Tero Taskila – Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of Beond

We had the privilege of sitting down with Tero Taskila, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Beond, where he has played a pivotal role in establishing the world’s first premium leisure airline.

In the interview, Tero delves into his career journey, highlighting key milestones and experiences that shaped his professional path. With diverse roles as an Investor, Advisor, Entrepreneur, Coach, and Father, Tero has been instrumental in steering Beond’s global expansion to encompass over 32 aircraft and 60 destinations.

Can you provide a brief overview of your career journey, highlighting key milestones and experiences that shaped your professional path?

As Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Beond, the world’s first premium leisure airline, I played a key role in establishing Beond as the national carrier in the Maldives. 

I am an Investor, Advisor, Entrepreneur, Coach, and Father who values authenticity, integrity, and innovation. I have held C-level positions in multicultural organisations of up to 5000 employees and a turnover of 3 Billion USD across various businesses and industries. I am solution-oriented and driven to break barriers to growth and profitability.

 As a global leader in Aviation, Tech, and Consultancy, I have guided large organisations through financial and operational transition and restructuring. I am known for devising clear strategic plans coupled with solid execution and robust processes.

Beond is a global business, expanding its operations to more than 32 aircraft and 60 destinations around the world. It will be a new type of luxury brand integrating more deeply into the lifestyle of affluent and aspirational clientele. This needs innovation, cultural awareness and global partnerships, which I have from setting up and turning around businesses across the world in the areas of health, technology and aviation.

What factors have contributed to your success, and how have you applied these in your role as CEO of Beond? 

I have always had the drive to do better, and I learned from playing sports professionally that you should always strive for more. The moment you think you have reached perfection is the moment that you should stop. I never strive for perfection; I strive to be a better version of myself, and I apply that same mentality to my business. It comes with finding the right people for your team and working with and building a solid team of individuals who motivate and challenge you and increase your ability to be better, which is one of the essential factors in success. My team makes up the environment and culture. As the CEO of Beond I always look to improve my team’s environment and happiness. There is also an element of never giving up. No matter what hurdle comes your way, it would be best if you always looked for a solution rather than feeling or thinking there is no way around a problem that comes your way. Finding a solution is finding a different route to the same destination.

What sets Beond apart, and how have you ensured that the company remains relevant and innovative?

One exciting thing is that we have hired people who have been working in the industry for over 20 years in the world’s most luxurious and profitable airlines. We have taken the best practices from those airlines, and because of our clean slate approach, we can do something unique while ensuring that we utilise the best practices and learn not to carry their bad practices. This allows us to do things more efficiently right from the beginning. We are working with industry-leading partners to ensure that everything we do is sustainable and cutting-edge. Everything is tailored to delight the customers and provide them with an unforgettable luxury experience.

True luxury can be subjective and mean different things to different people, but it typically goes beyond just the material and the superficial aspects of luxury. True luxury often refers to a high level of quality, exclusivity, and authenticity, as well as a sense of purpose and meaning. Overall, true luxury is more about the intrinsic value of an item or experience rather than just its price or status. It is about quality, exclusivity, authenticity, and purpose.

The real luxury we can offer is experiencing something exceptional that enhances the client’s life.

Our service is ideally characterised by attention to detail, personalised attention, and a focus on creating a memorable and exceptional experience for the customer. Overall, luxury service provides a seamless and exceptional experience that exceeds the customer’s expectations and creates a lasting impression.

What are some of the major challenges the company has faced thus far?

The major challenge is starting an airline from scratch! Starting an airline is never easy, and it keeps our team on its toes. We have found a great reception from our investors, from the government of Maldives, from our airport partners globally, and from aircraft lessors. Our most significant challenge was to source and transform an aircraft into the Beond aircraft — our first Airbus aircraft. It used to seat around 120 people, and we have completely revamped it to seat 44 in an all-lay flat configuration. That is not an easy project — to go from design concept to actual aircraft flying passengers in a luxury setting. Everything has to be perfect. 

What role do you see technology playing in the future of the industry, and how is Beond adapting to these changes?

Business intelligence (BI) has been a critical tool for organisations to gain insights from their data. Still, with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), many are now looking to move beyond BI to more advanced data analytics.

BI has been the buzzword for a good decade now. It is a process of collecting, analysing, and presenting data in a way that helps organisations make informed decisions. BI tools often use descriptive analytics to identify patterns and trends and provide a historical view of data. These insights can then be used to optimise operations, improve performance, and increase profitability.

We are moving onto AI now, which is the flavour of the month (or rather the new decade), a subset of computer science that focuses on developing algorithms that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as perception, reasoning, and decision-making. AI tools can analyse large datasets and learn from patterns to provide predictive and prescriptive analytics, which can help organisations make better decisions in real-time.

How is the company contributing to the Aviation industry of the nation, and how is the company benefiting the clients?

Many destinations, like the Maldives, rely heavily on tourism but will be highly dependent on foreign airlines to bring passengers. 

The national carriers globally produce 10% of the GDP through the employment and spending created by airlines and their supply chain, the trade, tourism, and investment flow. This benefit is currently missing from the Maldives. Beond will play a vital role in the island nation’s tourism and transport sectors. We want to create 200 jobs by introducing our new luxury airline.

Maldives is one of the most attractive destinations in the world. The point-to-point connection is our most prominent and significant competitive advantage for travellers. We will fly directly to the stunning islands of the Maldives from more destinations than anyone else, offering the ideal arrival and departure timings. Combine that with the luxury of a private jet-like experience. Nevertheless, we do not see ourselves as the ultraluxury airline in the market. The concept of flying the modern A321 LR and XLR competing with the widebodies of other airlines flying to the Maldives provides us with a significant price advantage. We see ourselves as the price leader in the market, enabling people to travel in premium classes for the first time.

But our story is not only to the Maldives – we are currently looking at 40 more countries and destinations that need a strong local carrier to reduce the dependence on foreign operators. We would benefit from a significant boost to their GDP.