The Mongol’s traditional home, ger or yurt, a tent made of felt, is divided into two parts – the western, man’s part, where a saddle and hunting gear is stored, and the eastern, woman’s part, home to kitchen utensils and other household items. Battushig Batbold and his wife Tselmun Nyamtaishir represent the new, Western-educated generation of young entrepreneurs who unite West and East not only within the family but also in their business ventures.
Battushig is Chairman of Skytel LLC, one of Mongolia’s largest telecom and media companies, that recently started moving to new, hi-tech areas such as the online platform SkyGo. The platform is similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime of Mongolia. Despite its modest size in terms of audience and subscription base, SkyGo made a significant investment in Mongolia’s top-rated TV show: the 2019-2020 season of Fantastic Production content for the widely popular 37th Toichka show.
Battushig’s personal contacts with the CEO of Fantastic Production made the move possible despite skepticism within the SkyTel management given that TV shows until recently did not demonstrate a good return on investment. However, fortune favors the brave, and Battushig’s risky investment in the TV content turned out to be a success, attracting over 300,000 viewers and subscribers to SKyGo during the 20-episode series of 2 seasons.
The investment was made through Unet Production, set up as a small VC production company set up to finance independent films and TV content. Unet Production made a minority investment alongside Skytel for financing the production of 37th Toichka. Co-founded by Battushig and his wife Tselmuun, Unet Production is promoting interesting content for Mongolia’s viewers and possibly for ventures between Mongolia and the western film industry. Through Battushig’s friend from his years at the University of Chicago, Rebecca Roven, daughter of Chuck Roven, a world-renowned Hollywood producer known for such blockbusters as the Dark Knight and Wonder Woman, he has close connections with the Hollywood elite. This helps Battushig and Tselmuun generate commercially viable business ideas in the show business and have them tested by the industry’s best.
One of the projects Battushig and Tselmuun have been contemplating for a long time is a film about the role of women during the time of Genghis Khan. The thoughts were inspired by Jack Weatherford’s book, The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, which highlights the role of strong women in shaping the nation during and after Genghis Khan’s time. Given Battushig’s passion for all things new, there is every reason to expect the project to get off to a flying start in the near future.
Battushig is a natural promoter of gender equality, having been raised in the US by a single mother. The fact that CEOs of both major companies where he is the Board Chairman, Skytel and Emart Mongolia, are women is proof of his commitment to having women in leadership positions. Tselmuun, Battushig’s wife, is also President/CEO of one of the largest family companies in Mongolia, Mongolyn Alt MAK.