Charging A Crayon Scooter Is As Simple As Charging A Mobile Phone: Mayank Jain, Director, Crayon Motors

Charging A Crayon Scooter Is As Simple As Charging A Mobile Phone: Mayank Jain, Director, Crayon Motors

Mayank Jain, Director, Crayon Motors, began his career at the organisation in 2019. Under his leadership, he steered the EV start-up company into a direction that makes it one of the fastest-growing EV firms in less than two years.

Even though he had the option to pursue MBA from the esteemed IE Business School after pursuing Bachelor of Business Studies at the prestigious SSCBS, Delhi University, he deferred the decision to achieve his father’s vision of electric mobility, given that he comes from a lineage with expertise in e-mobility. The leader, whose family business includes U. P. Telelinks Limited, a leading manufacturer of the wires, cables, harnessed and electric rickshaw, is also the co-founder of the erstwhile eclectic innerwear brand, Dirty Laundry.

Mayank Jain shares insights about the EV space and Crayon Motors in an interview.

What is attracting start-ups in droves to the two-wheeler EV space? Why do you believe you will survive the legacy players, once they join the market? 

Mayank Jain, Director, Crayon Motors

Mayank Jain: This is a wonderful and interesting question. We need to understand the genesis of the dive by start-ups into the EV market. As compared to ICE vehicles, EVs, especially two-wheelers, are simple and not complex products. The technology is straightforward and easily available to all. The entry barriers for manufacturing EVs, while existent, are still lower than that of ICEs. Hence, it is an easy entry for new players in the market. That being said, the market is heading towards consolidation. The start-ups, now, more than ever, need to get their game right and introduce the right-fit products. This will also help uplift the overall industry. As a smart start-up, one can also look at a lucrative absorption or consolidation when legacy players enter.

Legacy players come with their own expertise and networks. Their entry is bound to have an impact on the overall market dynamics. This will lead to further consolidation and collaborations. In the EV industry, there is space for more than just the legacy players. And that is what we are targeting. For this to happen, start-ups must have a strong foundation and key factors like the right product, at the right price, and the right service. Collaborations for evolving technology and faster turnaround will help us in this competition.

Do you believe the FAME 2 scheme is achieving its purpose? What could make it more effective?

Mayank Jain: The FAME 2 initiative, which gives incentives for individuals to adopt EVs, has helped bring EVs to the forefront of public attention. The scheme has actually been instrumental in changing the game. FAME has encouraged investors from all walks of life and has resulted in tremendous investments in the electric vehicle sector. The measures outlined in this year’s union budget for the EV sector will facilitate cutting car ownership costs by lowering battery costs by almost 50 per cent of the vehicle cost. However, the policy is still in the works. Such an undertaking opens doors to a lot of evolution and collaboration in the sector. EV zones will assist to minimize pollution in cities while also promoting e-mobility. In such a nascent sector as ours, there is always something more that can or should be done. I believe that opening up retail finance outlets and reducing loan rates for us, would go a long way and that the government will assist with this as well.

How long does EV segment need subsidies?

Mayank Jain: We are competing with the legacy of ICE vehicles that have been around for well over a century. The overall objective in the EV sector remains to reduce India’s import dependence on other countries and make our nation green and clean. For this to happen, consistent support is required for at least five years or more. Support from all stakeholders will be needed in the long term. As an industry, we are starting to find our footing.

What is your marketing and promotions strategy? 

Mayank Jain: We are of the opinion that our product should first do the talking. A robust and brilliant product is the best marketing strategy a brand can ever have. So we are keeping our focus on developing amazing products and on maintaining overall customer satisfaction through prompt service, etc. These are the key pillars of our strategy. We are also focused on offering a wide range of products for various types of consumers. Crayon customers will be able to choose from a range of options depending on their requirements. Each customer is unique and over the next year, customers will witness a wide basket of Crayon products.

Are you sticking to a certain geography for sales right now? What are the options for charging for your customers?

Mayank Jain: Our products have witnessed high acceptance across India. The current product range has had wider acceptance in tier two and three cities. It’s not region-specific and goes at Pan India level.

As a firm, we are continually working to better understand our clients’ needs and objectives. We are always working towards continually supporting our customers with various charging options. Charging a Crayon scooter is as simple as charging a mobile phone. We offer a plug-and-play model across all our product categories. This gives the customers the ease of charging anywhere- home, office or any other place with a plug point. We always suggest our customers wait for some time before initiating charging right after a ride, which may not be possible at all times. To find a solution to this as well, we have tied up with Bounce Infinity. The association shall extend battery as a service to all “low powered” and “high powered” two-wheelers manufactured by Crayon. The stations at all times will have charged and ready-to-go batteries that one can easily swap with their near-empty batteries in under a few minutes. With this infrastructure in place, customers wouldn’t have to wait for their vehicles to charge, be anxious about the range or remember to charge them. Other charging options are in advanced discussions and expected to be announced soon.

How do you see the proposed Battery Swapping Policy impacting the segment?

The consumer attitude appears to be evolving away from an ownership-driven paradigm and toward a service-driven approach. This is the notion that is propelling many new industries. Swappable batteries are in the same category. Battery changing reduces the cost of ownership of two-wheelers by nearly half, making it an appealing proposition for consumers. However, there are several obstacles too in this method. High set-up costs, battery safety, battery ownership, and battery uniformity, among other considerations, will determine this model’s viability. I believe that in order for this to be a success, several groups will need to collaborate to make it a reality. In India, a new policy on battery switching is expected to help drive this ahead. Pricing, as for any other service, will play a pivotal role in determining its success.

We are working closely with some of the battery swapping operators in the country. We have partnered with Bounce infinity to install battery swapping stations across India. This association will offer battery as a service to all our products including two/three wheelers. Our stations at all times will have charged and ready-to-go batteries; that one can easily swap with their near-empty batteries within a few minutes. With this infrastructure in place, customers wouldn’t have to wait for their vehicles to charge, be anxious about the range or remember to charge them, etc.

How will the industry evolve in the next few years? Will we see consolidation or exits?

Mayank Jain: The EV industry is expected to undergo radical changes very quickly in the next few years. The market continues to grow and offers ample opportunities for growth in both categories – components and final products. The market is ripe for associations and collaborations, to help reduce the cost burden of product development. I feel we will see a sleuth of both consolidations and exits as we grow.

Share an assumption you had when you started off, which has been proved to be completely wrong after you launched and experienced the reality of the market?

Mayank Jain: I’ve always believed that when beginning off, it’s necessary to come in with a clean slate and a want to learn. India’s market is quite diversified. We’ve also noticed a shift in customer attitudes within a few hundred kilometers. As a result, one must be open to new experiences and truly learn from the ground up. A roll-out requires local market intelligence.

"Want to be featured here or have news to share? Write to info[at]