Rob Jolly, 32
Co-founder and CEO, Onto
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
When I was studying, I was fortunate to do an internship at motorsports company Prodrive. They are famous for building the Subaru Impreza rally cars. The following year, when I graduated from college, I managed to become part of Jaguar Land Rover's graduate program. I ended up staying with the company for six years. I left to start my own business: Onto.
Your greatest achievement?
I managed to hire an incredible team at Onto. Without the amazing employees who were here during our early days, we wouldn't have been able to achieve what we have done so far. Today we are now the largest electric vehicle subscription service in Europe, we have the largest EV car fleet in the UK and we are doubling in size every three months.
Born: Birmingham, England
Education: Master's degree in mechanical engineering, University of Warwick, Coventry, England
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
There are too many to list! In my opinion, failure shouldn't be seen as being something negative as long as you have given it your best shot. It's an opportunity to learn and when one door closes, often another opens.
What is your current challenge at work?
I have to find a way to manage growth. Onto has been doubling in size every quarter. What is most challenging about rapid growth is making sure we can learn and adapt quickly. That also means expanding our team fast enough to keep up with the growth. We want to make sure we can maintain Onto's dedication to customer experience and excellence.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Don't get too high on the highs or low on the lows. This is especially relevant for a startup. Believe me, it's a roller coaster.
2017-present: Co-founder and CEO, Onto, Warwick, England
2011-2017: Various roles including product strategy and innovation manager, Jaguar Land Rover, Coventry, England
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Just have a look at what is going on right now. The auto industry will change more over the next 20 years than it has in the last 100. It's an exciting place to be.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
That's easy. I already have my ideal job.
What do you do to relax?
I love playing and watching sports. I play on 11-person and five-person soccer teams. I imagine my priorities will change soon as we have just welcomed a newborn boy.
What is your dream location to live?
I love where we live now in Warwick. It's about an hour from London on the train. There is beautiful countryside and lovely towns all around. Ideally, I would like to live by the beach where they have nicer weather than we often have in the UK.
What is your favorite driving song?
I mostly listen to indie-pop playlists of music from about 10 years ago.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
I went down to the south of France in the summer of 2020 after the first lockdown restrictions were lifted. I drove a Tesla Model 3. It was amazing to actually be able to travel and go on vacation after being locked up for so long. I also loved trying to drive such a long distance in an EV. I'm looking forward to doing it again as soon as possible.
What was your first car?
I had an MG ZR.
I now drive an Audi e-tron.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would be anything that's electric.