Dynion, a Senior Analyst in our London office, provides a wide range of advice, assistance and support to clients, with a particular focus on fast growing companies and companies entering or operating in developing markets
Dynion’s travels, often solitary, have taken him just about everywhere and involved him doing just about everything - from roaming Kyrgyzstan’s isolated and beautiful mountain ranges to sleeping on the deck of a fruit boat making its way from Iquitos in Peru to Leticia in Colombia. His excursions are adventurous, but always carefully planned in advance. He’s excited by ideas, but for him ideas alone are never enough: what really motivates him is making things happen, turning ideas into reality. He’s essentially pragmatic, and these days in his element helping clients devise and implement their business strategies, particularly in challenging environments.
For many, finding the right path in life isn’t easy, but for Dynion it seems to have come naturally. From his earliest days at school in the Netherlands, where he grew up, he was good at technical and scientific subjects, and in secondary school he opted for the VWO diploma course, which prepares students for research university entrance. Even then, however, he knew that being good at science was never going to be enough. In his mind, technical knowledge becomes valuable when it is applied to something, put to use to achieve a given end. Perhaps because his parents had created and were running their own business, he had also always been interested in commercial endeavours, how they operated and what made them succeed or fail. These various strands seem to have woven together seamlessly in his ultimate career choice.
When the time came to apply for university courses, the Science and Innovation Management course at Utrecht University seemed an obvious choice – and it certainly wasn’t a choice he regretted, but by the end of the course he was feeling a degree of frustration. He didn’t feel it was equipping him to go out into the world and make a useful contribution. He decided he needed to do an Applied Masters degree, and he wanted to go abroad to do it. The approach of local universities was, in his view, too theoretical.
He applied to six universities in various countries and was accepted by his first choice – Gothenburg University in Sweden. It turned out to be a marvellous two years. The course involved a lot of teamwork - he found himself working and studying with people from all over the world - and he encountered Intellectual Property for the first time. He was immediately intrigued and could see its potential for generating additional sources of revenue. He also spent time, and had a great deal of fun, working at One Stop Future Shop, a body that had been set up with EU funding to help start-ups develop concepts and ideas - and he benefitted enormously from the internships that were part of the course. He wanted an internship in China and was offered one with Rouse –that was his introduction to the firm. In the end, he did two internships there: one in Beijing office, one in Shanghai office.
Dynion has always been driven by curiosity and during his internships in China he didn’t waste a minute. The whole of his time was spent observing and learning. During the week, he would be working on a strategic model and doing some of his first work for Rouse’s clients, and every weekend travelling to a different city, visiting museums, historical and religious monuments, and experiencing the local food. He learned a lot – as he always does when he travels.
His parents, themselves great travellers, can probably justly claim some responsibility both for Dynion’s love of travel and his ability to travel in the way he does. While still at school he had travelled to more than 25 countries with his family and early on his father had taken him hiking - although at the time it wasn’t something that Dynion did with any great enthusiasm. At that stage, he was much more interested in team sports like Korfball, which is similar to netball and basketball, and tennis. His enthusiasm for hiking developed later, during a two-month holiday with his brother in Canada and America. There, he began to really enjoy being close to nature and to understand what hiking is all about. Not that his interest in team sports diminished: he continues to be as enthusiastic and involved as ever, his most recent activity being rowing in an eight, which he began while doing his Masters in Sweden.
His most recent personal adventure has been hiking in Kyrgyzstan, and doing it perhaps the way he likes best. First, some very careful planning, working out exactly where he wanted to go and learning as much as possible about the regions he wanted to climb, including the location of military zones. In this way, he would be as well prepared as possible in the event of his phone dying. Having done all the advance preparation, he could be reasonably flexible and let things develop. By now, he’s confident he can find his way in any country. He says that for this sort of travel you are responsible for yourself and you need to make sure you do it well. It’s one of the things he particularly enjoys about it.
Most days were spent hiking in Kyrgyzstan’s vast, empty, unspoiled mountains. Then he rented a car, which, in one of the poorest countries in the world, is likely to be an adventure in itself. And it was, with lots of people thumbing a ride, including a shepherd who had been herding sheep and wanted to be taken further along the road. They, no doubt, were amazed to be riding in a foreigner’s car; and Dynion was equally amazed to have them as passengers.
Dynion’s next travel destination is likely to be the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka or Mexico’s volcanoes, but at this stage he has no definite plans. For now, he’s happily engaged in his clients’ adventures. Helping them develop their plans and achieve their goals is enormously rewarding.