Riding high on both the electric boom and start-up culture, Gemopai Electric is attempting to provide electric two-wheelers to the masses. Though it’s currently bootstrapped, the upstart already has one production unit in Noida and is on the verge of setting up another in southern India in the next four months, Amit Raj Singh, co-founder and MD, Gemopai, tells Sunitha Natti. Excerpts:
When did the company start operations? What products do you offer?
We started operations (co-founded by Amit Raj Singh and Kshitij Kumar) in October 2018, launching our first product — Gemopai Ryder. Currently, we have two products in the market Gemopai Ryder and Astrid Lite. We are also planning to launch two more models by the end of the current financial year. One of the proposed launches include a high-speed scooter Astrid, while the other will be a low-speed Miso. We are one of the first players in the electric two-wheeler market in India and started offering li-ion portable batteries with all the scooters that can be charged anywhere at your home, office, or public spaces. We have superior after-sales service, which is our edge over competitors right now. Spare parts availability has been a major issue with all electric vehicle (EV) companies from the beginning, so we are making sure that customers get instant assistance. We ensure this by making our dealers sign up and first buy spare parts from us before retailing the scooters. This ensures a 48-hour turn-around service for our customers.
What growth challenges do you foresee?
Currently, awareness and acceptance for EVs in consumer space is below par. While there are conversations around electric mobility and the government has laid special emphasis. Consumers still are unsure of how it’ll benefit them. As industry players, all EV manufacturers should look at driving EV awareness and education. Until there’s enough infrastructure for a mass B2C usage, EV acceptance and show of faith has to come from B2B segment first. With the B2B players using them for last mile connectivity, EVs will percolate to consumers when the economic, functional and community benefits are highlighted. The next step, as we see, will be through shared mobility players.
What growth opportunities do you see in India versus other emerging economies?
The Indian government gave a boost to the EV industry and we believe there is a positive sentiment in the auto-ecosystem. Subsidy push and reduction in GST has certainly uplifted sentiment too. With these gradual progressions, we believe India will have close to 1 million EVs in next 5-6 years.
How much did you invest so far? Any fresh investments in the pipeline?
Gemopai is bootstrapped as of now and as we plan to drive the larger EV narrative in the country we are looking for potential investors for mass outreach.
Can you throw some light on production capacity and expansion plans?
We have a manufacturing plant in Greater Noida with a capacity of 1.5 lakh units per annum. We are also planning to open a new plant in Southern India by the end of FY20 with a capacity of five lakh units per year. South India is a major market for us and we already have 10 touch points in Hyderabad. Once we take our dealer network from the current 50+ (in India and Nepal) to 200 dealers’ pan-India, we plan to create charging stations across our dealer outlets. Currently, our focus markets are South and West and soon we will be moving on to other parts of the country. We plan to establish touch-points pan-India and help take the EV revolution forward.
In terms of tax structure — rebates and concessions — is it encouraging for consumers?
Decreasing the tax from 12 to 5 per cent was a great push by the government. The industry is confident of witnessing a triple-digit growth in coming years.