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Thanks to an entrepreneurial itch, Bal Bhullar will never be a conventional CFO. In fact, her CFO resume may be the only one ever to include three-wheel electric cars alongside vitamin supplements.
However, when it comes to finance milestones such as the $12 million in new financing on which Electra Meccanica closed last March, Bhullar is clearly marching in step with her professional peers.
This being said, when your CEO is a former race car driver and you’re building three-wheel vehicles using Chinese parts in western Canada, a CFO would be more likely to attract the interest of People magazine than Wall Street investors. Nevertheless, Wall Street has been listening, and, as for many CFOs along the front lines, Bhullar has found that communication and relationship-building remain top-of-mind.
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Guest: Bal Bhullar, CFO
Company: Electra Meccanica
Headquarters: Vancouver, Canada
CFOTL: How have you projected demand for these vehicles?
Bhullar: We’ve done some extensive market studies. One, in particular, was with IHS Markit, and they’ve given us a road map of where in the US to focus. As of today, California has 50% of all electric vehicles sales. That’s the hub. And then you go along through some of the other states that purchase electric vehicles.
The other aspect that we’ve already encountered, through communications with various prospects, is that Europe is another huge market for us. We’ve also got interest from Southeast Asia. There are various interests that we’re receiving on a constant basis as people are learning about our company and learning about the Solo being environmentally friendly in terms of being all-electric–you’re not using gas–and the costs involved with a gasoline vehicle versus an electric vehicle.
There is a fair amount of data in terms of where we see the distribution of our vehicles going. We have research behind that. We also have preorders as well. We’ve got over 23,000 preorders for the Solo.
This is the year when we’re basically going into mass production and we’re executing on our business plan. And when you’re talking about milestones, this is really the big one. I came here, and the first thing I thought was: “Okay, where am I going to be able to add value? How am I going to take this company to the next level from a finance perspective? And how can I be the right-hand person to serve the CEO?”