Interview: Raj Mehta
Founder and Managing Director at Greta Electric Scooters
Our vision for the company is to be a brand to contend with in the EV two-wheeler segment
February 22, 2023. By News Bureau
Que: Please tell our readers more about the Greta Electric Scooters?
Ans: Greta Electric Scooters is an electric scooter manufacturer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raj Electromotives Pvt. Ltd. Founded in 2019, Greta Electric Scooters is a Gujarat-based EV start-up.
Greta Electric Scooters was an extension of my vision to make commuting accessible and affordable for the largest audience without adding to the carbon footprint. My first initiative was conversion kits for bicycles, manual rickshaws and bikes.
Greta Electric Scooters offers affordable two-wheeler electric scooters with state-of-the-art features. Over the three years, the company has introduced four models in the market. All four models come with DRL, EBS, reverse mode, ATA system, smart shift, digital instrument cluster display, keyless start, disc brakes and anti-theft alarm. They come in attractive colours and support light designer consoles with extra-large storage space. The scooters offer best-in-class comfort and superior performance with mileage of a max of 100 km per charge.
Que: What motivated you to enter the electric vehicle space at such a young age, and how did you manage to develop a battery-operated bicycle at the age of 12?
Ans: As a child, I was compelled to ride my bicycle for considerable distances to run errands. I despised it since I am naturally lazy, so I set out to find a solution. As they say, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’ one thing led to another, and I came across the idea of building an electric engine for my bicycle. Even then, I was aware of the significance of developing an environmentally sustainable solution. I couldn't get the notion out of my head once I was hooked, and I became obsessed with making it a reality. Researching and seeking help from my teachers and anyone I could find, I managed to create a workable model of an e-kit that converted by cycle into an e-cycle by the age of 12.
The challenge of making it the research experimentation and finally, the sweet success, not to miss, the convenience it lent – I knew this was what I wanted to do in the future. I never envisaged starting a company. But an unexpected interaction with a leading news agency got viral, and demands for e-kits began pouring in, and I was in business. I was 14, when I set up Raj Electromotives, making me the youngest entrepreneur in the automotive industry.
Que: As a successful entrepreneur and inventor, how do you balance your passion for innovation with the day-to-day demands of running a business, and what strategies have you developed to achieve personal and professional success?
Ans: I am incredibly passionate about my work. Initially, that was the only focus. As I learned to manage the ropes of the business, learning some harsh lessons along the way, I realized the importance of education and worked at bringing balance back into my life to pursue and complete my education. I am currently working on completing my MBA.
Que: How did you manage to expand your electric scooter business internationally, and what challenges did you face along the way?
Ans: Every start-up is loaded with challenges; mine was no different. It is those who persevere, overcome them and pave the way to success - Luckily for me, I persevered.
Given my age, I believe my hurdles were a little different. To begin with, as I stated, I had no intention of establishing an enterprise. My aim was simply to find a solution to make my commute easy and effortless. It was like pulling an idea out of thin air and giving it all to bring it to fructification. But, once I got to the point of commercializing that idea, I faced the same challenges that most start-ups do: idea & validation, funding, market understanding, defining USP, people management, procurement, establishing a supply chain, and understanding the fundamentals of financial management, and operations.
Being young, it took a lot more hard work, questioning, and harsh measures to drive the learning home; also, for a lot of legal work, I had to collaborate with elders, which had its own challenges.
I believe the key is to take the leap and fine-tune along the way. Till date, we are perfecting at both Raj Electromotives and Great Electric Scooters.
Que: What is your strategy to maintain Greta Electric Scooters' position as a leader in the electric vehicle space, and what innovations do you plan to bring to the market?
Ans: Being a player in an industry that is exploding, growth is not an option, it is the way of life. Our vision for Greta Electric Scooters is to be a brand to contend with in the EV two-wheeler segment. As a step in this direction, we are aggressively expanding our footprint nationwide. We aim to educate the customers and give them the experience to make an informed purchase. To bring this vision to life, we try to have an experiential zone in the majority of our outlets.
With E-scooters under road test in Europe, we hope to see Greta grace those markets too. While focusing on expanding our network in the domestic market, our eyes will be on the international market as with rising fuel prices and the focus on transitioning to EVs, there will be significant demand from those markets. I envision Greta electric scooters gracing the European market in 2023. To achieve this vision, we will work on maintaining our competitiveness and focus on clearing all the stringent international standards while incorporating state-of-the-art features.
Que: How did you deal with the impact of the pandemic on your business, and what measures did you take to sustain growth in such a challenging time?
Ans: The last two years have been a tailspin. 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 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 due to the pandemic was challenging for us. Despite all challenges, it was a year of growth for us. We were able to scale up our business by almost three times. Overall, it has an exciting space to be in right now, and we are enjoying the ride.
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