From space technology to battery innovation
The opportunity to build a company with green technology and leading experts became so tempting that Mona Øverby decided to leave a global giant in favor of the start-up life at Hagal.
It may have come as a bit of a surprise when Mona left KPMG for a small Norwegian start-up company, but those who know her well understood the enticement. After working with technology marketing and communication throughout her career, she was ready to return to the tech industry. She wanted to spend time on something meaningful and was drawn towards greentech. In June 2021, she started as Head of Marketing, Communications and Sustainability for Hagal.
–My heart races for projects and initiatives related to sustainability and social responsibility. Hagal’s ambitions for battery reuse and contribution to the circular ecosystem, developing solutions that will be key for the green transition, were the X-factor. It was an easy choice, says Mona.
Disrupting battery technology
Mona is optimistic by nature. Things usually go well, but not helter-skelter, and challenges are basically something very positive, she sums up easily.
–While a job in a large company may provide job security and greater predictability, something is alluring about the start-up life. Faster decisions, direct influence on strategy and the company’s development, and being a challenger in a strongly growing market bring exciting opportunities, says Mona, who has been on the journey from a small business to a listing before.
–We are a growth company. We don’t have a finished manuscript for 2022, but it is more exciting to help write it than just follow a template, she adds.
For her, the working day is about speed and direction, building the company’s profile externally, along with gathering and leading many initiatives towards a uniform profile, differentiated brand, and the highest possible standard. There is no shortage of ideas and initiatives.
An energizing job
– When I got the opportunity in Hagal, there was no doubt. For me, it has always been about following the heart. When you are passionate about something, it is easy to roll up your sleeves and step up the pace. Reaching goals and contributing to a victory through teamwork is energizing, Mona explains.
Before her years as PR and Communications Manager at KPMG, she worked in Norwegian technology and growth companies such as Meltwater, 24SevenOffice, and Software Innovation. She had a fun and thrilling journey through Silicon Valley, stock listing, mergers and positioning growth services such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and digital transformation. Starting in Hagal, she wanted to return to a smaller environment, to an innovative company that was building something of great importance to many.
– When you have small children at home and think about their future, there are few things more relevant than what Hagal is doing. I have gradually become aware that green transition is not possible without energy storage, and it is important to share that knowledge further, says Mona.
Ambassadors for the green shift
One of Hagal’s communication goals is to build people’s general knowledge and interest in battery technology and show how important it is for the green shift.
– It’s about thought leadership. About making the complex so easy to understand that everyone sees the context, the need for green solutions, and the benefit of what we do. The big goal is to make some movement and even make Hagal a place of knowledge to the same extent as a product company. We have a big job to do with telling a story and putting things in perspective, Mona emphasizes.
– It feels good to be part of a team that takes our mission seriously, working with technology that makes it possible to extend the life of batteries. It is super exciting that we are bringing a unique technology to the market. We hope we can influence more people to make green decisions, at the same time, build a network with ambassadors for what we are doing – including politicians and other opinion leaders. The right incentives must be established for more sustainable alternatives, she states.
It’s about thought leadership. About making the complex so easy to understand that everyone sees the context, the need for green solutions, and the benefit of what we do.
A fast-paced industry
A lot is going on in the battery sector and it is happening fast. There is a lot to tackle and there are many small shifts in direction.
– Of course, there are hectic days, but it’s incredibly fun. In Hagal, it is easy to ask for help and input. We share insight and expertise, have good discussions and effective decision-making paths. Strategy and structure must be balanced with the ability to turn around quickly, and we must be willing to step in where needed, Mona explains.
–What’s so good about Hagal is that there is room to be oneself and perform regardless of your life situation and personality type. We are a diverse group that thrives together. Also, the hybrid office, more days working from home combined with a couple of office days, makes everyday logistics with toddlers and commuting much easier.
Hagal is currently working purposefully towards piloting and establishing itself in the market through its technology development.
– We have a first-class team and step-by-step we are going in the direction of something we think will be very large. Management knows how important marketing and communication are to convey the value of what we do and to build a reputation. In 2022 we will put Hagal on the map, Mona concludes.
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