January 20, 2022
Why I Joined Baraja: To build the foundation of a successful company
Erica Newland, Chief Financial Officer
Back to the Inner Circle

I’ve spent most of my career partnering with large and small corporations to drive decisions that are financially optimized for their investors, customers and employees, and if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you rarely get the opportunity to join a big company in its early days and really make a difference by developing the foundations of their financial practices.

At Baraja, as a young, growing company, it’s easier to visualize how you think something should be done and then put those processes in place – and all without having to implement large change management campaigns or adjusting to fit within the “traditional” model.

All of us at Baraja, from the leadership down, have this fantastic opportunity to not only determine where the rapidly-growing company goes next, but we will ultimately set the foundation for how things are done decades into the future.

Erica Newland, CFO

Building the foundation

Before joining any company, there are three specific things I look for. Do I believe in what the company is doing? Can I make a real impact? And are the right templates in place – as in, is there the right technology, processes and finances – that will allow the company to provide value to its shareholders, customers, and employees?

Because I hadn’t heard of Baraja, the relatively new (but quickly growing) Australian-based LiDAR start-up, I asked a lot of questions before making my decision. What were its financials like? Was there a path for scalability and growth? What set its technology apart from other LiDAR companies?

There are a lot of LiDAR companies out there, and the industry is ripe for consolidation, so investors are really looking for these core differentiators. A company must have both the technology and a path to profitability to win the attention of investors.

The further I dug into those questions, the more impressed I became. Baraja has not only developed a groundbreaking LiDAR design that has the power to completely disrupt the LiDAR industry, but it has thought about the marketability of its product since the beginning, creating a clear path to profitability and a winning LiDAR system.

This is extremely important in growing a company because if you are unable to differentiate in technology, you have to compete on cost alone, which is a challenging value proposition in a global marketplace.

Investing in the future

Baraja has a raw desire and need to grow – and is looking at how the CFO organization can help it do that. With the core technology in place and an ability to prove how it is able to solve the technical aspects of LiDAR for automotive, Baraja is now working on developing and investing in the company so it can scale in a way that grows the company, extend its reach and increases profits.

Achieving this though requires ruthless prioritization and informed risk taking based on accurate information and the expertise of a collaborative executive team. We are continually looking for opportunities to build a solid foundation and then evaluate these opportunities to shift that growth trajectory even higher.

With this financial mentality, we plan to grow Baraja into a multi-billion dollar, publicly traded international organization that continues to grow exponentially while achieving a level of profit and financials that will allow us to give back to our investors and reinvest in ourselves.

If you’re interested in joining Baraja in our mission to enable autonomous driving, contact our HR team today.

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