Our next guest is driving innovation in the future of mobility. Thomas Metz is the Managing Director of Bosch Engineering Center Sofia.
In his conversation with Irina, Metz shares how his career path to building the future generation of cars started as a childhood dream.
Growing up in a small Bavarian village surrounded by three large automotive plants, Thomas has always been fascinated with cars. Despite his knack for mathematics and physics, he found that his true passion lies in the social factor of business development. He pursued a degree in Technology Management with the idea that the combination of management and engineering would help him reshape the industry.
After graduating from the Technical University of Munich, Thomas was recruited by Bosch in 2008 as part of their Junior Management Program. The freedom and flexibility Bosch offered allowed Thomas to constantly reinvent himself, as he explains. He immersed in different positions in automotive engineering, key customer management, strategic marketing and sales in multiple locations.
As 60% of the business of Bosch is concentrated in the automotive industry and the company is also the biggest tier one automotive supplier worldwide, Metz’s main career driver has been to bring innovation to this field.
So, naturally, three years ago he ended up in Bulgaria with the task to establish the Bosch Engineering Center in Sofia together with a local management team. However, what really made him stick with the company for 14 years now, is the feeling of belonging and the network of colleagues and mentors he developed over time. “Bosch is a family”, he puts it simply.
In the episode, Thomas Metz opens up about how he rose to the role of a leader within the organization. “Leadership for me is the constant in what I am doing”, he adds, differentiating between managing and leading people.
He further explains that whether you are leading a team of 500 people, or just a single project, or your business towards success, it’s always about leading yourself first. “The basis is how do I lead myself in certain situations, how do I become resilient to stress”, Thomas says.
Thomas Metz also shares that what he is most proud of achieving for the three years running Bosch Engineering Center in Sofia together with his co-leaders is the combination of sheer growth with the unique culture of the company. Building on the business growth, the market knowledge, the entrepreneurial spirit and the experience of the local engineers, they have managed to create something very powerful, he explains.
“We see our products already in cars. There are things that we started to develop here in Bulgaria in 2020, that are already on the road”, Thomas Metz proudly shares, adding that software is the main pillar of the innovation within the engineering center.
Watch the episode to learn what is the most likely scenario for the future of cars according to Metz, how soon we will see assisted automated driving in our cars, and what other future mobility trends are already turning into a reality.
Catch up with our previous episode to find out from the CEO of the fintech company Plum Victor Trokoudes why you should think big when launching a startup.