Jean Lemaire: Best Charging and Energy Distribution Infrastructure CEO 2022
Paragon Mobility is the definition of innovative. Bringing forth a new generation of electric vehicle charging points, the company is on a quest to promote sustainability and renewable energy.
‘My career has been a fascinating blend of involvement into large and small organisations, French and Anglo-Americans, all powerful and impactful,’ describes Jean Lemaire, the CEO of Paragon Mobility. The company has developed a new era of smart, adaptable, and modular electric vehicle charging and energy management infrastructure; Pod brings renewable energy to the mobility and transport revolution. In early 2022, for example, Paragon Mobility was selected as one of the Top 50 Most Promising European Startups in Mobility through a contest held by the European Parliament and the Boston Consulting Group.
Incorporated in 2019, the founding team possesses over 60 years of combined experience in infrastructure deployment and financing on a global scale. As such, Paragon Mobility’s product is highly unique, boasting a convenient size starting at half the size of a parking slot (2.5m x 2.5m) for typically four fast charging ports and two ultra-fast charging points allowing charge times as low as 15-20 min per vehicle. The Pods are equipped to evolve through the addition of new modules that help cater to new and increased charging needs, meaning that these products are designed to last and are perfect for those serious about their transition to electric vehicles. Perhaps even more impressive, Pods are available through a subscription model offering lifetime support, maintenance and upgrades –and making them affordable and accessible for all customers.
However, such advancements do come with their challenges, as Jean explains, ‘selling innovations like we do is inherently hard because you not only have to explain the value and benefits your solution brings, you have to hit the right timing and overcome all sorts of barriers that you generally do not control’.
Jean notes, ‘career-wise I have always been guided and driven by the will to have an impact, create sense, and be a strong achiever.’ This is extremely clear throughout the company’s work; however, this drive within Jean has been evident since the early 2000s, when he began working on sustainable and renewable energy and clean technology development. He continues, ‘The early years in renewable energy were the years of pioneering work, difficult because, as always with innovations, we were challenging the status quo and the establishment. Now we have proven that these technologies could compete with or even be superior to established energy technologies.’
Unsurprisingly, Jean’s accomplishments are abundant – within the first company he worked for, a Fortune 500 player, he was appointed Program Manager for a 200-millioneuro wind energy programme at just 27 years old. By age 30, he was delving into executive roles, becoming Chief Operating Officer of the US subsidiary of a European renewable Independent Power Producer and later Chief Executive Officer of a pan-European renewable energy platform owned by one of the largest energy investment funds in the world. Despite this success, Jean opted to hit restart, beginning new businesses that he believed in.
‘So being a CEO turns out to be much more the result of my passion for achieving and creating things and being good at what I do, rather than a carefully-managed career plan in a traditional organisation,’ Jean concludes.
Through Jean’s leadership, Paragon Mobility is on track to achieve great things. It has numerous plans in place for the next year or so, including the optimisation of its digital strategy as well as the securing of a large round of investments. The main goal for Paragon Mobility is to grow into a leading energy optimisation infrastructure player, and there is a vast amount of work being poured into the company in order to bring this dream to fruition.
For Jean, he believes that he must continue to evolve and innovate – ‘of course what you have been able to achieve is important; but what truly defines you as a business leader and person is what you are taking on, the new requirements, objectives and challenges you set for yourself, the permanent questioning of your abilities and achievements and the cando mentality. This mindset has always been fuelling me. […] So, the plan is to continue to leverage the successes of the past and of the present to achieve more and reach higher. I am still very much hungry and keen on what