I like to think outside the box, and in 2020 I saw a unique opportunity to drive social and economic success for Ard Holdings. In partnership with MongolTV, I hosted the first season of The Apprentice Mongolia (based on the hit reality TV show format from the United States).
We signed the agreement just before COVID-19 hit. We had already shot the promotional videos, and I was in Europe when the pandemic was declared. I was lucky to return home, and completely finish shooting the show in between my quarantine and the country going into lockdown.
The timing was perfect, and as far as I’m aware, we were the only show in the country coming out with new episodes when everyone was stuck at home watching TV. Ard Financial Group was featured in four episodes, where we gave contestants different tasks to complete around our company and services, including Ard App and ArdCoin. I also wanted the show to promote financial literacy, and help viewers learn more about personal finance, business and entrepreneurship – a topic I feel very passionate about.
But I have also always wanted to leave the world a better place for my children. I feel that the media is very powerful and has a lot of influence in society. I set out to create TenGerLeague Media Group with the goal of making a positive contribution to the media landscape, and supporting an objective media organization with true editorial independence. Obviously, I also feel that it’s a valuable addition to the Ard portfolio of companies, and it was important for me to list it on the stock exchange so anybody could be an owner.
We launched TenGerLeague Media Group on July 1, 2021 – the first publicly traded media group with about a dozen different businesses under it, of which two are TV channels. This complex deal is valued at about MNT50 billion, or roughly $21 million Canadian. Ard Financial Group holds 41.83 percent of TenGerLeague Media Group.
As a result of our marketing efforts through The Apprentice Mongolia show, market capitalization of Ard Financial Group surpassed almost $125 million Canadian for the first time, and stock appreciation was fueled by the show. The Apprentice Mongolia also contributed to the success of our many services including Ard Life, which grew to 25,000 customers – a 145 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2021. At the end of 2020, our premium revenue surged from $45,965 Canadian to more than $218,000 Canadian per month, thanks to newly added accounts after the show aired.
The Apprentice Mongolia also showed viewers first-hand the hard work that goes into making Ard Financial Group a success. It also showed viewers what it takes to become successful.
I think the show gave them inspiration and motivation. I wanted to send the message that no matter who they are or where they came from, they can achieve success if they put in the effort.
I am looking forward to seeing the impact that TenGerLeague Media Group makes on business, and also, my country. It may be non-traditional for a financial service company to own a media company, but I felt it was a great business opportunity to diversify which would benefit both our shareholders and society at large.