In a recent podcast interview with Riderflex, a national recruiting and consulting firm, Gareth Evans, the Chief Executive Office and Co-Founder of VECKTA, discussed his backstory, the origins of VECKTA, and the future of petroleum.
In the Beginning
Growing up just outside Liverpool, England, Gareth had originally planned on joining the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a pilot. While attending Lancaster University to earn his bachelor’s degree, he studied environmental science because it was a subject he enjoyed, but ultimately, he saw it as, “a way of getting into the university to then get access to the air squadron.” A few evenings each week and on the weekend, Gareth trained for 3 years as a volunteer pilot.
Unfortunately, by the time he graduated from college, the RAF had run into a problem. The RAF has purchased several new jets, but the manufacturers were running late in building and delivering them; they had a surplus of trained pilots but no planes to put them in. With the RAF scaling back on pilots, Gareth started looking for a new career path.
Globetrotting and Trying New Roles
After moving to Canada, Gareth put his degree to use by working on cleaning up old oil and gas well sites. After about 5 years of leading teams there, he spent 2 years in Iraq doing social, environmental, and liability assessments for oil and gas companies looking to move into the area, and then moved to Perth, Australia for 4 years.
A friend, mentor and boss, Brad Andrews, recommended zig-zagging his career path to get more holistic career exposure. He offered a “commercial, strategy and pursuits leadership role” which Gareth embraced and described as, “helping the business frame its strategy and win the right work at the right price.” This role changed his outlook on the industry and ultimately brought him back to North America to replicate the learnings and success achieved with the team in Australia. This led to the opportunity to lead the Energy consulting business for Worley and the opportunity to incubate the idea of VECKTA with the team.
The Start of Something New
Gareth co-founded VECKTA in November 2019 with Tristan Jackson after seeing that the cost of “doing [consulting] the old fashion way created too much of a barrier to entry” to developing personalized energy solutions. Hiring a third-party consulting company can cost thousands of dollars, possibly for only a single step in a very long and multi-faceted process that needs to account for assessment, design, system configuration, financials, construction and operations.
VECKTA wants to offer companies access to an affordable and efficient way to design and build energy solutions for their specific business needs.
To do this, VECKTA uses the industry-defining XENDEE system that “allows you to design and optimize an alternate energy system extremely quickly and accurately.” VECKTA enables commercial and industrial clients to assess their own energy needs and then provides the tools, processes, workflows, and suppliers necessary to build their customized energy plan.
According to Gareth, the goal of VECKTA is to “take all of the pain off the energy users’ hands and allow them to…see the potential of a cleaner, more reliable, cost-effective energy solution, without having to do the heavy lifting.”
The Future of Energy
When asked about his predictions about the role of oil in 100 years from now, Gareth replied, “I think what a lot of people don’t realize is, petroleum products are in absolutely everything we use…I think people need to be cognizant to the fact that, for the lifestyles we’ve chosen, there’s a lot of need for what the oil and gas companies are creating and I don’t see that going away anytime soon.”
Petroleum is widely-known as fuel for transportation, heating, and sometimes electricity generation. What may be less well-known is petroleum’s other uses in plastics, chemicals, and synthetic materials. In 2019, 27% of all petroleum consumed in the United States was used for this “other” category.
“But what we are also seeing is, on the clean tech side of things the technologies and the price points of those technologies…are becoming more accessible and more viable all the time. So, I think from an energy perspective and from a transportation perspective, we’ll certainly see the world being increasingly electrified and I think we’ll do that through cleaner energy resources.” VECKTA will empower this.
Advice for Future CEOs
At the end of the interview, Gareth shared some wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs and future CEOs. He joked: “First of all, it’s hard. Don’t expect it to be easy.”
Overall though, for Gareth, the greatest takeaway was, “Set that really audacious goal”. Build a team that buys into the mission. It’s all about the people…regardless of the product, it’s the people that make the products which make things happen.”