‘The biggest benefit as a start-up is that we are quick to pivot’

Highlights :

  • For Gujarat-based Greta Electric and its founder Raj Mehta, 2022 will be the year when the firm makes a decisive move in its mission.
  • With the launch of 4 electric scooter models late last year, the firm is now seeking to expand its footprint more widely outside its home state.

For Gujarat-based Greta Electric and its founder Raj Mehta, 2022 will be the year when the firm makes a decisive move in its mission. With the launch of 4 electric scooter models late last year, the firm is now seeking to expand its footprint more widely outside its home state. Priced between Rs 60,000 to Rs 92,000, these models will also benefit from relevant subsidy policies in different states. SaurEnergy caught up with Raj Mehta for a quick update on the firm and its plans.

Q. It has been two years since Greta has entered the market. What is your current production capacity, and how do you evaluate the journey?

raj mehta, founder, greta electric scooters

Raj Mehta, Founder, Greta Electric Scooters

Raj Mehta: The last two years have been a whirlwind. The increased focus on EVs from the government and consumer end has spiralled the demand. We are peaked out on our production capacity and are now are exploring opportunities to expand our production capabilities to be able to service the growing demand.

As the EV sector is still heavily dependent on imports, the last two years of import restrictions on account of the pandemic was challenging for us. Overall it has an exciting space to be in right now, and we are enjoying the ride.

Q. How has the sales performance been in 2021, and what are your expansion plans this year? What new announcements are in the pipeline?

Raj Mehta: Despite all challenges, 2021 was a year of growth for us. We were able to scale up our business by three times. Expansion plans are ‘ON.’ As mentioned, we are looking at increasing our production capability, but more importantly, the focus is on expanding our reach across the country with an experiential dealer network. We aim to have a minimum of 22 touch-points across the country by the end of the year. As far as possible, dealer outlets will have an experiential zone to allow customers to touch & feel the product and learn about EV and their benefits.

EV is an arena of smart vehicles. It is also an area where new developments are amok. Hence, we have a team that works on R&D, understanding the market trends; needless to say, new and enhanced products are a way of life at Greta Electric Scooters. We will keep you updated when we bring a new offering to market.

Q. The 2 wheeler EV marketplace seems crowded with 10s of manufacturers. How are you differentiating your offerings?

Raj Mehta: I believe my vision sets me apart. I pursue my dream to make the commute easy and affordable for the largest number of people while not adding to pollution. This drive resulted in introducing a range of affordable two-wheelers with state-of-the-art features and high quality. Recognizing that every customer has unique requirements, we also allow customers to choose the four battery variants. Now customers can tailor the scooter to fit their need and budget.

Greta Electric scooters

Q. As the large, legacy players like Bajaj, Hero, TVS, Honda and more start to enter this market earnestly, what’s your strategy to stand out?

Raj Mehta: The biggest benefit that we have as a Start-up is that we are quick to pivot. We do not have legacy, systems and norms to combat when a change is needed. Being still small and lean, it’s easy for us to pivot and quickly adapt to any new development. This gives us leverage.

Quick turnaround to add enhancements to our products, keeping an ear on the ground for market developments and build in quickness to respond to that is what I believe will help us stand out.

Q. Tell us about your dealer and spare parts network?

Raj Mehta: In the initial years, our focus was only in the Gujarat market. Since 2022, we have kicked off our dealer expansion initiative. The plan is well on its way with queries pouring in. We are aiming to have experience studios at every dealer outlet to enhance awareness, education and engagement. To ensure an excellent post sales experience, most dealer touch-points will also offer post-sales service, and we will train their staff.

Q. How much has been invested into the firm so far? Do you have formal investors backing the firm?

Raj Mehta: We are a bootstrapped self-funded company

Q. How do you see the proposed battery swapping policy and its impact on the market?

Raj Mehta: The Battery Swapping Policy for electric vehicles is an encouraging move by the Government of India. This policy will encourage EV players to rent batteries quickly and economically and also help keep EV vehicles longer on the road. As India moves towards the EV revolution, it will boost participation in enabling battery-swapping stations and technology.

Q. How do you see the industry 3 years from now? Can we expect much lower prices perhaps, or newer battery technologies, or even different business models for operators?

Raj Mehta: Given the government’s push and focus on the EV industry, we expect to see a much better infrastructure for electric vehicles on the road. Currently, most components in the EV vehicle are import-dependent. Setting up new ancillary units & encouraging the existing ancillary units to pivot and adapt to the needs and demands of the EV segment is doing to the task at hand.

Another area that would need focus is local production of Li-Ion Batteries required by this sector and setting up units to manage the anticipated demand.

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