Christian Rasmussen, CEO and Executive Director of Beyon Connect highlights the digital impact on quality of life, the milestones of the company, and enriching local talent with global expertise in this interview.
What is your vision for Beyon Connect?
When we started Beyon Connect, it was clear that we were creating something that would work in the region. We aimed to bring in standards and best practices from around the world to digitise societies, governments, and businesses. The scope, however, is much broader than we imagined. These digital solutions are sought after beyond the region. Their purpose is to uplift society; for instance, the OneID product is a national digital identity tool which helps government, banks, and other authorities communicate with citizens, no matter where they’re located within a territory.
The vision is to make these technologies accessible to everyone so that no one is left behind due to complexity or technological barriers.
What are some of the major milestones Beyon Connect has achieved?
Since Beyon Connect got off the ground, we’ve aimed big and strategic, with Bahrain spotlighting our products. At the same time, there was a growing demand for products around the world. Our first real partnership kicked off over a year ago with Egypt Post and the Ministry of ICT, putting all our offerings in Egypt first, then expanding to sub-Saharan Africa. As of now, we are in close dialogue with a number of sub-Saharan countries and ready to give them access to our platforms through our joint venture with Egypt.
Earlier this year we teamed up with partners in Singapore and New Zealand. This move expands our reach to seven countries, reaching 700 million people. We’re set to launch our services in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Another of our recent successes is with OneID in Bahrain, and we’re excited about collaborating with government entities and businesses here in Bahrain with plans in place to implement Beyon Connect’s OneID technology for a number of organisations. By bringing in our services, we can lift people to a higher quality of life, irrespective of the demographics.
What are some of the challenges you face as a company?
Formalising deals can be a long game, sometimes taking over a year to finalise. Additionally, there’s a lot of pressure to meet high expectations, deliver quality, and ensure products mature and become viable.
While we strive to find the right blend of skills as we continue to build Beyon Connect’s portfolio, we take this as an opportunity to support the development of talented young Bahrainis. There are strong education and youth development programmes available in Bahrain and we’re working closely with them to attract and onboard the right talents for us. It’s also important to create the right environment for development and we support this by bringing in experienced local and international talents. This way, we can contribute to the career development of our young Bahraini team members and help them to reach their full potential.
What according to you are the key qualities or skills that every leader should possess in order to thrive?
Understanding and respecting different cultures, promoting equal opportunities and rights, empowering teams, building trust, and effective communication are all essential factors in our work. Sometimes, that means making tough calls, like saying no or letting team members go. Other times, we realise we’ve made a wrong decision and need to pivot. Such experiences, while painful, are valuable lessons for the future. Being constantly alert and juggling multiple responsibilities is part of being a leader. If you’re too comfortable, you risk slowing down and not evolving.
Is there a particular saying or motto that guides you?
“Fear not this pain because someday it will make you stronger.”