Education: Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering (Automotive)
College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Previous Career: Worked as an engineer at various Automotive MNCs.
2. Origin Story
Robert Scaringe had fallen in love with the process of car manufacturing, but always hated the fact that vehicles are a prominent reason for environmental pollution. Robert began his career working at a Porsche restoration shop in Florida, where he realised his deep love for cars and the car industry. He went to MIT with the goal of learning how to increase driving efficiency in vehicles. After getting his Ph.D., Robert Scaringe worked for multiple large automotive organisations. He soon realised the poor efficiency and lack of adaptability, given the structure of large organisations. “I realized that I could have more impact by actually starting something on my own”, Scaringe says.
Starting from Zero
Robert Scaringe wanted to change the way society views transportation, the way people buy and own vehicles, and in the process, change the way we treat our environment. He wanted to redesign the organisation to enable thinking on the systems-level, and not have the traditional boundaries between silos. Hence, Scaringe kept his focus on starting from a clean sheet, and redefining what the vehicle is, what the architecture is. He started Rivian with less than 20 people, and they took some time to get off the ground. But after securing good relationships with investors and shareholders, the team began to grow.
Rivian's innovation and use of technology to create advances in an otherwise stagnant industry caught the eye of investors across the globe, including tech giants like Amazon. Under Robert Scaringe's leadership, Rivian has raised over $3.1 billion, and now with a team of over 1000 employees and a decade of experience developing and fine-tuning their technology, they are poised to launch sales of their first electric & semi-autonomous pickup-truck model by the end of 2020.
3. Other interesting points
- Robert Scaringe is an outdoor adventure enthusiast, and likes to mountain-bike and hike. The idea for pivoting Rivian's first car from a sports car to an off-road vehicle also stemmed from this passion.
"The key for building a new company, and for that matter, establishing your brand, is that you have to have something that gets people excited. It has to foundationally reset expectations." - Robert Scaringe