Is This India’s EV Moment?

With no Playbook out there for fulfillment formulae for launching an EV, startups with audacious plans for revolutionising the way in which they think about city & rural mobility might be going to be “play it by the ear” with a plan ! Has the Indian EV dream ‘come of age’ ? 

In the 1990s, India noticed PV Narasimha Rao (PVN) influenced opening-up of Indian market. In the following decade (2001-10), we noticed the Indian startups have been speaking and chasing renewables for energy era. So the thrill phrases have been grids, blades, followers, generators, CSP, PV and so forth. In the subsequent decade beginning 2011, the enterprise valuation video games performed itself out and Net Present Value (NPV) was the subsequent buzzword. Thankfully, renewables is now pretty steady business with massive manufacturers and traders bringing in greatest practices and constructing on it additional. Pricing has additionally dropped by the day !! Hopefully these unit economics are sustainable within the long-run.  So India has seen PVN, PV, NPV to date. Will India latch onto EV ?

Circa 2021 – Let’s discuss EV now

The Electric Vehicle (EV) is a nascent business in India. Globally EVs have been commercially out there for a while, however their reputation has been rising solely within the latest years. There is a public sentiment for inexperienced alternate options to conventional fuels and to maneuver from IC engines. Comforting progress (not however life-changing tempo but) has been seen in expertise growth to assist EV charging capabilities and effectivity of utilization in real-life situations. 

In India, it seems to be prefer it’s the race of the fittest and the fattest-cashbox (investor). Right from conventional auto manufacturers to e-commerce founders to city mobility manufacturers to deep-tech engineers are all within the race. The governments have introduced insurance policies and incentives to advertise EVs. While there’s a lurking notion that it may have been fast-tracked, however for the robust pushback from the standard lobbies. In a client market with virtually no seen respect to alternate-powered-vehicles, and no bodily infrastructure for EVs, these are new audacious gamers who’re making an attempt to be trend-setters and world pioneers. 

There are many a chatter that brushes the EV startups as “yet another kid with large pots of investors’ monies”. Let us not belittle them with “do they understand automobile industry” ?  It is INFACT a power, if they aren’t caught to the incremental-ideas that Indian auto business has had. The conventional auto producers have been sluggish to this EV recreation.

Great Indian expectation

India is a various geography with stratified client segments and climate patterns. Most of our city cities have extremely congested and dense visitors patterns. And roads are literally pothole-laden or with poorly constructed rough-shod high quality. Urban mobility as an idea on the town planning may do with classes for all of us. We have grown up with “where most towns exist, town planning did not”.

The conventional distribution mannequin of promoting EVs may solely see partial success. For the Indian mobility business has seen a number of consumer-trend-disruptions over previous three a long time. 

  • It had the “wait for years and pay a premium to get a vehicle of manufacturer’s choice” interval earlier than the worldwide main car manufacturers entered India in mid to late 1990s. 
  • The subsequent disruption was the retail client financing which altered the entry to automobile possession and elevated the sample of use-exchange-change-to-new-vehicle adoption. This helped enhance volumes of recent autos bought and likewise the market dimension of used-vehicle gross sales. 

The subsequent massive disruption on the macro scale will probably be the idea & conviction of the children, globally. The youthful residents are pushing for transparency of data, making the world a greater place  and to be inclusive. Call it the larger ESG second to roll out. Consumers (particularly the youthful residents – name them millennials, Gen Z) will demand good (wanting) merchandise that they are often seen taking selfie-with; merchandise and corporations that might attraction to their sense of “sustainability”; manufacturers whose companies may cater to their demand for transparency of data (in regards to the expertise / product / manufacturers / corporations that serve them). They would need to be related to manufacturers which are accountable company residents as effectively.

A-to-I of EV

It is definitely sensible widespread sense strategy that might be a game-changer within the race to reach EV area. The platforms that undertake the next learnings have a better likelihood to succeed :

  • Ambition, Arrogance & After-Sales
  • Batteries & Bureaucracy 
  • Consumer understanding & Culture 
  • Digital & knowledge for driving (using) comfort  
  • Execution – “Everything can’t be done alone” 
  • Founder & Financing 
  • Go-To-Market (GTM) technique 
  • Humility to hearken to shoppers 
  • Indigenisation of elements & IOT

Ambition, Arrogance & After-Sales

It is sweet to be bold. It is certainly higher to be audaciously-ambitious! It’s like having stretched objectives. As lengthy because the early wins don’t make the Founder or the core crew boastful, it’s advantageous. Many occasions, early wins create a smoke display of delusions. That may mislead the crew away from their acknowledged Vision & Values. 

The different vital facet within the Indian consumption story is “after-sales” life. In the EV area, a lot course of & idea innovation could be wanted to ship after-sales service(s) & spare-parts performance. If any EV maker desires to come clean with the patron expertise, think about a small delight of no-questions-asked-replacement automobile if the break-down goes to take a while to repair or price above a sure worth. Or can the EV include bundled insurance coverage (life, automobile, well being) and bundled financing component ? And if the model is assured of what it will possibly ship by way of financial savings per kilometre utilization, then can they provide a program to take these “perceived-savings” as investments right into a Mutual fund scheme for the patron ? 

This is what a design-think of how a collaboration Eco-system can assist EV manufacturers supply “contextual-finance” together with “contextual-experience” and to personal up the shoppers in entirety !

Batteries :

If battery expertise and its commercialisation facet does not enhance drastically, the EV business merely received’t take off ! Period !

To borrow the previous promoting phrase of Hero motors, we want “fill it, shut it, forget it” sort of EV batteries !! Long lasting with higher effectivity, not costly to keep up, and but ecologically delicate. In the latter facet, anybody eager to win the “EV war” could be higher off in investing fairness, power & extra-ordinary efforts in researching into different battery applied sciences utilizing totally different metals.

Energy-storage expertise has seen a lot enhancements over the previous twenty years. In 2000, the European Patent Office (EPO) had registered 1,029 distinctive invention patents filed at two or extra places of work worldwide, a measure often called worldwide patent households (IPFs). In 2018, the variety of IPFs had risen to 7153. The battery-related patents outpaced the opposite patents. 

The cell phone chargers being totally different for various manufacturers provides to the patron inconvenience. EV makers would do yeoman service to the shoppers, by collaborating and standardising batteries and permitting for interoperability with different EVs. The greater capitalist query is that if the aggressive strain to face out with uniqueness of design of battery pack and to have disproportionate massive market share of the market not enable for sharing with others ? 

Just do not forget that Volvo invented the three-point seat belt and made it patent-free so that each one automobile producers may use it to save lots of lives ! From our house turf, TTK Prestige strain cooker model invented the “pressure cooker gasket” that prevented cookers from exploding. And they made it patent-free for the widespread good of the shoppers.


Policy makers need to adapt to newer applied sciences, problems with sustainability, rising demand for cleaner and decongested cities and better ranges of worldwide governance norms. They need to steadiness fiscal pressures of avoiding incentives and to permitting the industries to usher in cleaner and environment friendly mobility options, together with for public transportation. Hopefully we will see quicker public coverage efforts, because the world of EV develops.

The inner organisational forms of EV makers’ issues too. Especially after they scale up, their inner techniques mustn’t stifle their processes and time-to-market. Copying processes from different auto majors or standard industries may simply do the identical !

Brand extensions 

Any EV aspirant model which is in different enterprise traces at present out there with seen branding, might want to be careful. Failures, errors, client grievances of these present manufacturers could be potential impediment for shoppers to strive the brand new (EV) model. In in the present day’s social media period, the shoppers angst could be focused (mistakenly) on the brand new model.

Consumer understanding 

Consumer analysis just isn’t a mere phrase. It needs to be an steady angle for somebody making an attempt to reinvent the way in which shoppers transfer ! 

In the EV client analysis, the patron’s perceptions of visible & bodily attribute (design, seems to be, compactness of the automobile, and many others) of the EV, known as Visceral feelings, is a vital one. Added to this is able to be the essential component of behavioural feelings that are fashioned by the shoppers experiencing driving / utilizing the EV. In in the present day’s imagery-led individual-consumption patterns, perceived social & private “identity” linked to being seen driving an EV could be an essential facet within the EV gross sales strategy. 

The bold EV manufacturers could try to do what Steve Jobs did with Apple to the idea of cell phones. The components that labored for Apple was : consideration to minutest element, the most effective world provide chains, client was actually queen / king (assume “warranties” / “replacements” and many others), common product innovation to the extent of cannibalising personal older variants, and partnering  with numerous exterior stakeholders as an alternative of making an attempt to do each facet of the enterprise themselves.


Indian car business is an incestuous expertise pool. Not many outsiders have come into the business for a very long time. If you’re reimagining mobility, then an excessive amount of dependence on the prevailing expertise and their thought pool could not augur effectively. 

The founders of those EV startups would should be the champions of making a tradition the place the mixture of worldwide specialists can mix with Indian workers. With the identical tradition goal, they should have the power to hold alongside the best mix of youthful exuberance and experience-filled-maturity of senior / older workers. In this facet, understanding GEMZ (Gig Economy, Millennials, gen Z) could be essential to EV makers. With various age teams in EV startup that’s aiming to scale-fast, you’ll have to take care of conditions with senior (older) expertise seeming to be like “pesky parents” to the children, whereas the children could possibly be seen as “truant teens” and never “toeing the line”.

Constant churn of mid to senior expertise and perceived unhealthy work tradition as seen in lots of organisations could possibly be the death-knell of these startups. And in instances of serial entrepreneurs who enter this area, making an attempt to repeat what labored for them of their earlier companies could not work effectively. The acceptable and dynamic organisation design could be wanted. After all, peace time troopers (regular state organisations) have totally different functionality and magnificence than the war-time troopers(begin ups scaling quickly ! Hire proper !

Digital & knowledge

Digital and knowledge collation from the EV could be an enormous leap in how the shoppers will count on newer and predictive options through the course of their EV possession and utilization. So many advantages could be provided with the information collated – not only for the shoppers, but additionally for the State equipment in facilitating higher citizen advantages and visitors administration. Data and driving patterns collected from autos will also be linked to motor, well being & automobile insurance coverage. 

Of course the unsaid facet that the business wants to deal with could be the Data privateness guidelines. Also enough planning for cyber safety ought to be added to keep away from hacking within the EV digital techniques.

Execution – Everything can’t be executed alone

Don’t try to construct every part from elements to the EV to financing alone. Learn to collaborate. That requires tradition of openness of sharing and collaborating. No relationship of unequals survives the long run !

Greed to make margins at each client contact level &/ the over enthusiasm to be the one knowledge-provider throughout the life cycle of product utilization may show to be costly worth to pay for failure.

Importantly, to succeed, there isn’t any alternate to ruthless focus and single-minded execution of plans. Plans and venture administration need to consider a margin of error that might occur in an audacious inexperienced area venture.


Lots rides on the “Founder” & “Co-founders”. Their state of affairs is definitely the case of lonely at the top”; of their endeavour, many profitable pioneer-founders use a confidential-coach-advisor as their sounding board. Those advisors usually keep away from having any battle as a Board member or holding govt roles in the identical founders’ ventures. The largest influence such a advisor can have is at occasions defend a founder (using non-public conversations) from their very own follies and fallacies, one thing which nobody within the organisation would dare level out ! 

After all, profitable younger founders haven’t had prior publicity to massive scaled organisations which demand other ways of management; not like the cohesive small band-of-boys sort of groups within the startup part. Some of these founders could be mercurial and such behaviour breaks the organisation like a pack of playing cards. Not all serial entrepreneurs achieve each of their ventures. At the identical time, previous failures mustn’t deter newer makes an attempt. Past isn’t any indicator of the longer term.

It’s tempting for these serial entrepreneurs to carry their greatest people from their earlier or different ventures. Sounds like an excellent thought but it surely’s success depends upon components : if these crew members nonethelesshave the frenzied-energy, conviction in regards to the new enterprise thought, and the starvation but to vary the world !

Successful (contrarians) founder give the “right role & responsibilities for the right person”. It is much better than the traditional HR thought of “right person for the right role”. 

Entrepreneurs of their ardour to scale up enterprise have to recollect to construct a information administration ecosystem within the organisation. There will probably be many learnings, hits & misses alongside the way in which. Those need to be transformed into organisational learnings and never simply be mere anecdote that the founder would recite at a celebration ! So information needs to be institutionalised, now !

Financial ecosystem

Having a variety of Financing choices is a vital issue within the decisioning for automobile possession. It can be true for your entire worth chain – elements distributors to distributors to spares sellers to vehicle-experience-providers.

It could be helpful to leverage a community of financiers that shoppers usually take care of and people financiers who’ve adept expertise in coping with such client cohorts or various demographics and psychographics. Other essential facet is to onboard solely such financiers who’re satisfied in regards to the EV philosophy and people who can create danger frameworks of their system to take care of it.

The different facet that’s vital is financing the infrastructure for creating charging models throughout India. It’s going to be greater than only a steadiness sheet recreation !

For a number of the EV manufacturers beginning up in India, attending to a SPAC mode of funding may set them up with ample capital to gasoline up their audacious objectives. And it can additionally act as a strain to construct a scalable worthwhile enterprise on time, and with enough administration bandwidth and governance framework.

Go-To-Market (GTM) technique 

The EV play is a consumer-business play. Right from pre-sales to gross sales engagement to post-sales processes need to be seen from client lens. Not from standard automobile gross sales strategies. Imagine having an EV as a online game a lot earlier than launch. The client can strive all of the driving options within the recreation and could be prepared earlier than the automobile is  formally launched. And the factors collected through the gaming could possibly be used as a forex for the automobile buy. That may assist create a neighborhood across the model. 

Humility to hearken to shoppers 

This could be very related to any client sturdy model. EV needs to be reimagined as a client sturdy (product + service). This would necessitate creating framework in your entire engagement with the shoppers in continuously collating their inputs – of each ranges of pleasure or dire frustration. The model ought to have the humility to hear and act, and never simply hear ! That requires related tradition within the organisation the place client engagement ought to be a obligatory KRA for each worker. 

Indigenisation of elements & Internet of issues (IOT)

The EV’s elements have to face up to the Indian highway & climate situations ! It not solely makes logistical sense to indigenise elements, it additionally ensures a greener-supply-chain to assist the model’s ESG scores. It would imply constructing of an area ecosystem of analysis, which can construct world class schooling services in addition to mind energy. It would additionally enhance employment and entrepreneurship alternatives in India.

In the 4th IR world, the IOT will present numerous and ever rising potentialities of recent merchandise & options, for simplifying shoppers life and to have them “get more from their mobility”. Any severe EV model might want to make investments efforts in utilising IOT capabilities to continuously carry newer product & service options of their EV. 

Mobility 2.Zero reimagined

Mobility will probably be reworked with expertise adoption. The 4th IR has adequate instruments underneath growth, in addition to commercialisation runway to assist with it. Reimagining mobility with the lens of how a lot of digital embrace shoppers (can) do will set the design-to-deliver framework. EV mobility received’t simply be greener-wheels, it could possibly be life 2.0 (virtually like sci-fi concepts of 1970s). 

We must encourage such of our entrepreneurs to dream & work on larger-than-life objectives. And but not fear about any worry or failure. This could possibly be the “Designed & made in India global-EV” second !

Disclaimer: The views expressed within the article above are these of the authors’ and don’t essentially characterize or mirror the views of this publishing home. Unless in any other case famous, the writer is writing in his/her private capability. They usually are not supposed and shouldn’t be thought to characterize official concepts, attitudes, or insurance policies of any company or establishment.


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