Growing up, Robson Gama often watched his grandfather hard at work using Bosch power tools. Even at a young age, Robson could see the valuable unity of performance, creativity and the desire to build something that didn’t exist before. Years later, his affinity for Bosch led him to the company’s internship program – and then his affinity for curiosity led him even further. Get an inside look at how Robson turned to grow platform to build something big – for his family and society.
The roller coaster is waiting
Robson Gama is the Founder and CEO of Bosch Fluid Energy Monitoring, an internal start-up that sprung to life via grow platform. In line with Robson’s personal ethos of challenging the status quo, the promising company offers an intelligent, cloud-based solution that enables direct sales, logistic optimization, and subscription sales model for the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distributors – empowering them to disrupt the LPG chain. As a result, homeowners can enjoy a secured pay-as-you-go model and guaranteed availability of heating and cooking.
As it often goes with intrapreneurs, Robson does a bit of everything for the start-up – from steering the business strategy and managing teams all the way to maintaining positive financial health and meeting grow platform's expansion vision.
The daily challenges aren’t always easy, he admits, but there are lessons to be learned around every corner. “My experience grows exponentially because I face many challenges at high speed,” he says. With the support of grow platform, these challenges can be quickly turned into opportunities – and opportunities into success.
The smart move to grow platform
In 2006, Robson kickstarted his journey – beginning as a Bosch intern in the area of mobility solutions, then moving on to Product Technician. A few years later, after being promoted to Product Engineer, he was one of the top finishers in the Bosch Young Engineer award in Latin America. But it was at this time that he acknowledged his desire and ability to influence and lead people. He jumped on the intrapreneur path and hasn’t looked back.
Instead, he just looks beyond, questioning the status quo and exploring deeper. His technical skills are still as sharp as ever, but his views on technology, business and value continue to evolve thanks to grow platform. Every day he’s able to merge his natural curiosity, technical background and the opportunities that arise within an intrapreneurial atmosphere. It truly is unlike anything else.
As a result, his perspectives have widened dramatically. Peering through a more dynamic lens, he sees a vibrant future in which real value is not only in technology, but also in the market and customers. He says, “I understood that we need to fall in love with customer pains and focus on generating value for customers. This led me to a complete mindset transformation.”
As an intrapreneur, it’s vital to have an open mindset like Robson’s, or else there can be no personal or professional growth. During his journey of almost five years working in innovation, Robson experienced four failures with internal start-ups. Each one has proved vital in expanding his perspectives and maturing his vision, helping him to put more focus on the market and customer as a starting point.
What’s more, his failures have influenced his leadership style within Bosch Fluid Energy Monitoring. It’s a constant priority to create a safe and positive environment where individuals and teams have the space and autonomy to perform at high levels. He wants team members to wake up excited and ready to be themselves. He even quotes a page from the playbook of Steve Jobs: “It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Breaking free from business as usual
When it comes to comparing the work life at grow platform versus other Bosch units, Robson offers a simple, yet impactful statement: “The difference is huge.” In traditional Bosch units, team members must follow strict procedures to protect the business and mitigate risks. At grow platform, on the other hand, the working culture breaks free from traditional norms. Robson notes, “Thanks to our internal structure, we are able to act at a much more aggressive speed… putting into practice the culture of fail fast, fail cheap and learn faster.”
It's not just exciting to work in an intrapreneurial environment, it’s powerful, rewarding and inspiring. Robson’s traditional Bosch experiences from early on have proven to be extremely valuable, but the slow, step-by-step processes were holding him back. At grow platform, the opportunities and challenges push him and his colleagues to constantly innovate at an exponential rate.
Robson is leading the charge at Bosch Fluid Energy Monitoring, building a business from a blank sheet of paper at start-up speed while bringing together smart people for a common goal. In comparison to a traditional route, grow platform has equipped Robson with a broad vision of business, strategy, team building and negotiation.
Working in grow platform also enables Robson to unite his personal and professional dreams. “My life purpose is to leave a legacy of impact for my daughters and society. That's why I decided to pivot my career. At grow platform, I can make this possible and my purpose becomes even stronger within Bosch, because I manage to create a legacy, invented for life, working in the home of intrapreneurs.”
But is grow platform right for everyone? Well, that depends, according to Robson. If the person wants to embark on the intense, collaborative journey of building something from nothing, then grow platform is the right place for them. “They need to know that we operate in a high-risk and high-velocity environment, but it provides us with accelerated skills development and the chance to create the next disruptive business for Bosch.” And, quite possibly, for the world.
Business Owner of Bosch Fluid Energy Monitoring, located in Campinas, Brazil
Robson has been working at Bosch since 2006, starting as an intern in the Powertrain Solutions unit. He studied Electric Engineering and acquired advanced technical experience while working in this field for ten years. After pivoting to the business area, he studied Project Management at Universidade Positivo, and then Strategic and Economic Business Management at FGV. Robson also specialized in Business Modeling at Berkeley in the Bosch accelerator program. In addition to his active CEO role, Robson is a Bosch trainer for courses related to Innovation such as Business Model Innovation, Agile methodology (basics, PO, Agile Master and Agile for Managers) and in the Bosch Adventure program.