Bent Rye has broad experience in direct and partner sales, scaling of business operations and large deal management.
What’s your story?
I have been part of building the Internet for almost 20 years with Cisco – first in Europe, then worldwide based at Cisco HQ in Silicon Valley. It was a tremendous experience to be part of building the commercial part of the Internet almost from scratch and into a truly global network that has changed “everything” and connected everyone. None of us at Cisco could have imagined the impact we ultimately would have on the planet.
Also, to have walked the path of seeing a technology company from a small start-up to a behemoth with $50B in revenue, from a few hundred employees to 70,000 employees are experiences that you can not plan for or imagine. We learned as we went along and we were able to keep the company on track and growing exponentially for a very long time.
What excites you most about your industry?
The ability to connect people around the globe. The underlying infrastructure that makes all the communication possible excites me – without it, no Google search or WhatsApp call.
The next “big thing” in communication will be what’s called “Embedded Real-Time Communication”. This means that any mobile app, web app and IoT devices will have real-time interactive voice, video and data capabilities built-in. This requires a global cloud-based infrastructure and SDKs (Software Development Kits) that makes it very easy to for any of these applications to connect and utilize this global communications infrastructure. This what we have built at Temasys.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I have worked extensively across Asia with Cisco and then as CEO for a Singapore based technology start-up over the past 3 years. I very much enjoy working in Asia where there are tremendous opportunities for innovation and growth in technology over the coming years.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is a perfect location for me. Excellent infrastructure, easy for travel around the region and a great place to build a tech start-up with excellent access to talent.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
A person’s attitude is as important as any other qualifications.
Who inspires you?
In business Richard Branson. For creativity, professionalism and longevity The Rolling Stones.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The amount of plastic in the oceans. I had no idea how bad it has become. Incredible lesson learned over the past 12 months.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Probably to work a bit less and find more time for “real” time off.
How do you unwind?
With music and immerse myself in world affairs. Love a walk in the park!
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Hua Hin. Beautiful beaches, lot’s of great restaurants, friendly Thai culture and my Norwegian family’s favorite destination.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Virgin Way – Richard Branson
Shameless plug for your business:
Temasys Communications aspires to change how the world communicates, with CPaaS 2.0 solutions enabling real-time secure communication easily embedded into any app or device.
How can people connect with you?
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.