Business management

Mate Rimac’s commercial approach, management at Rimac Automobili

  • Mate Rimac launched his own manufacturer of EV technologies and supercars, Rimac Automobili, in 2009.
  • It has since gained investments from Hyundai and Porsche and customers across the automotive industry.
  • Rimac explained to Insider his philosophies on working and managing his business and employees towards success.

Mate Rimac no longer has to dream of building supercars. As the founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili – which not only manufactures its own electric cars, but also develops EV technologies for manufacturers around the world – the Rimac company, founded in 2009 and based in its home country , Croatia, has taken the world by storm.

After starting to sell electric conversions for regular cars, the growth of Rimac Automobili has been rapid and significant. He can count both sports car giant Porsche and Korean automotive powerhouse Hyundai as shareholders, as well as working for almost everyone in between. From the world’s fastest cars to the car you’d take to the grocery store, Rimac’s technology is either in it or probably someday.

Rimac spoke to Insider about how he makes his business and his customers happy.

The Rimac Nevera.

The Rimac Nevera.

Rimac Automobili

As an entrepreneur, Rimac firmly believes in exceeding promises and expectations.

To demonstrate this point, Rimac recalled when his company was preparing to make a battery for the Aston Martin Valkyrie, a hybrid supercar incorporating Formula 1 technology. Rimac had to impress and knew how to do it.

“When we got to the first meeting, we built a battery, like a scale battery for them,” Rimac said. “Did all the tests, did all the cycles like on the race track on a test bench [a device for measuring how much power a car produces], showing not only simulations but actual test results, and showed them what the product looked like, everything. We left no questions unanswered.

“They weren’t expecting us to bring this stuff to the first meeting. We took away all doubts on the technical parts and then it was just a business discussion from that point on. . ”

Aston Martin Valkyrie

The Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Aston Martin

Rimac attributes this attitude to the way his business has grown bigger and bigger.

“This is how we have progressed from small projects and small clients to large projects and large clients,” he said.

Rimac also recommends watching the role if you want to be taken seriously, although that might only apply if you’re cursed with… the youth?

“I was around 20 and felt like I was 14,” Rimac said. “So I grew a beard to look a little more serious. I don’t think that helped much. I guess we lost a lot of opportunities because of it. And we could have done a lot. more if we had been, say, more serious or at least considered more serious. ”

mate rimac automobili

Mate Rimac (center), founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili.

Rimac Automobili

Rimac’s real problem, aside from being cool, was that his business was young. His company might be smart, but the people he faces have decades of experience, thousands of employees, and come from countries more associated with the auto industry. What helped him was making his own car – first a BMW race car that he converted to run on electricity, then the Concept One EV supercar, and now the new Nevera, the most powerful production car in the world.

While Rimac is a world leader in EV technology, the young entrepreneur is still under pressure.

“You have to constantly prove yourself,” Rimac said. “Like for example, when Porsche invests, it’s a seal of approval. But then some say, ‘Yes, but what is 80 million euros from Porsche? Nothing.'”

Rimac sees itself as “an input and output device”, taking responsibility as much as possible to make sure its business runs as smoothly as possible.

“I am dictated by my schedule,” Rimac said. “What is not in the calendar does not exist. So it is quite difficult when you live with such a schedule. The day is like a schedule of 12 hours a day and then the rest of the day and during those hours. meetings, I have to do emails and stuff like that, and the weekends have to be made up. Not working causes a lot of guilt. ”

The Rimac Nevera.

The Rimac Nevera.

Rimac Automobili

Working with car manufacturers is part of Rimac’s daily life, the other is its staff. For Rimac, taking care of its people comes first.

“I always say, ‘Employees are # 1, because a happy employee is a happy customer, which is # 2. A happy customer is a happy shareholder, and a shareholder is No. 3.’ I also say this to my shareholders. We really care about the employees and believe that is the key to success. “

Rimac also stressed the importance of focusing on employees, citing his company’s next head office. There, he said, “it’s all built around employees” – unlike many campuses which are built around visitors.

“Everyone in the company has shares in Rimac, from the cleaner [person] to managers, engineers, everyone. And I personally oversee who gets what. It’s not just formula-based, it’s actually individuals. “

Mate Rimac with the Rimac Nevera.

Mate Rimac with the Rimac Nevera.

Rimac Automobili

Rimac knows that the money stops with him. There are aspects of running a business that he knows, and others that he is not so by the way with. This is where hiring the right person comes in. If Rimac is faced with a problem that a member of his team can do better, he hired the wrong person in the first place.

To get started, Rimac has two main tips. The first is just to put the work in.

“First of all, I think they have to be prepared to give it all up and live like a dog for a few years,” Rimac said. “For me it was like the last 12 years. I mean, I sometimes stay in nice hotels now and so on.

“They have to be prepared to live an undesirable life for a very long time. One, two or three years won’t be enough. To start a business, it takes at least 10 years to do it right.”

Rimac C Two

The Rimac C Two.

Rimac Automobili

And the second?

“Excellence at all levels,” Rimac said. “So you don’t just have to focus on the product or whatever, they have to understand that it takes everything. people, have financial control and understand your finances. It all counts. ”

Take care of your people, work hard, and you will be successful. Rimac has proven that in his mission to build a business he hopes will last 100 years, and he might be right.