society. When I gave up meat, my grandmother sincerely believed I will die of malnourishment, so she secretly grated chicken into my noodles (which I noticed and refused to consume) when I visited her until she realized that I am ok and gave up. However, the biggest challenge lied with me. The first year was the toughest. I missed meat a lot, had cravings every time I saw it and when I smelled meat being barbequed… ahh, drove me crazy.

Third, a challenge of my adult years – starting up a business. The greatest challenge of an entrepreneur is to overcome the fear of failure. First, it is the fear to lose your life’s earnings. Second – once you have employees, is to go bankrupt and let them down. Third – is to let down your business partners. The list goes on. The only solution is to let go of the fear and embrace the excitement of entrepreneurship.

How can people connect with you?

My website are: www.paladigm.capital and www.employeestocks.com

You can reach out to me via Email or Linkedin

Please follow my professional Instagram blog: Click Here

Concurrently, I serve as the President of the Kazakhstan – Asia – Pacific Trade & Investment Chamber (KAPTIC). The website is www.investkazakhstan.com.sg


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