Our people | 23 August 2022

Blue Wireless is turning seven!

Magnificent 7
Written by
Daniela Muente, Global Marketing Manager The Netherlands

60 colleagues. 80 countries covered. 3,000 services installed. 7 years in the making to become the leading wireless network services provider for global enterprises.

Did it all start in a garage? What was the spark? How did the company grow? What’s next? Let’s find out in this interview with Blue Wireless founder and CEO, Ivan Landen.

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Daniela: Was it really in a garage?

Ivan: Haha! No, it actually was the guestroom in my house in Singapore. I started from scratch, employee number one, trying to figure things out. But I was lucky to have Joop join me as co-founder and in the first year, we spend many days and nights traveling across AsiaPac meeting suppliers, pitching to customers, testing things out, and working 24/7. And we have been doing it ever since, except now the travel is global!

D. What was the “Eureka” moment when you knew this had to happen?

I: It played in my mind for a while in 2015 as mobile 3G was common, 4G was just rolling out and 5G was this futuristic thing everyone talked about, but there was little idea how it would actually work in business.

I got intrigued by how to make a business out of it by applying it to a sector I knew well throughout my career: global enterprises. But I actually do recall that moment when I finally put pen to paper and wrote down the business plan on a few A4s, fueled by a few gin & tonics, to now really take the step and do it, that was in August 2015.

Original Business Plan

D. And where does the name ‘Blue Wireless’ actually come from, I’m sure you get asked this a lot?

I: Well, in Singapore we had three mobile operators: one red, one green and one orange, so I had to choose a different colour! But then the fact that our services would be wireless, using the open sky, reaching everywhere, hence blue. Fun fact – the initial name was actually ‘Blue Link’, but I changed my mind on the way to the company registration, just realizing that if I believed that wireless is to be the future, better attach our name to it.

D. So, everything went as planned?

I: Haha, of course not! Lots of ups and down and sometimes biting off a little more than we could chew, but we learned a lot along the way. One thing is that you can not do this alone. It is truly a team effort and as we’re growing we come to realise that, in the business of service providers, people truly make the difference.

D. In 7 years, do you have one favourite anecdote?

I: Well, we have gone through so many adventures over the years, but a funny one was that in the very beginning with no staff, I created an e-mail address for Jack, our PR Manager. Obviously, there was no PR manager (or Jack), but I tried to look bigger and more respectable to the media I was trying to get our story in. Fast forward 5 years later, I still got a spam call looking for Jack! A bit embarrassing now, but in the early days, we did what we had to do.

D. Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I: Wow, there are too many things, but if I distill it, I believe there are three things that are critical. First, start in a sector that you know and where you have a network. For me, being in this industry for twenty years before taking the leap into entrepreneurship, was a great advantage. Secondly, build a good support system, you can’t do this alone. Without good co-founders, staff, investors, and family support you can’t do this, you’ll burn out or end up broke. And third, balance your vision with practical flexibility, stick to the long-term goals, but adjust along the way to what is needed to survive and evolve. And finally – never ever give up!

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D. What’s the future of Blue Wireless?

I: Blue Wireless is in a great spot and we are growing at an incredible pace. My role is to support the growth and make sure we become the leading wireless network service provider for global enterprises, helping them on their journey to get the best out of the amazing wireless technologies out there.

Join us on the ride and watch this space, interesting times ahead!

Talk to

Ivan Landen, CEO

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