Pictured above: Rajant’s co-founder and CEO Bob Schena fondly recounts his travels and meeting 35 partners in 35 days.
Travel. It is often called the secret weapon of entrepreneurs and CEOs. Reintroducing Bob Schena. He happens to be both.
When we last left off in Part 1, Rajant CEO Bob Schena was finalizing last minute details and about to embark on a worldwide tour with visits in 11 countries on six continents—all in the name of growing Rajant. The purpose of his 35-day journey was to meet with partners face-to-face and personally show his gratitude for their business and reiterate Rajant’s high-level of commitment in product development and product support to partners and customers alike.
That was in July.
Since then, Schena has returned from his 35,000-mile global trek in August, feeling re-energized and very refreshed, in great part due to his one-on-one meetings with more than 35 Rajant partners. He has not skipped a beat in retrieving the reins and resuming his leadership role from Rajant’s corporate headquarters at 200 Chesterfield Parkway in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
This quiet suburb of Philadelphia is a long way from all of the cities Schena just visited, but the experiences, relationships, and memories made will all influence future decisions and directions. The encounters abroad not only allowed Schena to express his sincere appreciation for choosing Rajant, but provided the opportunity to listen intently to what each partner and customer had to say about their own experience with Rajant and thoughts for the forthcoming years.
After chatting with Schena about his recent global trek, I realized his follow-up piece needed to be split into chapters. Part two is on South America and South Africa. Part three includes Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Part four will focus on Australia and his return trip to North America. Let his journey unravel.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide
Pictured above: Rajant’s VP of Business Development – Latin America Sagar Chandra and CEO Bob Schena enjoying dinner in Vitória, Brazil with Marx Gutierrez and Samuel Brito of SITECH Brasil.
After 10 hours of travel, Schena’s first set of flights touched down at the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru and he began his whirlwind visits.
After greeting Sagar Chandra, Rajant’s VP of Business Development – Latin America, the two traveled to the Port of Callao, Peru’s main commercial seaport on the Pacific Ocean, for a behind-the-scenes tour of a global port and meetings with the port operator.
“It was great to see Rajant BreadCrumbs® up on towers and equipment,” said Schena. “They are using our technology to help operate their port in Peru and are very happy that our equipment is very reliable, accomplishes what they want it to do, and exceeds their expectations.”
Afterward, the two traveled to a polymetallic mining complex that produces copper, zinc and molybdenum concentrates, as well as, silver and lead concentrates as byproducts.
“What was especially fascinating with this mining company was they did a little bit of network homework before our meeting,” Schena remarked. “At first, I thought 99.5 availability is what their metric showed for the day, which is really fantastic. But I was corrected. It was actually 99.95.”
A mine solution company was next on his must-visit list in Lima. He and Chandra had a productive working lunch discussing future opportunities with the GM before visiting a mining company that produces copper concentrate, molybdenum concentrate and zinc metal in the south of the Moquegua Region of Peru.
The last visit in Lima was with a large trading company where Schena and senior management met to discuss oil and gas, mining, and Ecuador followed by a “spectacular” dinner inside an Inca Ruin in Huaca Pucllana.
Schena then traveled to Santiago with Chandra to meet with senior management teams of several partners and resellers, including a global mining company; a digital solution provider that offers telecommunications, automation and digital transformation services; a large trading company; and the largest copper producing company in the world—all in the course of three days.
“These meetings were very energizing and the people are great,” noted Schena. “The partners we met with are extremely committed and very excited to be working with Rajant. Everywhere I went, I just drew energy from them. It was invigorating.
One particularly interesting meeting was with the copper mine, who is very committed to LTE and 5G, which is a message we hear all around the world. While people say that at one level, they continue to use Rajant at another level.”
After landing in Brazil, Schena met with top execs from a leading construction technology provider for sightseeing and then dinner. Stops included the Art Deco statue Christ the Redeemer and the beach at Copacabana, one of the best-known districts of Rio de Janeiro. The following day, Schena visited their offices in Belo Horizonte, where he noticed ten full-time employees wearing Rajant shirts, met seven employees hired specifically to work with Rajant BreadCrumbs, and had the fun opportunity to drive their autonomous dozer.
“This distributor had built their wireless remote-control system to control heavy construction equipment, which by the way had Rajant logos,” Schena commented. “I was able to use their remote control across the Rajant network to control a front-end loader to move a quarter mile down the road without any latency. It was all controlled by our technology and it was exciting.”
One last set of meetings before departing South America was with several senior team members of a global mining company, who is the largest manufacturer of iron, ore, and nickel in the world.
“This land in the middle of Brazil has all of these people engaged and committed to Rajant technology. It was very exhilarating,” stated Schena.
“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T.S. Eliot
Pictured above: Taking a short break from his travels, CEO Bob Schena was able to get up close and personal with several of the animals in the Lion and Safari Park, near Johannesburg.
With very successful visits in South America behind him, Schena boarded a flight for Johannesburg, this time connecting with Chris Mason, Rajant’s Vice President of Sales – EMEA, upon arrival. Together they traveled to meet the information management team of Anglo American, a global mining company with a portfolio that includes diamonds, platinum, copper, iron ore, nickel, and more. With a specific thought in mind, their discussions, which included a local customer, were around the adoption of Rajant as a standard for the company’s pit communications and the ongoing activities on certification with OEM’s of mining equipment.
“I am always happy to visit with this mining company,” Schena shared. “They are the definition of an extraordinary positive customer from a relationship perspective. They are direct, forthright, and enthusiastic when working with us. They are interested enough to actually impact the development of our technology and are very clear as to what they want and what they don’t want.”
Schena then met with a networking distributor regarding their activities, reseller relations, future development, and increasing Rajant centric activities. This productive meeting was topped off with an excellent dinner. The following day, he had breakfast with Rajant’s principal sub-Saharan Africa integrator then a meeting with a leading distributor of wireless, networking, VoIP and IP video products, which included an introduction to their newly appointed MD of Global Communications.
At a wireless network service company and a Rajant reseller, Schena met with the Chief Commercial Officer and Supply Chain Manager before holding a new reseller onboarding meeting with another telecommunications provider in an office directly overlooking the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.
Schena wrapped up the trip to South Africa by meeting with a third telecom service provider and one of Rajant’s newer resellers who targets South Africa, Zambia, and DRC. Here, he met with senior management to review activities and discuss prospects followed by dinner, before catching their flight to the next destination. 🖉
In upcoming issues, Schena’s global trek continues with his visits to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in “Part 3: Discovering New Insight—Rajant CEO’s Travel Story Continues” and to Australia before returning to North America in “Part 4: Around the World in 35 Day—Rajant CEO Completes His Mission”.