Interview with Echelon: Abdurrahman Haroon, COO of Roar Global

Roar Global
April 17, 2023

From day one, Roar Global’s core mission has been to use media to drive positive change. We have built platforms to tell the stories of the people, issues and ideas that are shaping our region and are helping businesses in emerging markets harness the power of media platforms to achieve growth and boost local economies. Today, this same passion for doing good drives our strategies for diversification, international expansion, and product innovation.

To dive into this, Abdurrahman Haroon, COO of Roar Global, spoke with Echelon for its April 2023 issue.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

On our commitment to doing good:

“At Roar, we have a clear vision for ourselves that goes beyond just becoming a unicorn… We strongly believe that businesses have a responsibility to do more than just focus on pure profit or growth at all costs. Every business has the potential to make a positive difference and contribute to a better world.”

“We recognize that profits are fleeting, but the impact we make on people’s lives can endure for generations… Our ultimate goal is to leave a lasting legacy that enriches the lives of those around us and contributes to a better world. We also take great pride in the values we collectively hold as an organization. Integrity is non-negotiable at Roar.”

On putting this into practice across our two distinct business verticals — ad resales and media and publishing:

“We have come to realise that our role within the digital ecosystem is to level the playing field.”

“We drive impact while staying true to our growth objectives by building business models that have a strong focus on communities. This includes producing media to amplify the voices of underrepresented people and communities, and media reselling to help businesses become more efficient and grow by leveraging the best digital tools available globally, and for small businesses to compete on a global scale.”

“We believe that it is vital for all communities to have equal access to the best content and digital tools, regardless of language barriers. We invest in and create high-quality, multilingual content in Sinhala, Tamil and Bangla so that our audiences are better informed, and provide in-depth local language training and resources for digital media buying within an industry that is English-dominant.”

“We obsess over customers and driving value… We strive to provide the best value to each of the 1,000+ customers that we work with, from providing them with solutions to combat exchange rate fluctuations when buying digital media inventory to providing deep, individual consultation and support to help their businesses grow by harnessing the power of digital tools.”

“Roar would not be the company that it is today without the amazing team that we are fortunate to have… We equip each person with a clear growth map for themselves and provide them with the tools and resources they need, not just to do their jobs in the most efficient way possible but to grow beyond their current skill sets and evolve to become better in their fields of work.”

On our new impact-driven investments and product innovations:

“Our plans for the next five years include building and investing heavily in tech products that improve customer experience and helping our clients work with us in an efficient and streamlined manner across local languages.”

“This year, we plan on being present in three new markets within South Asia that have very similar market dynamics to Sri Lanka, with large, underserved populations and a significant portion of their GDP driven by SMEs. Our objective is to replicate our success in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in these markets to help bring about positive business growth across the clients that we engage with.”

“We also plan to further our investments in content that dives deep into the how-tos of digital media buying… With this, we want to empower and support the next wave of traditional businesses in their digital transformation and business growth.”

Advice to other companies that want to be more impact-driven:

I think it’s incredibly important for a company to focus on the ‘why’ and to be driven by what moves and motivates you and your team to do what you do, beyond just your income. Once you have identified this, each time you look to make a business decision, look to bring about relativity to your ‘why’.”

“Ask yourself what core problem are you solving and how that impacts societies at large. Identify initiatives that you can undertake to further this that will not only grow your market share in the long term but also create the most amount of impact.”

Read the full interview on Echelon here.

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