Slavi Peer: From Military Personnel to an Innovator

 Slavi Peer,   Founder & CEO

Slavi Peer

Founder & CEO

Israel was recently ranked among the top 10 in the Global Innovation Index (GII) of the World Intellectual Property Organization(WIPO). No wonder the world looks at Israel when it comes to innovative technology across industries whether automobile, agriculture, healthcare or others. For Slavi Peer and his company Spetrotec, innovation is the very DNA of their existence. An Israeli technology company, Spetrotec designs, develops and sells IoT electronics, online automotive tracking systems and monitoring solutions.

While we are still brushing our shoulders with IoT, Peer created some of the world’s first and most amazing technologies 30 years ago (1989) when he was freshly out of his military service in the Israeli Air Force. During those times, the company focused on car security systems. A few years later(1992), Peer developed a joint mechanical electronic car security system together with Mul-T-Lock a leading locking producer in Israel. “The joint product was our first cooperation with a metal industry player, which brought to the market a unique product that didn’t exist in those days,” explains Slavi, Founder & CEO, Spetrotec.

The development of the immobilizer was a significant landmark for the company, especially during 1995 when Israel was dealing with car thefts. Thieves used to break-in the house steal the car keys and take the car away. “I came up with the idea of fixing a keypad to the car dashboard with a secret PIN code, which was connected to a smart engine control unit hidden in the engine. We sold literally millions of units, mostly to leasing and rental companies and through insurance companies who mandated these protection systems,” explains Slavi. Today 70 percent of cars in Israel have a Spetrotec immobilizer, decreasing the amount of car thefts from seven percent to a mere 0.7 percent.

Slavi is currently involved in development and sale of AVL(Automatic Vehicle Location) systems. “We started with basic location services and enhanced our technology to smart diagnostics foreseeing engine breakdowns driver behaviour monitoring and pay as you drive systems for insurance companies. We have found our sweet spot in the fleet management industry,” explains Peer. While the competition among the fleet management services providers is often ‘Red Ocean’, Spectrotec is happy as the underlying technology provider in the industry and focuses on solving the service providers’
hardware challenges. Yet another innovative IoT application from the company is Pay-As-You Drive solutions for insurance companies. After understanding the bad experiences of PAYD programs in Israel Spectrotec cameup with a program that is today used by Israel’s leading insurer.

My philosophy is to hire excellent people and give them a positive, reinforcing working environment to help them strive

Known for his love and expertise in IoT, Peer recently came out with a smart padlock that alerts its owner if it gets manipulated or opened. “We figured that any padlock owner whether he is locking his motorcycle, fence or container would want to know if the lock gets picked in real time. Hence we developed a padlock with a GPS and SIM card as a solution for that,” says Slavi.

Peer as He is
Slavi started his carrier when still in high school, where he studied applied electronics and got this Practical Engineer diploma. Later, he joined military service in the Air Force, dealing with complex electronics. “That is where I developed a grasp of large scale sophisticated electronic systems. So I already had a great education and experience when founding the company,” he explains. But Slavi comprehended that there is one more important aspect to make an innovative product a success understanding people and business. Hence, he further pursued a bachelor’s degree in psychology(to better understand people) and an MBA(to better understand business). “My philosophy is to hire excellent people and give them a positive reinforcing working environment to help them strive,” affirms Slavi.

What drove him to found Spetrotec? “The first was, and still is, my love to be an entrepreneur and for developing new products. The second reason may sound odd, but I was naïve and optimistic. I had no idea how much stamina it would take to build a company from scratch and how much drive it took in the past and still today to move the ship forward,” explains Slavi. “That being said, there’s nothing like seeing the fruits of a long hard effort. So on the one side I possibly wouldn’t have started the company if I knew, but now that the hard part is behind me I love what I do,” he further adds.

Despite his passion for innovative ideas Slavi’s major challenge was bootstrapping and being a ‘Jack of all trades’. For Slavi knowing how to lead people is the most important aspect of a CEO. “To make the individual employees act like a team, that moves a ship over the waves. In addition, of course, I needed to learn many fields that I wasn’t an expert about marketing finance, overcoming technical issues and more. I overcame these challenges by team work and constantly improving my knowledge base learning,” he explains.

An active member of Israeli ITS(Intelligent Transportation Society) that advances the research and deployment of intelligent transportation technologies to save lives, improve mobility and increase efficiency & productivity Slavi actively participates in several initiatives of smart mobility and smart cities and in generally advancing smart transportation systems in Israel.

The Pillar of Strength
Slavi started the company the same time he married his wife. “Those days, I would barely see the house in daylight and the whole idea of ‘worklife balance’ was nowhere in anyone’s agenda. I couldn’t have done it without the incredible dedication of my wife and patience of my daughters,” recalls Slavi. But with time he learnt the importance of worklife balance in keeping a good team happy and productive over time. Hence, as long as the work is done Slavi does not measure his employees by their working hours and encourages them to ‘have a life’.

His love for the sea isn’t hidden from any one. It is rather a perfect escape for Slavi who holds a skipper license for almost 20 years now. He loves cooking Vietnamese and Italian cuisines and anything that comes in between.