Chasing the trends of tomorrow’s mobility. Ideation & University Collaborations

What are the trends of the mobility of tomorrow? And where will we find dedicated people to tackle the challenges that come with those trends? Benjamin Bhattacharya-Ghosh works at the Daimler startup incubator “Lab1886” and travels to international universities to collaborate with students who bring a start-up spirit. In his interview, he talks about his career at Daimler and the perks of working in an innovative environment.

Working together with top universities, professors and students is part of Lab1886's concept and Benjamin's daily work. An impression of his visit at MIT Boston.

Hello, please introduce yourself briefly to the readers.
My name is Benjamin Bhattacharya-Ghosh and I am a mechanical engineer with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from University College London. In 2015, I joined the Daimler CAReer program. My start at Daimler was in the procurement department. I have been working at the “Lab1886” for almost 3 years now.

Please explain us a little bit more about the “Lab1886”. What are Lab1886’s responsibilities and what characterizes the work there?
As the corporate incubator of Daimler AG, we create innovative business models and digital services. Car2Go, Movel, Mercedes me and Start-up Autobahn are just a few of the projects that originated from Lab1886. The lab combines the best of both worlds: the power of a global company with the freedom of a start-up. Our headquarters are based in Stuttgart with other Lab1886-offices located in Berlin, Beijing and Atlanta.
The agile working methods and the diverse team of students, interns, staff and managers from all over the world shape the spirit of Lab1886 and make it a very special entity within Daimler.

The LAB1886 offers a modern working environment.

Please tell us a little more about your tasks and your team. What’s exciting about your department?
The development from an idea to a business model consists of three phases: Ideation, Validation and Incubation, each of which is handled by a team within Lab1886.
I work for the team “Ideation”, which acts as the first step when it comes to developing new business ideas for Daimler. While we mainly interact and work as a team, every team member has their own focus area to scan and screen new ideas. In addition to sourcing ideas internally, we also discover ideas externally through collaborations with other industrial companies and top ranked universities.

You’re responsible for “University Collaborations” at the LAB1886. What does your job include?
Through our established ”University Collaborations” Program, Lab1886 partners with the world’s best universities to discover new ideas in various subjects. In order to identify challenges and generate solutions in- and outside of the Daimler ecosystem, we welcome on board world-renowned professors and their dedicated students. The expertise and network the professors and Lab1886 provide to the students enable them to generate ideas and projects that have a real impact. Of course, it is also a good way to attract high potentials and students with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Benjamin visiting Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

Do you have a personal success story?
It has been exciting to see how University Collaborations’ portfolio has grown. As a University College London alumnus, we established the premier collaboration between UCL and Daimler, which brought on board students and faculties from different subjects. Now with a portfolio of numerous universities from around the globe, Lab1886 has had the opportunity to host our 2nd Lab1886 Experience Days – a two day event during which students pitch their final projects to management and then engage with an immersive experience that offers a glimpse into the exciting world of Mercedes-Benz. This fall, we are looking forward to initiating pilot projects with MIT and Harvard in Boston, which will be kicked off with the exclusive Mercedes-Benz Experience Day.

Why did you choose Daimler as employer?
My first encounter with Daimler was in 2001 as an intern, followed by seminar papers and my final thesis, all with Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart and Detroit. The job offers at Daimler always had that x-factor which made them exciting to me. Becoming a trainee at Daimler was an amazing and unique opportunity that not many companies offer in the manner Daimler does. The platform is second to none and made my decision worthwhile.

Your job in one sentence?

Impression of Lab1886s annual Experience Days 2019

What kind of people are you looking for the most in your field?
Ideally, creative and open-minded personalities who not only represent our company values, but also bring along some experience in generating and evaluating new business models.

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