The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
Dr. Geeta Gupta Fisker
What is your job role?
I am the co-founder, president, and CFO of Fisker Inc. Most of my day is spent working on the growth and evolution of the company – from securing investors, building our various teams across the organization (including an entire team of scientists and staff devoted to moving our patented Fisker solid-state battery technology toward full commercial availability across the globe) to planning for the future capitalization of Fisker Inc. I spend a substantial amount of time on operations overall, ensuring the company is structured and runs as smoothly as a mature company, even though we are still at the start-up phase.
The finance side on its own takes up quite a large amount of energy – from complex debt structures, private placements and even work on various initiatives that revolve around the possibility of the company going public at some point down the line.
Tell us about your company?
Henrik and I co-founded Fisker Inc. in 2016, as an advanced e-mobility and automotive technology company with the mission to develop world-class, emotionally-compelling vehicles featuring the most forward-thinking automotive technologies in existence. We started the company with the aim to bring new, affordable electric vehicles to market and showcase our groundbreaking EV technologies in our more high-end, flagship vehicles. We believe in the emotional connection between the consumer and our products. Our mission stems from our passion in creating automotive technology disruption, our vision of a more sustainable future and our belief in astoundingly desirable designs that the Fisker name has been known for all around the world. We have a major opportunity to revolutionize the car industry while helping to create a cleaner world.
What do you love most about your job?
It’s hard to narrow this down to just one aspect of my role. There’s just a great deal of excitement in helping to create new technology and emotionally-appealing products that leave our customers inspired, but also improve their lives. There’s also satisfaction in the chance to play an integral part in developing new products and technology that can have a profoundly positive impact on climate change. Pushing our team to higher levels every day, inspiring them to achieve what they never thought was possible, is constant motivation for myself as well. I thrive when I’m able to motivate and inspire people – bringing light to their talents and showing them they are capable of doing a lot more than they think.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I have always enjoyed a challenge, as it sort of raises your threshold in life for risk and reward. Two traits I value and attribute to most of my successes in life are persistence, as well as having a great memory. I really like working on conquering challenges and problem solving, especially with creative minds – as it leaves me inspired and fulfilled. Each day I wake up ready to embrace the day’s challenges and opportunities.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
Great teamwork creates an undeniable energy that drives innovation throughout the whole office. When I see my team working together with a solution-oriented attitude, I feel inspired. We are all learning – I learn new things every day, and it’s a huge part of being an entrepreneur. There’s truly no one better to learn from than your biggest stakeholders: your co-workers. My team teaches me every day: how to be a better executive, how to listen and how to motivate. It comes full circle.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Fun comes in many forms for us. One of my favorite team-building activities is hosting a regular innovation lunch for our solid-state battery science team called “Come With a Great Appetite and Great Ideas.” They can choose any cuisine and do not have to come prepared with any notes or projects to follow through – they just have to be present. It never fails to get the team excited. This team-building activity is effortless and allows people to speak without limitations.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
I wear a lot of hats and have to juggle several important items daily. It’s undeniably challenging, but it comes with the territory! I Attention to detail is a big part of my personality, and I’m actively engaged in every single department – making sure the team feels motivated and is progressing well. We are also in a complex capital extensive business: juggling different forms of finance and planning is a major challenge.
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I always stay persistent. Persistence has always helped me at every stage of my career. Coming from my tough, humble childhood in India – failure has never been an option for me. Success in a country of over a billion people simply boils down to persistence, hard work and a “never give up” attitude. Fast forward to today, and there’s been plenty of lessons learned. That’s part of being an entrepreneur. But that just motivates me more.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
Brace for impact. This path ain’t for the faint-hearted.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: