Fresh out of the studio, James Chan, CEO and founder of Ion Mobility to discuss his company and his goal to bring about a sustainable and green future to Southeast Asia with the electric motorbike. James dived into his background as a former civil servant, an investor and now an entrepreneur. He explained the market opportunity for the EV market in the region and how Ion Mobility is building out not just the product with their first product: Ion Mobius, but the distribution and manufacturing supply chain to enter into the high growth markets in the region. Last but not least, James shares what great means for Ion Mobility in the future.
"I always think about the pandemic - this Thanos -level finger snap, where everyone's brought back to square one. During this difficult past two years, all the norms are thrown out of the window. It makes for a very interesting period to fundraise, with not much to show for it. A lot of people have said that I'm crazy to make this leap, but I say it's the best possible time to be building because everyone's back to square one. At the end of the day, it's very important to pay due respect to luck and timing. Any entrepreneur tells you that luck is not a function of his or her outcome must be joking." - James Chan
- James Chan, CEO & Founder, Ion Mobility (@m0t0chan , Linkedin)
- We start with every first time guest on their origin story. How did you start your career?
- All the way before Ion Mobility, what are the interesting perspectives moving from the investor to the entrepreneur point of view?
- What are the most interesting career lessons you can share with my audience?
Ion Mobility and the Electric Vehicles Market in Southeast Asia (@IonMobilityAsia, LinkedIn)
- To start, I want to help my audience to understand the electric vehicle opportunity. Can you talk about the electric vehicle market and establish why the electric motorcycle industry is interesting to where Ion Mobility positions itself in the Southeast market?
- What was the inspiration behind setting up Ion Mobility?
- What is the vision and mission of Ion Mobility?
- As I understand that Ion Mobility focuses on the electric motorcycle and energy storage solutions, can you provide some color to how these product lines shape the businesses?
- One can think of Tesla as a similar company to Ion Mobility in the car space and Elon Musk has a “secret plan” to make Tesla work by creating three lines of vehicles in its inception. What is James Chan’s secret plan to make Ion Mobility work?
- Can you talk about the story of Ion Mobius, the electric vehicle which was conceptualized, designed and assembled in Singapore over the past 18 months? What features are you building into the motorbike that differentiates from the rest?
- Manufacturing and distribution of hardware whether it’s a motorbike or phone are complicated and requires how the supply chain works. Can you talk about how Ion Mobility will have to work to get your manufacturing to scale as you get more demand from the market?
- Distribution of hardware is the other problem. How do you sell the vehicles locally in the markets you operate in, for example Indonesia? Are there tweaks to the business model which you need to do?
- Fundraising for a company like Ion Mobility is a challenge as well. How much have you raised so far and who are the investors in the round?
- How do you convince your investors to invest in a hardware company given that a lot of them I know are afraid of the hardware challenges?
- Given that you are an investor previously, how do you communicate and get advice from your board in your current role as CEO Ion Mobility?
- What does great look like for Ion Mobility in the next 5 years?
- Any recommendations that have inspired you recently?
- James' recommendations: "48 Laws of Power" by Robert Greene, "The Dictator's Handbook" by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith.
- How can my audience find you?