Alumnus of the Year 2020 - Fredrik Logenius
Soon, the golden trophy in the window of Fredrik Logenius' office will be accompanied by a prestigious diploma from the University of Borås, where he studied business informatics during the second half of the 90s. This year, the enterprising entrepreneur has not only for the second time been named Entrepreneur of the Year in Borås, but also Alumnus of the Year at his old university,
“It feels very exciting. There are a fantastic number of talented alumni from the University of Borås, so it is a great honour to receive this award.”
After running companies in the IT industry for a couple of decades in various constellations, Fredrik Logenius is today CEO of the multi-million company Optidev AB, which develops robust mobility solutions for the benefit of several different professional groups.
“We usually call them our heroes, the drivers and the ticket inspectors, those who are out doing their everyday work. We want to facilitate their work as much as we can.”
That he is leading the way for a company that takes social responsibility became clear when high school students during the pandemic's first wave this spring began to study at a distance and were to be provided with lunch from the municipality's various restaurants. On behalf of the municipality of Borås, Optidev developed an app that made the project possible in just a few days.
“The basis of our business is mobility. We already had the components that we put together for this function, we now just built them together in a different way. It is proof that we, at the heart of it, have a good technical platform that we can adapt quickly,” he said, happy to be able to make an effort for the eateries that have been severely tested by the pandemic.
“It felt important to help locally. To do what we could for Borås. For what is the city without restaurants and cafés and so on? For us, it is important that this is a living city. Then our employees will thrive and then it will be better for us as a company as well.”
He is the CEO who always puts his staff first and sees connections.
“For me, the most important thing is that the staff are doing well and that it is possible to grow as a person in the company. If they are doing well, they also do a very good job,” he said, as we walked around the office landscape with ping pong tables and soft, colourful beanbags under the skylights.
Fredrik Logenius believes that this value is one of the reasons why he has reached where he is today.
“I think you get quite far as a leader if you have the well-being of the staff in mind at all times. I think of the staff first, and am perceived by many as kind and caring. In addition, I have dared to take risks and have the ability to take a helicopter perspective, to see connections between things and be able to solve issues and problems in a good way.”
It is a trait that he believes has developed during his time as a student at the University of Borås.
“Having IT skills, being able to develop systems and at the same time understand the business and what creates good values, are very good conditions for success in the IT industry.” And that is exactly the combination that can be found in the Business Informatics programme.
For Fredrik Logenius, the choice of education was spot on.
“Yes, it suited me very well. I got to focus on my main interests: IT, numbers and business, in a very creative and inspiring environment.
He was also active in students groups, with parties, events, and trips.
“It was also important and useful, because I learned to work with others and grew a large network. Of course it was fantastic fun too, albeit a bit unclear now,” he says with a laugh and a twinkle in his eye.
The atmosphere is relaxed in the office with a view of the river Viskan, where, however, only a few employees are present, due to the pandemic. Most work from home, but otherwise the virus's progress has not affected Optidev negatively.
“We are so lucky that we are doing our best year ever this year. It is a driving force for me to see when we succeed together, to see when our solutions are used by our customers and make a difference.
Now Fredrik Logenius is looking forward to also making a difference as an ambassador for the University of Borås. An assignment he accepts with joy and commitment.
“I think the university should grow and, not least, develop even more IT educational programmes. Because we want more talented employees with that competence.
Already today, he has hired a number of students educated in the city that has become his home.
“I originally come from Bohuslän and moved here to study. But then I ended up with a wife, company, house, and children here, so I stayed. And I’m happy here.”
The love of his life, the nursing student Malin, he met at the university and now they have long been rooted in the place which, like himself and his company, is constantly aiming upwards, forwards with a bright view of the future.
“Borås has had a very positive development during the years I have lived here,” said Fredrik Logenius - with the hope of being able to contribute to continuing that trend.
Motivation of the jury
“Sustainable entrepreneurship is largely based on innovation and adaptability. As an entrepreneur, Fredrik Logenius has built up an IT company with a healthy corporate culture and a clear focus on CSR work. Fredrik's work is permeated by a clear determination and a significant desire to be an innovative force in society with his company.
When the pandemic this year affected companies all over the world, Fredrik and his partners overnight provided opportunities for restaurants in Borås to find a way out of the crisis. This at the same time, they could give high school students, who were not allowed to be at school, an opportunity to continue to have school lunch, important for many. The company developed an app through which these students could pick up a lunch at local restaurants - a concept that has spread across the country.”