After winning the Global Leadership Competition organised by Hyundai in 2012, Anastasia went on to work in South Korea where she helped in reshaping a traditional way of working in the automotive sector.
Now at ALD Automotive,Anastasia brings teams together to deliver positive change as the world works towards electrification. Anastasia is a truly positive role model in the sometimes complicated emobility world. We caught up with her to find out more.
EDs: Can you tell us about your career and how you ended up in the emobility space?
I am adventurous, full of energy and believe we can always do better. This is what made me move into the innovation and venture space in 2009. I worked with tech founders and disruptive industrial technologies to define business models and secure funds.
I possess the drive for innovation, which constantly flows through my veins, and I am always searching for brilliant concepts, devising ways to implement them and aiding in their introduction.
My journey in the automotive industry started over 11 years ago. I won the Global Leadership Competition organised by Hyundai in 2012. As a result, I accepted the offer to work in the heart of one of the biggest automotive manufacturers in South Korea. I found it interesting that a traditional automotive company with a hierarchical culture was seeking talents from around the world, outside of the company’s norm, and was motivated to change the culture by bringing in new perspectives.
Ever since I have been fulfilling the role of a “bridge” or a “super-connector” in this fast-paced industry.
EDs: What does your current role at ALD Automotive involve?
As a Programme Director, my role is to overcome challenges that are new to the organisation and are strategic, transversal and have a concrete delivery date. It always starts with a beautiful vision and lots of unknowns. In short, my daily job is to build the “how” and deliver the “what” by involving experts from multidisciplinary teams and bringing their vision to life.
There are some aspects of my day-to-day work that I particularly enjoy: I ensure effective communication and decision execution, develop strategic relationships and liaise with key stakeholders across the organisation. And I love to be able to do that with no line of authority between me and the teams
Another aspect that I really like is that this job requires constant learning of the topics I have not mastered before whether it’s legal, finance, operational or IT, which brings me to the second aspect of what I love most about my role. As much as I love learning and facing challenges, what I enjoy the most is working with different people and personalities.
Behind each task and each job, there is a talent, and while my formal objectives are quantified, my personal inspiration is to understand each of them, connect, add value and build synergies.
EDs: How has the electric vehicle space evolved since you started?
I grew up in a country with long winters and long roads where battery electric vehicles (BEVs) seemed like a fantasy. Even earlier on in my career, BEVs still sounded like science fiction.
The transition to electric vehicles and the government support behind this transition to push towards sustainability and CO2 reduction have not just disrupted the industry but have reshaped the DNA of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Electrification and software development have not only given an opportunity for new players to enter the industry but also to transform the entire value chain of how cars are distributed, purchased, used and monitored.
To survive the rapid changes in the industry brought forth by technological innovation and the transformation in the business model, you have to be agile, open-minded and approach everything with curiosity and a problem-solving attitude.
EDs: How have you seen the electric vehicle space grow and change since you started with ALD Automotive?
ALD Automotive is the pioneer in the powertrain transition. With the Move 2025 strategy, we are committed to leading the shift to low-emission vehicles, making sure the transition to a better future offers the best client experience. I’m happy to witness the multidimensional development of our services and products to make that commitment tangible and real for our clients through the entire EV programme.
One example is the ALD Electric product that allows us to accompany clients with an all-inclusive offering including an easy digital onboarding experience, an electricity billing solution, charger installation and maintenance, and 24/7 customer support to facilitate the transformation. We also provide dashboard reporting and total cost of ownership (TCO)-based consultations. All of this is already available in 34 markets.
I am also proud of our rapid growth in digital partnerships. We are accelerating electrification by partnering with new players in the market and offering a variety of models to promote sustainable, connected mobility lifestyles. Our partners have access to a fully digital, full-service leasing channel that processes contracts entirely online.
EDs: How would you encourage women to be involved in your sector?
I think we should not only encourage women but also individuals already working in the automotive sector. I encourage everyone to be free from prejudice, misconceptions, and stereotypes.
As the world evolves, it’s up to us to define our own boundaries. Let’s stop thinking about gender roles and focus on each other’s skills and capabilities to deliver and contribute to the development of the industry.
To all women out there: Stop hesitating and focus. Let’s put energy into working with passion, achieving results and leading by an example. The condition of everyone’s success is being respectful, objective and fair. We grow by supporting each other throughout hard passionate work.
EDs: What has impressed you about the sector?
The number of tech opportunities and the potential to transform the industry versus the cultural barriers and status quo. Since 2016 I have witnessed a fundamental disruption in the automotive industry.
The electrification and digitalisation of the industry have shaken up all the rules that were established more than a century ago. The automotive industry changes not only from a technological point of view but also from a cultural one as well. As a result, it is becoming more inclusive and that requires fundamental shifts in the traditional automotive corporate culture.
I choose to be at the heart of this transformation, playing a part in transforming the way people travel and move, introducing new technologies into the market, expediting the cultural shift and ultimately making the industry more sustainable. It is exciting how much more there is to do and I’m happy to be part of this adventure.