We talked to Artis Daugins of Blue Shock Race about its electric racing Kart Top1 and this is what he had to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Artis Daugins: All is good, the only difference is I cant travel so much, but the rest of the things are quite okay. Everyone is healthy, and no one has C-19. All working and doing their jobs.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Blue Shock Race.
Artis Daugins: A few years after the crisis in 2008, many of my friends lived in our country. At that moment, I tried to figure out how I can help Latvia. I left my job at that moment, which was a commercial designer and began studying at home for almost one year to figure out how I can help Latvia. I found out that if I helped the country to switch all transportation from petrol to electric I could help Latvia save 1,4 Billion Euros, which is 1/6 of the national budget at the moment. That was the beginning of my journey. I didn’t have any engineering skills, entrepreneurship skills, or anything but I had just a diploma in arts, and I knew how to make nice pictures. After one year of studying at home, I made my first business concepts and started to make them real.
I come from a family of 5 brothers and a sister. I didn’t have friends who can help me in business, so that’s why I tried to improve everyone in my country as much as possible. I founded Blue Shock Race with my brothers’ and my team support. The company had a valuation of 3,5 Million Euros in 2018. Today it is more than 7 Million Euros, and we will be more than 15 million Euros if we reach the goals we are planning in 2021.
How does Blue Shock Race innovate?
Artis Daugins: Basically, it helps so much to keep it all super simple. In art school, I learned a very important thing “All genius things are simple, but not all simple things are genius” So we all the same things which existing industries try to make so complicated, we as artists try to make super simple in fields where we don’t have such engineering skills or knowledge. This allowed us to learn in a practical way and reach goals that nobody can imagine. That’s why we are able to make the lightest and fastest racing karts in the market and make them super simple, that even 10 years old kid can transform his own race kart from petrol to electric in just 20 min. Our innovation is to make things simple – skyrocket science makes it understandable even for kids.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Artis Daugins: Actually, for us, the corona was more of a blessing than limitation or setback. This year for us was much more successful than the previous years. We did so many new developments, and launched a new championship series. We produced more karts for the customer than all 4 years before and our orders this year was more than last 4 years combined. We are now very confident, and will keep pushing limits.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Artis Daugins: I like to stay strong for my values, which are about simple human rights. Many times, this is out of law because the law is not about humans; it is about rules even if you are not guilty. For example, if you have only one bread and the government says you should give it to the government as taxpayers, not give it to your kids for food, then I am going to fight for it because this is wrong. Law is about priorities, and priority in Latvia is a country, not humans. That what I have my own quote: “Law is not about right or fault, truth or lies. Law is about roles and rules are about the orders, it doesn’t matter they are true or false, just order.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Blue Shock Race in the future?
Artis Daugins: This is as in all practices, at first it is quite hard and you think everything will be hard, so you don’t think how to go through it. Later you come out stronger and stronger and after some time you start to take it as a game. When I wake up every morning, and get into the shower, I usually say to myself this is a new day, this is a hard day, even if I am nose bleeding due to hard work and stress. I tell myself there are two sides, one side is those who believe in you and the other one is those wishing you to slip or fall. I then ask myself: “Which side I would like to make me happy today, those who believe in me or the ones who don’t! My choice every morning is the same no matter how hard this day will be even if I go to jail – I will live this day for those who believe in me!”
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Artis Daugins: We have strong competitors with huge budgets, etc., but our team is doing it all with passion; we love what we do, we like to make it faster, better, greater, and even if our budgets for it is 10 or 20 times smaller than others. Our achievements are not about money; we care about our beliefs, and that is our competitive advantage. That is why others can’t go against us because our business standards and rules don’t work for fanatic fashioned teams. I trust my team, we know what we can make it and I know we will achieve our goals and business will follow us.
Your final thoughts?
Artis Daugins: We are always looking to get as much money as possible in the short term. This is how a lot of people are measuring business success. Our industry is a huge, and we need maybe a decade or more to be on the global stage. That’s why to me business is more like a game, which you should play hard if you want to win. You can play, there is no problem, but if you would like to win you should push your team limits to over 100% and there are winners in any game.