• Arash Pordel

  • Theme:Business and Management
  • Project:Pivoting towards net-zero mobility
  • Supervisor: Daniela Defazio ,Rossella Salandra ,Dimo Dimov
  • The Gorgon's Head - Bath University Logo
Photo of Arash Pordel


Two years ago, on my 30th birthday, my world was turned upside down by a thought-provoking question posed by a friend: "Will you be satisfied with your life sixty years from now? How much are you willing to sacrifice to live your dreams?" It was a shocking and profound moment that marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

Five years prior, after completing my Master's degree in business and with hopes of settling down, I made the difficult decision to put my dream of pursuing a Ph.D. on hold and instead fulfill my mandatory military service in my country. Following that, I got married and worked diligently as an employee to make ends meet. However, I didn't stop there. I took the leap and launched my own business, which flourished and allowed me to find a sense of stability.

Although it seemed like the end of the story, my 30th birthday brought a realization that my journey had just begun. In a single moment, I started to see all the years of challenges and achievements as stepping stones toward a new path. "Do not settle now. Not yet!" I told myself with determination.

For as long as I can remember, I have cherished the dream of studying abroad at a prestigious university. Now, in my 30s and armed with over 10 years of professional experience, I feel more confident than ever to embark on my research journey in business and management.

And the incredible news is that my dreams have become a reality…

I am now a proud Ph.D. student at the University of Bath. What's even more fortunate is that I have the unwavering support of AAPS CDT, an organization that perfectly aligns with my values. Together, we are working towards a future where businesses prioritize environmental friendliness, leaving a positive impact on the world for generations to come.

Thank you for being a part of my story, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to share this exciting chapter with you.


  • I asked my wife to marry me three times, and each time I was met with rejection. However, she eventually proposed to me herself!
  • During my master's degree, I wore the same shirt for two years straight. Unfortunately, as soon as we got married, my wife took it upon herself to tear it apart, sparing you from witnessing me wearing it for another four years during my Ph.D.
  • During my bachelor's degree, I managed to oversleep and miss the exams for a particular course not just once or twice, but an astonishing three times! It's no wonder it took me a full five years to complete my bachelor's degree
  • During my bachelor's degree, I used to rely on my friends to teach me about the exam material just the night before the exams. Surprisingly, I often ended up scoring better than those who had taught me.
  • When I'm stressed, I have a tendency to sleep for extended periods, sometimes even the entire day. Interestingly, drinking tea or coffee in such situations actually makes me even sleepier.

Pivoting towards net-zero mobility

Small and large firms regularly decide to pivot, altering some aspect of their core technology, products, or services. Pivoting implies making a fundamental shift in a company strategy which requires a reorganisation or rearrangement of activities, resources, and attention. Different motivations might drive reconsidering the strategic direction.

Arash's research project studies how different drives (including changes in the market and in the technological or regulatory environment) shape companies’ pivoting. As transportation is one of the most significant sources of emissions, decarbonising mobility is providing growing incentives for firms to pivot towards adjacent markets. While the demand for Net Zero mobility solutions and the availability of new technologies offer new opportunities for firms, they also create technological and business challenges.

As pivoting involves continuity and change, this research project aims to understand how firms leverage existing resources, organisational capabilities and technological competencies and contextually acquire new ones to pivot towards new-zero mobility applications. The project will, among others, explore how firms access funding and acquire new knowledge (e.g., through university or industry collaborations). It aims to contribute to the academic literature on pivoting while providing practical recommendations to companies to meet new market opportunities or regulatory requirements. We also aim to derive policy implications and recommendations.

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