We are publishing an interview of Mr. Mayank jain, CEO & Director, Vert Motors Pvt. Ltd. – This Pune based company has developed an electric scooter that will help to change the current sustainable transport picture in the society.
About the founders
- Mayank Jain:
Qualification – B.E Electronic Engineer
Designation – Director
He looks after Electrical system and technical aspects of the vehicle. Consistent contribution in Strategies Development.
- Prashant Singh Baghel
Qualification – B.E Mechanical Engineer
Designation – Director
He oversees operations and Management of the company.
We were college friends, after completing our college we went our ways. I went to Delhi to prepare for PG Exams while Prashant went to Chennai for a job. But after an year we met again in Chennai as Prashant was already stationed there and i joined him to continue my preparations so, we both took a flat together. We had a mutual interest in sustainability and technology which led us to discuss a lot of interesting ideas. We worked on it, sooner or later found out that they were already implemented or failed. But that did not hinder us we continuously worked on bring up something better, efficient and sustainable and then this idea struck. It was October 15 when we started working on understanding the importance, impact and need of our product and idea and soon we decided to test the feasibility of it. We built a prototype and tested it on roads of Chennai during several nights.
What we found were promising results and it encouraged us to move ahead with our idea. We then moved to Indore, incorporated our company, built a team and dedicated ourselves to this concept.
What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Electric Vehicles have always been a driving force towards sustainability due to its huge impact over our environment but so far they have barely made a space for themselves in the automobile sector. The society cannot find environmental sustainability as a reason enough to accept them they want a product that can compete to existing petrol vehicles, a product that will suffice there needs. The previous generation electric scooters were a big let down, they were poor quality, no after sales services, slow speed, long charging time and above all insufficient range. For a product to be accepted among the customers it needs to be a complete solution that can cater to most of the needs of our customers, most importantly it should be reliable and top quality. Then comes the features that would help built more confidence in our customers with respect to the vehicle. Keeping all these aspects in mind we have come forwards with an electric scooter that will help change the current sustainable transport picture in our society.
What is the uniqueness about your Startup?
Our ideology and vision is not just to build another electric scooter that can enter the market but it is to build one that can change the market. We believe that the product should have best proportion of specifications with features that will enable our customers to feel at ease with our product and that is what makes our startup unique. The range of our Scooter is 300+ kms in a single charge and top speed of 95kmph is way above the league and with that we have even incorporated some very interesting features like Ultra fast charging that allows you to get 60km range in 10 minutes of charge and plug-less charging spares you the problem of plug-in and out just park your vehicle in the designated spot and it will commence charging.
Why do you choose crowdfunding?
Crowd funding is a great platform to raise fund as it doesn’t involve real investors any individual or firm, it actually helps you directly get in touch with your future customers. It helps you understand your market better from the perspective and opinions of not just few individuals but a complete set of varying people. It provides you a clear picture of weather your startup and product are being supported by the public or not who in fact are your future customers. The feedback that you are provided here help you either to pivot or stick to your already defined strategies.
Why should anyone or investor back you?
Backing any project or startup requires understanding of what that project intends to do, what actual problem are they solving, the investor has to have a clear picture of how this startup is going to change the future in that particular field. Any one who can realize that, who feels the need that this startup should exist should back us. Our’s is one such product that has the potential to make a drastic impact towards sustainable transport. Supporting us is not just helping a startup grow but whosoever supports us is actually contributing towards him/herself, towards our society and most importantly our environment.
Where can people back your project?
Currently, we are raising funds through Catapooolt.com, Its a crowd funding campaign that’ll be active for a month. Here is the link for our campaign at catapooolt http://www.catapooolt.com/campaign/info/title/vert-motors-?camp=VERKABHEC2&pid=NTkx&uid=NjY0MQ==
What would you do after raising funds?
Our prototype is ready and is undergoing adverse testings, whatever we are going to raise through this crowd funding is going to be utilized for building the outer paneling of our scooter, it would help us create the actual look of it. We have further plans to raise a certain amount of seed and angle fund and we are looking forward to potential investors for that.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
The main motive is to show the world that the mainstream electric scooter can be better than IC engine scooters. Our revenue model stresses on initial acceptance of our product irrespective of the cost incurred, investment on our reputation is a priority profit comes latter. The motive is to first build the confidence and sense of reliability for our product among the customers by making a small numbers of high value Scooters to prove electric power can be desirable. The problem lies in the acceptance of new product among the commoners and the high acceptance rate can only be found in early adapters, enthusiasts or premium segment people. Hence, initial target premium segment and then move on to the economical one.This way we can generate enough revenue, establish ourselves in the market and then work on availing our products to different segments.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
We intend to target the common masses with our economy model but our initial target sector is premium. As the technology utilized is expensive therefore the cost of our product is suitable to the premium segment. We will soon bring out our economical model where the price would be a little bit compromised but that wouldn’t compromise with the quality.
What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how?
We believe that every startup is disruptive and impact-full in its own way, what it requires is proper support and guidance. Ours is a similar case, it has potential, its environmental impacts are huge. We realized that transportation is one huge sector that can alter this pollution problem. Well, we can start small from a scooter but there are number of fields open in the future for us to enter. To look at the bigger picture it not only applies to us but its a collaborative one, we all are moving towards electric vehicle revolution, the future is going to be electric and not only us but many others will help in achieving that.
What is the success story of your startup in your own words?
India still lags in the building a proper environment for boosting manufacturing startups. Though e-commerce and dot coms would have flourished in the years but the hardware based, research based products are still at back foot. Its not just the unavailability of infrastructure or guidance for manufacturing startups but the lack of material and technology available is a major issue. We as one of many other manufacturing startups faced similar drawbacks which caused a lot of delay. When we started we were not aware about what difficulties we might face, in the long run manufacturing startups are more riskier than others. Procurement of required material was one of the major issues either they were not available in our market or they were extremely expensive. In case of unavailability we had to buy them from foreign countries which meant taxes and custom charges. Dealing with all these problems broke us financially and in addition to it we lacked guidance. Our search for a mentor who could help us and lead us was still in process, this lead us to face many hurdles which we believe could have easily been tackled if we had proper guidance. Any how we survived a lot of blunderous as well as silly mistakes, they made us more stronger and efficient in our thought process. Now we have emerged with better understanding towards our goal and are more proficient towards our work.
Thanks Mr. Mayank. Best of luck!