Being one of the few female leaders in the technology and automotive industry, Ms Larissa Tan, CEO of Vanda Electrics heads up the young company working on electric mobility solutions. Larissa and her team have recently launched Dendrobium, Singapore’s first hypercar and the world’s first fully electric hypercar with the technical expertise of an F1 engineering team behind it. Prior to her presentation at TECHX Asia, we are excited to share our interview with her, to give you a quick preview of her presentation this 6th September.
Q: What’s your proudest moment working in Vanda Electrics?
Tan: There are quite a few moments, the main one was when we launched Dendrobium at the Geneva Motorshow this year. It was a proud moment for us as this is Singapore’s first hypercar and to be able to showcase and gain acceptance at the global level for our vision of the company and design of the car is a great achievement coming from a new company from Singapore. The reception we received for the Dendrobium was beyond our expectations. To have top industry leaders such as Williams Advanced Engineering, the engineering team for Williams F1, want to work with us on this project is also an amazing achievement for us.
Q: What’s next after Dendrobium, the first electric hypercar in Singapore?
Tan: Vanda Electrics is a battery technology research company with a focus on electric mobility. We do have a number of other products coming out as well, including Motochimp, our 2 wheeler electric last mile urban transport vehicle, which we should see on the roads by the end of this year. Ant Truck, which is our fast charging electric logistic vehicle is also in its final development. There are a lot of exciting things going on right now for Vanda Electrics; we are working on new innovations, products, battery technologies, and expanding distribution capabilities.
Q: Are you also looking into autonomous vehicles?
Tan: Yes. We keep a close eye the latest technological developments around the world, not only in electrification and automotive technology but others too. Our Dendrobium hypercar was conceptualised in 1996 to already be a fully electric, two seater sports car and our team has had a close eye on electrification technology ever since, waiting for technology to catch up with the design of the car. Autonomous vehicles is also something we are looking at and we are already working on incorporating this technology within our products.
Q: Being one of the few female leaders in the engineering industry, what’s the most challenging task when it comes to managing your company?
Tan: That’s a tough question to answer! Running a young company in itself has more than enough challenges without adding gender challenges on top of them. The automotive world is a male dominated industry, which to me means that there happens to be a lot of men within the industry, not necessarily that there are a lot of challenges to being a woman in that industry. With anything, it depends on how you look at these challenges and how one responds to the situation. My advice is to embrace the challenges without dwelling too much on the gender role.
Q: In your opinion, how will Asia’s automotive industry evolve in the next 10 years?
Tan: The Asian automotive industry has traditionally been manufaturing automotive parts for cars and other vehicles. But in the recent years, we are seeing quite a number of new car brands emerging, especially out of China. I think that we will see a lot of new car brands being born in the next few years, both within Asian and around the world. But what we will see moving forward, is a lot of new technology related to electric and hybrid vehicles, and many of these will come out of Asia. And if Asia wants to compete in this field, there are a lot of innovations and developments that need to be made and in a fairly short amount of time.
Join us to learn from Larissa and over 80 other confirmed speakers at TECHX Asia this September. Visit our website for more information.