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Talgar Bolat

Head of Belt & Road Market

Make sure your job is your true passion

I am an ethnic Kazakh, but was born in China. After graduating from Shanghai University, I began a career in the education sector in China. However, two years later I relocated to KIMEP University in Almaty, studied for an MBA-Finance degree and then spent time as a programme manager focusing on marketing and student recruitment. 

I joined the AIX just as it was starting up. If I’m being perfectly honest, I didn’t have much practical experience in finance when I started , but I was really lucky to get the opportunity to fill in the gaps quickly, experiencing a comprehensive business chain on a world-class stock exchange platform. 

It wasn’t easy at the start, and that was compounded by an extremely detail-focused supervisor, who just had to have everything “perfect”. I was always facing new challenges, my own ‘missions impossible’ so to speak, and being pushed to make the perfection even more perfect. The high benchmarks from back then still keep pushing me to achieve excellence, even now. 

Nur-Sultan was where the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) was launched, and the AIX was involved from the get-go, developing a special AIX Belt and Road Market segment – the first of its kind in BRI countries to provide capital market solutions. Its main objective is to attract foreign investment, mainly from Mainland China to meet the financing needs of regional projects. And as Kazakhstan-China financial cooperation develops, I believe that Kazakhstan has great potential to become a successful business model in BRI finance terms and accomplish great investment opportunities, probably the best in the entire Eurasian region. In addition to exporting raw materials and importing high value-added goods, we need to be actively diversifying the economy by attracting foreign investment. 

Since the very beginning, I have been involved in the development of the AIX Belt and Road Market, starting from when we launched the segment, on-boarded the key market players, and then streamlining the whole market ecosystem by building infrastructure and finding issuers. I have been directly involved in so many really exciting projects, like the first RMB bond listing on the AIX, which was also actually the first RMB-denominated bond issue in Kazakhstan and Central Asian history. And for that reason it is far more significant than its value would suggest, and is a truly important milestone in Kazakhstan-China financial relations. 

I like that the AIX is a truly international company in so many ways. It operates in an internationally recognised regulatory framework and offers a high level of diversification between its shareholder structure and management team members, who come from various countries. You can see different cultures interacting with each other every day. Everyone working at the AIX either has international work experience or can speak two, three or even four languages. 

The AIX has made significant progress in three years even though the team has never been that large. Its successes could not have been achieved unless everyone demonstrated a high level of empathy, efficiency, responsibility and team spirit. 

You spend more time at work than you do at home with your family. So, for that reason, make sure your job is your true passion. It’s so much easier to reap the rewards and grow faster when you enjoy what you do. It is also very important to stay positive. There is no such a thing as a perfect organisation or structure, and there is always someone who can provide a better result under the same circumstances than you. I think that’s what you need to pay attention to. We are all developing our own personal brand and need to make sure we’re constantly improving our knowledge, experience, talents, and soft and hard skills just to stay competitive in today’s fast changing world.