Meet The Team: Mark Fretwell

Published by One Auto API on

While our day to day focus is on helping clients enjoy simple and seamless data connections, we wanted to take an opportunity to connect you with our team too. First up in our Meet The Team series is Founder and CEO Mark Fretwell.

Can you tell us about your background in the automotive (and/or other) industries?

I started working in the automotive industry in 1996 but I’ve had a few diversions and side projects along the way – such as spending a year travelling round the world, a couple of years in publishing, and starting my own beer business.

What do you consider to be your particular area of specialism?

I’ve got used to wearing a lot of different hats over the last few years! I suppose if I had to pick one to wear all the time it would be product but I still enjoy getting hands-on with partnerships, sales and marketing.

What made you want to work in the world of automotive data?

I never knew there was a world of automotive data until I found myself working in it! When I first joined CAP in 1996, 90% of our revenue came from selling printed guides but the transition to data was rapid and it was an exciting time to be involved in the business. So, to answer the question, the thing that made me want to work in automotive data was the experience but, more specifically, being fortunate enough to work with a diverse range of customers and learn about their businesses. It really helped me start joining up the dots between all the different sectors. The great thing is that this industry is so big, complex and ever changing there’s always something new to learn. It never stops, and I love that.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It usually starts around 6am, catching up on emails over breakfast while everyone else is still sleeping. Then I’m out with the dog to get some fresh air and exercise before walking the kids to school. I only do early morning meetings by exception nowadays but I usually work through into early evening, which gives me a couple of interruption free hours to get things done. I travel a lot less than I used to, so I get my thinking time in while walking the dog.

What excites you most about your job?

The opportunities it presents for problem-solving and driving innovation, whether directly through our platform and products or working with our clients to help them build new solutions.

Where does One Auto API add the most value for its clients?

It all depends on the client. For startups, we make it easy to access and integrate data – taking away a lot of the barriers. For enterprise customers, we give them the tools to manage multiple data feeds, across multiple projects with access to impartial, expert advice from our highly experienced team. We’re extremely proud of the level of support we provide to every customer – irrespective of their size. It’s something that’s important to everyone who works here, a value we all share.

What are you looking forward to achieving in the next 12 months?

Growing the business, taking One Auto API outside the UK and increasing the breadth and depth of the services we offer our users. It’s a huge challenge but our investment in technology means we’re prepared for growth – and our investors support and share that vision.

What is the biggest challenge or opportunity that the motor industry is facing – and how can One Auto API make a difference to that?

Electrification is the current focal point. However that’s just one of a number of technological shifts that need to happen for the motor industry to stay relevant as environmental pressures, rising fuel costs and increasing urbanisation change the way people move around. Autonomous vehicles, flying cars – autonomous, electric flying cars – not to mention existing modes of transport are all going to be part of the future. To what extent each of these technologies prevail we will have to see but as the industry evolves we want to be at the forefront – ensuring our clients have access to the data they need to drive innovation.

And, finally, what technology innovation has had the biggest impact on your life?

I’d have to say the Internet. It’s an obvious answer but it’s completely changed the way software and data are distributed and impacted the way we all live. In 1000 years people will look back and say its been as big as the industrial revolution and I think AI has the potential to have a similar level of impact. We’ve only just begun to explore its capabilities.

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