Succeed on your own accord, not through exploiting othersavtor Tadej Peric 7. septembra, 2021
I had the privilege to meet Mr Ivo Boscarol a few years ago at the headquarters of Pipistrel in Ajdovscina, Slovenia. Seeing that he is known globally, he probably does not need a long introduction. Suffice to say that Mr Boscarol lives in Slovenia and is the founder and CEO of Pipistrel, a leading company in the design and manufacture of innovative electric and hybrid-powered aircraft. The company has been in business for over 30 years and has manufactured over 2 000 aircraft that are probably all flying at this moment all over the globe.
What fascinates me about Mr Boscarol, is that despite the phenomenal success he has achieved, he remains a truly humble human being. From impressive collaborations with the likes of Travis Kalanick (founder of Uber) to mega aircraft manufacturing contracts with the Indian Ministry of Defence, and the development of an unmanned cargo aircraft/drone, Mr Boscarol together with his team at Pipistrel are a force to be reckoned with –and innovation is the name of their game.
For this particular interview for NAVDIHNI ME (INSPIRE ME MAGAZINE), I connected with Mr Boscarol on a more personal level to gain more insight into his personal beliefs, what inspires him, how he sees the future, his work, his love for nature and his secret to success.
HEALTH COMES FIRST
According to my horoscope, I am an Aries and it is in my nature to solve all challenges and to help save the world. Therefore, challenges that cannot be solved or over which I have no control, are my biggest nightmare. When I realised that I was losing my life partner, my daughter’s mother, due to illness, and that all the world’s knowledge could not help her…my world collapsed. Because of this experience, I couldn’t pick myself up for a long time.
Where do you find peace, or what gives you a sense of peace? How do you relax after a busy schedule?
I am lucky to be one of the few people whose job is a hobby and whose hobby is a job. You know, many boys dream of becoming pilots or making aeroplanes. I don’t feel stressed, and I’m not burdened with working too hard. I love working and I hope to be able to work for a long time to come.
However, it is really important that a person knows how to relax after working hard. Health must come first. I try to go for a walk a few times a week, and that means about half an hour or an hour of brisk walking, preferably up a hill. I relax with a Thai massage and recharge my batteries by attending good concerts.
ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY, BEST DECISION EVER AND NO REGRETS
Before aviation, you also worked professionally in photography?
Already in my student years, I was the first official photographer of the Šentjakob Theatre. I went on to make a living from photography. I was also a music reporter, photographing thousands of concerts. When I was into art photography, I had exhibitions all over the world. I took tens of thousands of photos.
What is the best decision you have ever made?
To leave photography and printing, and dedicate my whole body and soul to aviation.
They say we end up regretting decisions we didn’t make, words we didn’t say, things we didn’t do. What is your biggest regret?
You may find it strange, but I don’t regret anything in life, not even my mistakes. One of those was my leap into politics, but I don’t regret it because politics has taught me to lose and accept defeat as a challenge, and most of all, it taught me that I don’t trust it (politics) anymore. It was a very expensive method of learning on my own, but even this period of my life provided personal growth for me.
OBSTACLES ARE ONLY IN THE HEAD
We learn every day, we make mistakes, we start all over again. Can you share a few life lessons you have learned in your career so far?
The most important thing is to set your goals high enough and convince yourself that you can achieve them, otherwise your team will not pursue these goals. Obstacles are only in the head and if we are afraid of obstacles, it means we are not suited to the entrepreneurial path.
The next thing you need to do, is set yourself for success in the long run. Being successful overnight is not a problem, but in the long run it means fairness to oneself, the team, suppliers and customers. An innovative product is not even a pre-requisite. Today, the global market is so big that you can succeed with anything, but only if you don’t put money and profit first. When these two determine the entrepreneurial path, it always ends badly, as it necessarily leads to living beyond your means and at the expense of others.
SET YOUR GOALS HIGH, BUT IN A SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE WAY
What is the path or the key to business success?
Self-confidence, the belief that nothing is impossible, hard work and success in the long run, setting goals high – too high or so high that you can achieve them only if you invest the last drop of energy in them – and not at the expense of the environment, employees, and society.
BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
If you could convey an inspiring message to a larger group of people, what would the message be?
The best investment is an investment in yourself and knowledge. The only two things no one can take from you are the knowledge and experience you gain.
Nowadays, we are all in the market and we need to be able to cash in on our talents, so it is not enough to have the knowledge and experience and to be the best. The world needs to know about your talents, because if no one knows what you are capable of, it is as though you do not exist.
Nowadays, all the world’s knowledge is at the reach of the left mouse button. Although it may seem very easy to cash in, the buyer of your talents, whoever it is, becomes more demanding every day. So we need to learn and gain experience throughout life and build our own brand – ourselves. Because if someone today is not happy with you or your work, they can instantly inform the whole world online…
THIN LINE BETWEEN SUCCESS AND GREED
We live in a time of innovation, technological progress and space travel, but at the same time the world is still full of poverty, wars and greed. Do you think that we will ever achieve real equality between people, where all people will have the same rights and opportunities?
This imbalance between poverty and wealth is created by ourselves. If we want to be successful, then let’s do it at our own expense and not at the expense of others, not by exploiting others. I know that in the modern world this is difficult to internalise, but efforts must be made in this direction.
There is a very thin line between success and greed, and if we are not satisfied with ourselves, we can succumb to greed quickly, especially since today’s world is dictated by consumer-oriented marketing and money. If I had a magic wand, I would give money a shelf life/expiry date in which it would need to be spent. That would solve all the troubles of this world (laughs).
We will not achieve this in the time of our generation, probably not in the time of the next, but someday, perhaps, we might….
PRESERVING AND NURTURING NATURE
How can this be achieved? What are your recommendations?
I would reduce the dominance of few individuals over the entire world. We have so many options today, but because they are not in the interest of these few individuals, they never come to light. As a result, nature is being destroyed, development is being hampered and humanity is being robbed of the opportunity to prepare for change. The result is horrific pollution and destruction of nature.
There is a solution, but it is clearly not in the interest of the ones driving the world economy.
Did you know that there is a project to make a power plant out of waste on floating plastic islands in the middle of the ocean and migrate energy to the mainland? This would even be significantly cheaper than building different renewable energy power plants. Are the interests of the car industry, electricity and oil producers really that strong? The industrial revolution 4.0 is a thing of the past today. Now we need to focus on the industrial revolution of 5.0 and 6.0, but if the fifth one will not be based on returning values to humanity and protect Nature, we as a humanity will not live to see the sixth.
PIPISTREL’S VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Your solutions are all environment-friendly, right?
Yes, all our energy is focused on the development of environmentally friendly electric and hydrogen aircraft propulsion. I am thinking here of both aircraft for civil and recreational use as well as professional aircraft, and platforms for customisation and production according to the needs of the client for all types of special air missions. The latter includes aerial photography, two- and three-dimensional terrain mapping, tracking, border control, control of traffic, terrain or facilities, and providing security or aerial support in the event of natural disasters and other emergencies. Currently, the biggest project is the development of an electric flying taxi with vertical take-off, which will enable clean traffic without congestion in large cities in the future.
THE SOURCE OF GRATITUDE AND INSPIRATION
What are you most grateful for?
For parents who have instilled in me work habits, honesty and modesty, for my family and for co-workers who understand and support me.
What inspires you daily?
Walking with my daughter and mowing the grass in my home garden…
Pipistrel was established in 1989 as the first private aircraft manufacturer in the former Yugoslavia (Slovenia split and declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991). The primary activity of the company is the development and production of various types of aircraft: one-, two- and four-seater; motorplanes and gliders; piloted and unmanned (unmanned hybrid-electric cargo aircraft VTOL); and environmentally friendly aircraft driven by electricity and hydrogen. The company has a distribution and representative network in 60 countries and its aircraft currently fly in over 90 countries around the world.
Pipistrel has a long tradition of research and development in the field of alternative propulsions and electric aviation. At the moment, it is the world’s leading company in the design and manufacture of innovative electric and hybrid-powered aircraft. Pipistrel is a holder of the “Design Organisation and Production Approval” certificate issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency EASA.
In 2020, their Velis Electro electric aircraft became the first in the world to receive a full type certificate from the European Aviation Safety Agency EASA.
Vision for the future
The development of an electric flying taxi with vertical take-off, which will enable clean traffic without congestion in large cities, in the future.
Recognitions, accolades and awards
Over the years, Pipistrel has received wide recognition and numerous awards. These include the European Business Award in 2010 for being the most innovative company within the EU, beating about 15 000 contestants in the process, and the 2011 Lindberg Award for best electric aircraft, among others. Pipistrel has also won different NASA (National Aerospace and Space Administration) aviation challenges three times.
Mr Boscarol has received many accolades including the Gospodarstvenik Primorske, a special recognition award for entrepreneurship. [The Pipistrel website has a full list of all the awards won by the company and its team.]
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