Founder and CEO of Rsquare Technologies, Shanthini Raja, talks to Behnaz Sanjana about how her first step to bring about automated change in the country ultimately became one of the wind streams that propelled Bahrain’s FinTech ecosystem.
When Shanthini Raja had to manually write over a hundred post-dated cheques on purchasing a house in her native India, it exasperated her. The master in computer applications wished there were a better way to breeze through this tedious, repetitive work. “I knew that the answer to this was automation, which allows accuracy, efficiency and less wastefulness,” says Shanthini. “I believe humans have high potential to do great things; why waste time at boring, repetitive tasks? So, when I returned to Bahrain, I took it upon myself to implement my idea.”
Thus was born Rsquare Technologies, a research and development company, in 2010 that started out with its flagship product - cheque printing software. “We saw great success within two years, and this enabled us to offer clients more innovative solutions that cover every department across a range of industries, developed from scratch in Bahrain.” says the former professor in in her field. “Today we have over 300 customers in Bahrain, spanning big family businesses, multinational corporates and renowned public sector entities.”
Rsquare stands for ‘Robust and Reliable’, and in keeping with the name, boasts cutting-edge automation technology and unmatched after-sales support. “Selling is only the beginning. More important is the post-operation service; how quickly and efficiently we support the client when they need us. This has earned us a name in the market,” she points out.
It has been 11 years since Shanthini dipped her toe in entrepreneurial waters, and she has been grateful for the support that Bahrain has given her all the while. “I thank God every day for being a woman doing business in Bahrain, for the tremendous support I have received,” says Shanthini. “The Supreme Council of Women has opened doors for us, and I am so grateful to Her Highness Shaikha Sabeeka for it. We have always been made to feel a vital part of Bahrain’s economic Vision 2030, for which we are indebted to the great leaders of the country, His Majesty the King, and the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain. We now aim to become the biggest R&D center in line with Vision 2030, to serve globally from the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
Shanthini is most proud of the fact that Rquare has played a big part in getting the FinTech ball rolling in Bahrain. “We were the first resident at Bahrain FinTech Bay, and our FinTech products have received great appreciation and acclaim in Bahrain. Our award-winning E-Interface Card Reader, and reconciliation software have proved a boon to several organisations.”
Listening to customer pain points, giving them user-friendly, tailor-made software that requires little or no training, and holding their hand in terms of support service are keys to the success that Rsquare Technologies has enjoyed. And Shanthini attributes this to her team who have helped implement her vision. “The team is my first client,” she says. “The right team will garner goodwill for the company. They are valued as family to me and the company is family to them.”
Shanthini acknowledges the support of her husband and children, without whose encouragement and support, she would not be able to reach the pinnacle of success.
“I’d like to tell women in Bahrain that here we have the luxury of convenience and time. Make use of it by identifying and employing your potential that God has gifted you. It’s more than feeding your children and ensuring that they study,” says the businesswoman who has not only taught her kids, but also her team to never give up and that nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it.
She continues, “A mother can be the greatest role model for her children; they do as they see. If you work hard, excel at your passion, imprint your identity onto your work, show them the world outside of home and all that you do, they will also be inspired, successful individuals in the future.”