Orchestrating a New Era in Digital Music and Live Streaming!
It’s often said, “Life is not what you expect; it is made up of the most unexpected twists and turns.” One of the most remarkable aspects of life is its ability to surprise us. Just when we think we have it all figured out, the unexpected happens. We may encounter unforeseen obstacles that force us to take a different path, or we may stumble upon unanticipated joys that light up our days. It’s in these unexpected moments that life truly comes alive.
Think about it: some of your most cherished memories and meaningful experiences were likely the result of unexpected events. That spontaneous road trip with friends led to unforgettable adventures or the chance encounter with a kind stranger that turned your day around. These are the moments that add richness and depth to our lives.
Similarly, in the world of business, sometimes a career takes an unexpected turn, leading to a new and exciting path. Cagri Bozay, Founder and CEO of Musixen, is a perfect example of this entrepreneurial spirit.
Cagri’s journey began when he graduated from Başkent University with a degree in business Administration. He entered the professional world, starting with roles in sales and customer service. His career took him through various prestigious positions, including Group Sales Manager at DHL Express, Sales Director for Southern Europe Emerging Markets at Monster Worldwide, and Sales Director at Avansas.com. Before venturing into the world of entrepreneurship, he held the position of Assistant General Manager, where he was in charge of sales and served as an Executive Board Member at Hürriyet Emlak.
But sometimes, a job doesn’t quite satisfy your deepest aspirations. At the age of 40, Cagri decided to leave his comfort zone and follow his long-held dream of becoming an entrepreneur. In 2020, he founded Musixen, a venture that brings a new melody to his life and the lives of others.
Cagri’s story reminds us that it’s never too late to pursue our dreams. His transition from the corporate world to the world of music and entrepreneurship is a testament to the power of passion and the drive to follow one’s heart. At Musixen, he’s crafting a unique symphony of success, and we’re eager to see where the music takes him.
Below are the interview highlights:
Could you please brief about your company and its inception story?
Musixen is a comprehensive, centralized live stream, music services marketplace, and copyright business platform. In recent years, the digital consumption habits of the new generation have focused on live consumption; the digitalization needs of the music and performing arts industries have not yet been fully met; and the need for equal distribution of income among artists on digital platforms were the main reasons for our departure. We believed that if we could create a new ecosystem built on solving the problems of stakeholders in the industry, we could create a success story by becoming one of the global players, and of course, we believed in our capabilities. We can say that the changing habits both after the pandemic and during the pandemic have reinforced that we made the right decision and that we need to move forward.
Could you share a defining moment or experience from your early career that shaped your leadership style and decision-making approach?
At a time when Hürriyet Emlak, one of the largest online real estate marketing companies in Turkey and Europe, which I led before establishing my own company, declined to 3rd place in the market as a result of its poor performance in terms of both market conditions and business model in 2017, I made a radical decision for the first time in the history of the company, changing 70% of the entire team and making some changes in the business model, and I can say that I ensured a significant improvement in a very short time and laid the foundations for today’s success in market share. It was the biggest milestone in my CEO career in terms of courage, determination, and action.
How do you prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively as a CEO, and how do you foster a positive company culture and motivate your team?
Effective time management and building a positive company culture are some important aspects of my role as CEO. I usually categorize tasks that I need to follow. There are very important ones that are always on my mind. Then daily tasks and regular follow-ups are not important. I also built some hierarchal order in my mind. For example, when there is an issue related to investors, I first deal with them.
To have a positive company culture, I believe there should be harmony between team members. To do this, I motivate the team with some activities and try to form transparent and open relations at the company. I never underestimate what is being said by the team and try to listen, understand, and find a solution. But before that, I encourage them to find their solutions.
Can you provide an example of a challenging situation you faced as a Chief Executive Officer, how you resolved it, and how you stay updated with industry trends and advancements?
Managing a business does not only mean managing your employees or customers. As CEO, you should encourage all stakeholders, from investors to suppliers, to act with the same vision and integrity. Many moments exemplify this management style for me, but I can say that the most important one is that I found an investment of 1 million dollars within 1 month at the point of running out of money after establishing my company, while at the same time managing our employees and suppliers in a way that they would not leave us in this troubled situation, and thus I can say that I have signed the story of how we became a global player.
In a rapidly changing business landscape, how do you stay ahead of the curve and foster a culture of innovation within your organization?
There are not any specific actions we take at Musixen other than being customer-oriented and open to feedback. Throughout these years of my professional life, I have learned some strategies to stay ahead of the curve. The vision of your company has to be very sharp. As we are in a highly digital business environment, I would also mention embracing technology and digital transformation. Always try to find out what’s going on in the industry and what the innovations are.
What is your approach to managing risk and ensuring compliance within the organization, how do you handle setbacks or failures, and what lessons have you learned from them?
- We are always trying to identify and assess the potential risks that could impact our company.
- We also prioritize risks based on their potential impact and likelihood.
- As a team, we establish clear policies, procedures, and guidelines to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. and also keep up-to-date with changes in regulations that affect the music industry.
Risk Mitigation Strategies:
- We develop strategies to mitigate identified risks, implement risk management plans, and allocate necessary resources.
- We educate employees about compliance requirements and risk management procedures.
Monitoring and Reporting:
- We build monitoring systems to track compliance and risk management efforts and establish reporting mechanisms for employees to report compliance violations or potential risks.
- Both personally and as a team, communicate openly with employees, stakeholders, and customers about the situation.
As I am always using the process, technology, and team effort to solve the crisis or to analyze whatever the failure or mistake is, I have the chance to act very quickly as I am well prepared and have the motivation to handle it.
Success and failure often go hand in hand in the business world. How do you approach and learn from failures, and how has failure contributed to your growth as a leader?
Of course, no one wants to fail in his or her life, especially in a professional career, but I see failures as a part of learning. When there is a big, unexpected mistake, I usually take my time to consider the reason behind that failure. Once I find out the reasons, I try to remember the feeling and how it affects me personally.
I believe failures in someone’s life can contribute to your growth as a leader if you’re open to learning some valuable lessons from them. Learn not only from your failures but also from and examine the failures of someone that you know and try to learn some lessons from them.
What are your strategies for attracting and retaining top talent, and how do you approach strategic partnerships and collaborations to drive business growth?
Attractive Company Culture:
- We are trying to develop a positive, inclusive, and employee-friendly work culture.
- We always highlight our company’s values, mission, and vision.
Competitive Compensation and Benefits:
- We are providing a competitive salary and benefit packages.
- We are offering some additional perks like flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, and professional development opportunities.
Investing in Employee Development:
- We regularly offer training and development programs to help employees grow in their careers.
- We are encouraging continuous learning and skill enhancement.
- We are always trying to build a strong employer brand through social media, company websites, and industry events.
- Showcase the unique aspects of your workplace.
Effective Recruitment Process:
- We are using data-driven techniques to identify and target the best talent.
Employee Recognition and Engagement:
- I appreciate every employee, and we are rewarding top performers regularly.
- We have open communication and feedback channels.
Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives:
- We create an inclusive environment that welcomes people of all backgrounds.
We care very much about strategic partnerships and collaborations, as we are aware that it is the best way to develop a business with a minimum cost base. The critical issue when making a collaboration or partnership is choosing the right player who can bring you the most value.
What advice would you give to aspiring young entrepreneurs who aspire to become successful CEOs and leaders?
I would list the most important topics for me.
- Identify the real problem, then formulate your strategy to solve it. Always ask yourself if my startup makes any difference in solving that problem. If not, think differently and try to find innovative solutions.
- Have a strong and well-skilled team. Hire people with the necessary skills who are eager to learn and do business in a challenging work environment.
- Always set some achievable targets for yourself and your team. This helps you to question what you and your team are doing, and you may change your strategy or way of doing business based on your answers.
- It’s very important to know the most important figures in your business, like your name. Not only yourself but also your team needs to learn these figures related to your business. So put some effort into it.
- Time is the only thing that you can’t buy, so don’t spend more time on things that have limited effects on your business. Task prioritization and managing your time effectively are crucial.
- Motivation is yet another important aspect for a CEO to have. Motivate your team yourself and reward you when you achieve the most important goals.
- Track and monitor the performance of the business regularly. Try to adjust some strategy formulations based on the results.
- To have a clear mind I believe an entrepreneur should balance his or her life between work and life. This would help someone to have a balanced physical and mental orientation.
Challenge yourself and your team with new things and new problems. Try to see things differently.
Last but not least, I need to say that I had the chance to experience the advantages of having a strong network at Musixen. This can be a professional network, or it can be a personal network that the person has by continuing the relationships they have built up to date.