By Fabian Vandenreydt, Executive Chairman
I’ve made a few business trips to India in the past, but this was the first one starting from Melsbroeck Airport, as I was part of the delegation for The State Visit to the Republic of India. While the practical arrangements to accompany our Majesties the King and the Queen of the Belgians gave the trip a special flavor, it was also a great opportunity for B-Hive to participate, thanks to an invitation from Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT) and ING.
If I could summarize the trip with a few keywords, the first one coming to my mind would be entrepreneurship in its various forms.
I’ve seen entrepreneurs from different sectors and different levels: from established enterprises to startups. What I could see in all of them was a common passion for what they do, whatever their domain of expertise. It was very refreshing to see, within this blend, how participants were seeking to link up with each other, looking for potential collaboration or synergies. We can be proud in Belgium to have this rich diversity and extensive level of entrepreneurship.
From New Dehli off to Mumbai, I took the time to go to the India Fintech Forum. One of the objectives of FIT was indeed to better position and boost Belgium as a fintech center of excellence. What struck me was the large number of very young people engaged in this domain, but even more the well-balanced gender diversity. I must admit that I moderated the first technology panel in my career where I was the only man, accompanied by four women, and that was fantastic!
It was important to be there for B-Hive. All the themes close to our heart and efforts could be exploited to a maximum extent. I mostly focused on:
· networking with key players in the banking world but as importantly in other sectors;
· making our bridging efforts with the startup and scale-up community better known;
· increasing our visibility in the fintech ecosystem, both as a country and as a company; and
· taking every opportunity to talk about the solutions B-Hive aims to offer within this growing ecosystem.
So yes, it was a great trip, both from a timing and a visibility point of view. And it was an honor to be able to represent B-Hive on such an important mission.