Mervyn O’Callaghan, CEO of CameraMatics, discusses his role and how the company is adapting to changes in the motor industry.
Mervyn O’Callaghan is the co-founder and CEO of CameraMatics, an Irish IoT (Internet of Things) fleet and vehicle safety company. CameraMatics has developed a full-stack SaaS platform that uses camera technology, vision systems, AI, machine learning and telematics to help manage fleet operations.
O’Callaghan says his role as CEO is predominantly focused on building a scalable business model as the company expands into new markets and continues to grow.
“This involves ensuring the operational, financial and technical sides of CameraMatics are aligned to manage the constant strain that fast growth can have on a business.”
‘The pace of change within the motor industry poses a huge challenge (and opportunity) for everyone working in the sector’
What are the biggest challenges facing your sector and how are you tackling them?
The pace of change within the whole motor industry poses a huge challenge (and also opportunity) for everyone working in and alongside the sector. The transition to EVs, alternative fuel options, autonomous driving and global commitments around reducing carbon emissions are all driving change at a huge pace.
As a software business, we need to factor these current and future developments into both our software solutions and our commercial model moving forward. Our goal is to help companies to make informed decisions on how they can reduce their carbon footprint, improve driver safety, and also benefit from operational and financial savings by using our technology.
What are the key sector opportunities you’re capitalising on?
Vision Zero is a global initiative that governments are implementing to reduce road accidents and improve overall driver safety. The initiative initially focuses on commercial vehicles, and AI capabilities that can analyse and predict potential accidents, combined with technologies that interact with the driver in real time, are seen as a key future requirement for all commercial vehicles.
Sustainability and ESG requirements also present further opportunities as more companies begin to look at their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, with the need to implement solutions to monitor and reduce these emissions.
What set you on the road to where you are now?
The team at CameraMatics have been operating in this sector for nearly 20 years. Our previous business was built around driver safety and driver monitoring technology installations, working on around 15,000 vehicles each month. We were also an outsource partner for most of the technology providers within the sector.
We sold this business in 2016 as we believed there was a gap in the market, both in terms of the solutions available and their alignment with the future requirements of the industry as a whole. Through selling our previous business and setting up CameraMatics as we know it today, we were able to instead focus on addressing the limitations and needs we saw in the marketplace.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
The biggest risk I’ve taken has been moving from the corporate world, where I was working with some very large PLCs and investment banks, to setting up my own business. I was literally starting from nothing – on my own, with no customers, no revenue and no employees – but I still had all the same bills and responsibilities.
What one work skill do you wish you had?
Patience – we are so focused on always pushing forward and going at such a fast pace that it’s easy to forget to celebrate the progress and successes you have along the way.
How do you get the best out of your team?
We try and empower people to take responsibility for their own area and results. As a business we know what our key targets and KPIs are, and we try to filter this down into meaningful targets for each department and employee. That means everyone understands the impact of their input towards us hitting our company objectives.
Have you noticed a diversity problem in your sector?
I think there has traditionally been a diversity problem in the automotive sectors, particularly when it comes to women in the workforce. However, the industry is taking proactive steps to address this. For example, in September 2022, many of the UK automotive industry’s biggest companies came together to launch the Automotive Diversity & Inclusion Charter, which is an extremely positive step in terms of DE&I in the industry.
What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
Always look forward, never look back.
What books have you read that you would recommend?
Ì like any book which demonstrates the power of the mind, physical endurance and the power of positive thinking. Gerry Duffy’s books Tick, Tock, Ten and Who Dares, Runs are great examples of what can be achieved with a focus and a willingness to push your limits.
What are the essential tools and resources that get you through the working week?
There are various daily and weekly reports which provide everything I need to enable me to manage the business and make decisions. As a qualified accountant, I see the whole business in numbers and as such having this information at my fingertips is essential. I am also a great believer in doing some form of physical exercise each day. I find this helps focus and provides clarity of the mind which is necessary to make good decisions.
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