Tim Carter

5 Aug 2015
Tim Carter

Tim Carter volunteered with Pollinate Energy a social business that sells solar lights into India’s urban slums. Read how UQ Business School helped him shape his career through work experience.

Could you give us details about your career history? How/where did you start?

I’m a chemical engineer specialising in advising businesses on how to adapt to a carbon constrained economy. While at Energetics I have assisted large multinational companies such as BHP Billiton and Vale meet their greenhouse gas reporting obligations and identify their abatement opportunities.

Prior to joining Energetics, I worked for Boeing – Hawker de Havilland undertaking resource efficiency projects and implementation of an ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System. As a business analyst, I provided advice to the Board of Boeing Australia Holdings regarding the business impact of greenhouse reporting and carbon markets.

The move to Energetics was to focus more on energy and climate change work. Energetics is a specialist management consultancy that focuses on helping Australian businesses with the rapid changes in energy technologies and energy policy.

What’s the most challenging part of your career?

When consulting and trying to drive change you always encounter people who either don’t understand where you are coming from or just want to be a blocker. The challenge is trying to understand their background and what their motivation is; how can you get a win for them too? – This was part of the reason I chose to do an MBA.

What is the most interesting part of your career?

Professionally, I have the opportunity to get out of the office and view a number of different types of working sites. I have seen a wide range of sites such as aluminium smelters, mining operations through to a potato chip factory.

Academically, the Wharton project offered through the MBA was a real eye opener. The Wharton Global Consulting Practicum brings together selected UQ Business School and Wharton MBA students in international consulting teams to complete a ‘real life’ US market entry or expansion project for a paying Australasian company.

Tell me about your volunteer experience?

In April 2015 I travelled to Hyderabad, India to participate in the Pollinate Energy Young Professional Program. I got involved with Pollinate Energy because I am interested in the changes currently happening in energy technology and what impact this has on energy markets.

Pollinate Energy is a social business that sells solar lights and water filters to India’s urban slums. I assisted with training and coaching of local sales representatives, called “Pollinators” and conducted a consulting project to identify how Pollinate Energy could access Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funding.

Pollinate Energy have done a lot of work on their business model, to enable them to easily expand into new cities. Pollinate Energy provides everything the Pollinator needs to set up their own business. This includes sales training, product samples, Saleforce.com and travel allowances.

The training is around how to sell solar lights, tracking and recording of sales, ensuring payments are made and how to record everything through a smart phone.

I helped with the Young Professional Programs where I travelled to India for 2 weeks and spent time training the Pollinators, conducting the CSR consultancy project and in the field collecting information and coaching Pollinators. I was able to raise just under $4,000 for Pollinate Energy so they are able to set up in a city and cover the start-up costs of the city operations until the light sales enable them to be self-sufficient.

UQ Business School’s tagline is “Challenging the future”. For you, what will be the most challenging business topic in the next ten years?

Changes to the energy sector are coming and are going to be massive. How we generate and consume energy is opening up to disruptive innovation. Large cost reductions in solar and wind power plus the development of battery technology is changing how energy markets operate. Ethical issues around climate change and divestment campaigns are already strong in the US and divestment discussions are moving away from being purely ethical to one that recognises the changing mix of energy markets.

What mentor or inspirational figure has guided or influenced your life in a certain way?

Don’t accept the status quo. Challenge if there is a better way of doing business. Business has a huge influence over society and to tackle to climate change businesses need to come up with solutions.

Why did you decide to do an MBA?

I chose an MBA to understand how a project pitched to the client fits into the wider business strategy and how to directly influence the direction in which businesses are going.

What’s your most positive memory of your time at UQ Business School?

My most positive experience was definitely the Wharton project experience, it was an intense experience. The experience produced amazing work. Working with both the USA and Australian teams was rewarding. It was great to talk to people outside of my sector and broaden my knowledge.

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