Dr. Vidal J Bharath, talks about the inspiration behind his fuel cell technology company which has seen them become a finalist in the scale-up and market disruptor category of the 2023 Business Champion Awards
What do you currently do at ‘Bramble Energy’
Having started at Bramble Energy as its Chief Operations Officer, I oversaw its growth from just three employees to its current 75. I have now moved into the Chief Commercial Officer role as we rapidly scale and commercialise our technology with go-to-market partners to decarbonise a wide range of applications and industries.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Starting out as just an idea in the labs, our company was founded as a spin-out of UCL and Imperial College London by our CEO, Dr Tom Mason, with an overriding ambition to help the world transition to net zero. Solving the climate crisis is the biggest challenge humanity will face and we desperately need solutions that are viable, scalable and low-cost. Our printed circuit board fuel cell (PCBFC) technology answers many of the issues that has stopped fuel cell technology becoming a go-to decarbonisation solution.
Who do you admire?
Ryan Reynolds. He has an understanding of brand and commercialisation like no one else. Not only has he successfully established himself as a versatile and popular actor, and has also made smart investments in various companies such as Wrexham Association Football Club, a small team from the north of Wales. Reynolds has a unique ability to identify opportunities and turn them into profitable ventures, as evidenced by the success of the team under his ownership. He’s also shown a keen sense of humour and marketing savvy, using social media to engage with fans and promote his projects in a way that sets him apart from his peers. With his combination of talent, intelligence, and marketing skills I truly believe he could ‘sell ice to the Eskimos’ – it’s a truly inspirational gold touch that I and many other aspiring entrepreneurs and business people admire.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it can also be a hindrance to your journey. I certainly don’t have any regrets as to where we are today as a business: the opportunities we currently have to make a real impact are a direct result of where we have been and the decisions we have made.
What defines your way of doing business?
Speed and adaptability. Our journey has been as fast-paced as our technology is. With any new innovation you have to be agile in your approach and this goes across all areas of the business. What you may have thought was your bestroute because it seemed to make the most sense, may actually turn out to be wrong. Being prepared to pivot and adapt to new circumstances is vital.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Never. Give. Up.
Everyday there will be challenges to face and some may even make you feel like you are heading back to square one. But try to embrace failure – it’s a natural part of the learning process. Rather than being discouraged by setbacks, face them head-on with persistence and determination, using them as opportunities to learn and grow. There are lessons you can only learn from failing that will make you better, faster and stronger in the future.