Company Spotlight: Bessern

With Ivan Palomino, Managing Partner, Bessern.

Tell us more about yourself and what you do?

I am Ivan Palomino – I am a Behavioural Strategist, helping people build new behaviours based on brain science. I grew up in Switzerland with the belief that I would become a great scientist. But… after graduating in Biotechnology, I ended up working in corporate innovation for a major American company until 2019, when my co-founder (Elena Agaragimova) and I, decided to use science to help corporations scale individual and organization growth. That’s how the official story of Bessern started.

What is the story behind Bessern? Why was it set-up?

I want to tell you a bit of the unofficial Bessern story – Elena and I met about the same time we landed in Dubai 9 years ago: she was working in higher education, and I often shared with her my elephant in the room – every year my company was investing substantially in trainings and often the same trainings were repeated to the employees – without a real impact despite the fact we were ongoing a critical transformation. It kind of become our favourite topic of discussion: what makes people really want to learn and apply what they learn?

If you think about it, most of us have problems when it comes to changing behaviours, as simple as a healthy lifestyle, balance between work and family, managing our stress. We identified that there is a relationship between our mental resources to understand our individual WHY, our capacity to transform individual goals into something that is doable and a mindset that is focused on a process that is consistent. Only then people can learn and apply what they learn.

Our aim is to help organizations stop wasting money on traditional learning and move to a model where what matters is new behaviours that are aligned to the culture a company wants to develop.

How do you help entrepreneurs/business leaders?

One is sustaining the start-up culture when you go for an aggressive scale-up; it is a well-known fact that the atmosphere (the culture) you had with 12 people is diluted when you get your first batch of 100 people. And that’s a major pain in the growth journey for start-ups. We have designed programs to support this phase.

The second is the accessibility founders have to mental health support; founders get continuously slapped by life with a continuous suite of challenges that use their motivation and deteriorates their resilience. In this area, we collaborate with another start-up called Founders Taboo – building the world’s largest free online course & community for founders’ mental health and wellbeing.

Which client projects have been a success?

Our programs have a very data driven approach – we measure how much people are practicing, the competencies and psychological resources progression.

For one of our customers a European company in engineering:

• 93% of people are still practicing micro-actions after 45 days post program

• 86% would recommend our program (NPS)

• Top Behaviours Improvement: Agility +12%, Motivation +17%, Growth Mindset +20%

• Business Outcomes: 63 Innovations initiatives in 6 months, Customer Service rating +10%, Sales closing +8%

What current trends do you see in the training industry in the MENA region?

We are already living the biggest disruption with the increase of the use of platforms for self-paced learning. The bottleneck here is that humans need a human to get feedback to continuously progress and many (around 70%) drop eLearning without finishing.

Similar to the approach of Bessern to deploy science-based skills learning with a personalized approach, some high scale companies have been growing in the USA and UK; the research on brain science has provided a great deal of insights on what drives change in people. I personally feel that neuroscience and technology are bringing the next of disruption in the training industry. In the MENA region – Bessern has pioneered in this trend.

What are the goals of Bessern for the next 3 years?

1. Impact the life of 2 Mio people with our programs

2. Have the best-in-class technology to measure and improve mental capacity and skills

3. Our focus today has been the Middle East, we have started our expansion in the USA and Latin-America (close to 1 bio people are there and we are ready!)

How can our readers find out more about you?

To learn about our programs: our website is

We also spend time democratizing the access to learning and self-development: through our Learn With Bessern Podcast and in our YouTube Channel @BessernOfficial

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East