By Sephi Zakai
Everyone who travels abroad from time to time knows that it is not difficult to find Israelis. On the contrary: it is difficult to find places where there are no Israelis. Not only do Israelis travel abroad, but immigrants in large numbers to foreign countries. Quite a few of those Israelis choose to start a business and become financially established in that country. However, when it comes to assimilating into the local community, most of those Israelis try to "feel at home" as much as possible, and are mainly around the community of Israelis and Jews in that country.
We sat down to talk with Israeli millionaire Tom John Light, 32, who lives in Bulgaria, who behaves slightly differently. Between private jet flights, managing a successful gambling technology platform, Tom actually took root in the local community in Sofia, taking even a large orphanage in the city.
Tom, tell us why you live in Bulgaria?
Tom John Light: “I first came to Bulgaria as part of my job as Vice President of SBTech Worldwide. The company's headquarters are in Bulgaria, so I moved there. This is a huge company, a leader in its field, which produces technology and sports betting platforms and solutions. As Vice President, I have led and initiated a number of significant changes, such as the integration of blockchain technology in sports betting, so that the safety of cryptocurrencies will also serve the company's customers.
In 2017, I left SBTech and set up my own company for app development and gambling software. I set it up in Bulgaria, and currently 150 people work there. ”
How did you get appointed to such a senior position?
Tom John Light: “Entrepreneurs and businesses have always flowed at the age of 19, I already moved to Los Angeles to specialize in a company called (InfoSearch Media (ISHM), a huge and international Internet marketing company for a number of very large customers, such as eBay, Amazon and other large entities.
The exit or the first big sale I made was a website I created called Answerbag, which explains to users how to do all kinds of things themselves at home. The site was sold to Demand Media for $ 5 million and turned into eHow.com, which is now a large and successful site. ”
“I've always been socially involved”
Tell us about your community involvement in Sofia
Tom John Light: “The subject of children has always touched my heart. In Israel, I was previously involved in organizing donations and volunteering for kindergartens for asylum seekers in southern Tel Aviv. Despite the political controversy on the subject, I have always had a place in my heart and compassion for children wherever they are, no matter where they are.
When I moved to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, I was exposed to a large orphanage located in the city with dozens of children. I know that I have been greatly fortunate in life, that I have come to be a successful man and a millionaire, and I know that in life it is very helpful to have someone who believes in you and supports you. I felt that I wanted to give a little of myself, to be this man for the children in the orphanage.
I started donating to the children at the orphanage on all kinds of occasions: I donated electrical appliances, washing machines and so on to make it a little more comfortable to live in the orphanage. When winter started, I took all the kids from the orphanage together to the mall, dozens of kids together, and told them to go to whatever store you want, get what you want, I pay, ”says Tom John Light. “Everyone got nice and good coats, winter gloves and the like. I saw that it contributes to their self-esteem, walking around with pretty clothes like everyone else in school.
At the beginning of the newly opened school year, I purchased for each child and child comprehensive school supplies, schoolbags, books, pencil cases and the like. All the kids got good personal gear, and the happiness I saw on their faces was definitely worth it. ”
Many Israelis live abroad, but usually do not "mix" like that
Tom John Light: “In my opinion, it is important and worthwhile for Israeli business people to be involved in the community where they live abroad. First of all, it does good for the soul and contributes to the feeling of belonging in the country. Besides, I see that it contributes very much to the way Israel is viewed as well as the Jews in all kinds of places. Some of the locals were exposed to Israel because of me, and I hope most of them think of me and Israel as good things.