Mechatronics engineer, CEO – Mechatromotive Ltd.
Balázs Varga is a mechatronics engineer, a forever restless man, a developer with desire for creation and a chief executive officer. He is keen on technical systems, vehicle development and racing. Balázs likes breaking away from convections, considering problems from other aspects and creating entirely new things from usual ones.
Could you explain for us the name of your company?
I know that it sounds unusual for the first time, especially for those who work on other fields. However, it wasn’t difficult to find a domain name. The “mechatromotive” reflects to our past and our future at the same time. We are mechatronics engineers and this new approach covers the engineering, the electronics and the informatics. It exists as university programme in Hungary less than ten years. We are adept in planning complex systems where the earlier mentioned three fields are present simultaneously. The “motive” refers to that our team was created by a university vehicle development project and we would like to take part in projects related to vehicles.
How does it all become to your company?
Our first development projects were university tasks without profit orientation. We liked and enjoyed them because of having opportunities to learn the profession and to do our passion at the same time. Products with market profit weren’t in the air but more professors from ours picked up on our projects after a certain time. Our projects became references and we were entrusted with a greater industrial development task in 2011. It exceeded the abilities of two students, so it was necessary to create an economic organisation. Thanks to the project, we could be improved and get financial profit, moreover we could still work together. The company was basically established because of one project but it was a goal from the beginnings to give a chance to continue the common work.
What did you think about enterprises in general? After all, you wanted to be an engineer.
I knew well this lifestyle because I grew up in a family business. I have seen since my childhood what kind of things belong to making an enterprise.
Didn’t you have any aversions against the manipulative character that many people think about entrepreneurs until now?
Of course, I did. At the same time, I also saw how much my parents struggled against it. Their mentality was very rare at this time but fortunately it predominates more and more nowadays. I’m pleased with this process that also confirms their philosophy. I personally feel that I do my task well as a businessman if I make beneficial businesses with real value for everybody.
What did you start on the market?
Concerning services, in the beginning we developed unique industrial measuring, data collecting and control systems. Regarding products, we worked out intelligent dashboard display units for race cars. Nowadays, our company exports it to twelve countries and we developing its next generation.
What is the novelty of this product?
The motorsport electronics as a business sector is such a specific field where moderately outdated and not user friendly technical solutions are sold at very high prices. In contrast to this, we make technically modern, very user friendly and intuitively controllable products reflecting to the market standards and placing well concerning the price/performance ratio.
What other products do you have?
We focus on three fields where the second is the industrial automation. It is a wide field with many actors but it has a small segment that nobody pays attention to – we principally enter here. We developed a complex industrial platform which also contains devices and software systems. Wide industrial automation tasks can be solved by the platform, moreover really specific customer development demands can also be easily and quickly integrated. We introduced it on a special device of the Hungarian State Railways (Magyar Államvasutak) at the beginning of 2015. The welding machine of the single long welded rail plant of the country was updated by the platform, moreover a production control system was developed for it. We worked with a serious risk and a short deadline. If we hadn’t performed our task, nobody would have travelled to Lake Balaton by train on this summer.
What is the third field?
Our third field is the complex product development. A good example of this activity is the following – but we haven’t had such a buyer yet: a washing machine manufacturer perceives that its next model must be a front-loader machine with touch screen and posting ability to the Facebook after the washing instead of top-loader washing machine with buttons and sound signal at the end of the washing because of market demands. We are adept in solving such very complex demands. Our company designs and produces the prototype, participates in testing and prepares the product for quantity production.
Is planning or constructing more enjoyable?
The beauty of our life is that our company looks like an economic organisation with a clear planning profile but we are always close to the reality and also create devices. In general, there is no tangible results in work of development engineers because they don’t see how their works are materialized. At our company, every engineer can work next to dirty but very exciting machines outside the office. The reason for this is that we follow the imagined and planned devices with attention until the start where they will be used. It is a beautiful process because it can be seen how our plans come true. This is the main reason of our rich and “seasoned” life.
How tight is this industry?
Concerning the complex activity we offer, the market isn’t crowded. If somebody wants to buy some kind of development, it can be purchased either from individuals who do their work as a hobby or big companies, for example the Siemens. The former has a great business risk, on the other hand a multinational company deals with only huge projects. These extreme opportunities can give good solutions only for few actors compared to how many buyers are there on the market. Our target groups consist of those companies that need intermediate solutions. Among earlier customers can be found startup, small and medium-sized enterprise, research institute, university and state-owned company as well.
What is the thing you like the most in entrepreneurship?
We live and work in a humanly and professionally inspiring environment where we gladly spend our time and our creativity can fly. The largest value in our team is that they are able to think independent and non-conventional. On several occasions, it’s not simple to work with so many “rock stars” but we would like to increase our team with such experts in the future. Otherwise, many people think about doing business that is a good way to get profit. In my opinion, it is a bad approach, I only consider the profit as a device. As I see it, the point is that we can create an environment to gladly spend our time and to reach everything.