Tony Carr has extensive experience in developing operational businesses in emerging markets. He currently serves as the CEO of Starsight Energy, West Africa’s largest provider of C&I solar solutions, and was the founding partner and former CEO of MonuRent, Africa’s largest pure-play mining equipment rental business.
Tony has lived in West Africa for 10 years and operated businesses throughout the Ebola epidemic. He is a mechanical engineer by profession and has extensive management experience in the power, mining, exploration, civil, agriculture, and transport sectors.
This interview was originally published in African Power & Energy Elites 2021.
WHAT INDUSTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE POWER AND ENERGY SECTOR ARE YOU LOOKING AT FOR INSPIRATION?
Water resource management is a keen interest of mine. It is a critical resource that requires innovative infrastructure and planning. Solving such challenges is what inspires me. Another industry I follow closely is the ‘wetware’ industry, which takes biological processes and applies them to technology. Instead of the approach used in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry, which is trying to get a computer to learn what humans do, this sector takes a biological process and programs it to do an action. It is a highly innovative sector, which fascinates and inspires me to always look for innovation in my field.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH UNCERTAINTY AS A LEADER IN A TIME WHERE LEADERSHIP IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER?
I have stressed the importance of keeping everyone on our team informed while ensuring the correct support structures are in place. There has been a lot of inaccurate information out there about the pandemic, health, security, etc. Leadership in such an environment, first and foremost, requires giving your team correct and credible information. Beyond this, we have created a support structure that includes medical support, wellness check-ins and tools, and other systems that provide our teams with the confidence that they are not alone, and we are there for them.