Debashis Mitra: 'Our focus is on last mile connectivity'

by Sricharan R 02 Jul 2022


Why is the ride important?
It is about addressing the range anxiety across the electric three-wheeler space. In case of ICEs, you know the location of the next petrol pump and you can refuel easily. For EVs, the range is important now and that too on a single charge. The event is to prove that we have a larger battery and a lot of regenerative energy. After going 147 km, we still have 24 percent of charge left. This is an important landmark. This proves that it can be running for a longer distance at a single charge.

Who are your major partners and customers?
Our focus is on last mile connectivity. We are a preferred vendor for e-commerce players like Amazon, Flipkart, Big Basket, Portet. These customers do not buy the vehicle directly from us but they recommend ours after vigorous testing and trials. Then they buy it through their partners like MoEVing, Mahindra logistics and more. We roughly sold around 250 vehicles last year and the first vehicle we have put has completed more than 25000 kms.

What are your expectations in terms of sales?
This year we have aspirations to touch five-digit figure across products. We will be launching a couple of more products in this financial year. Also, we will be increasing the network. So, growth in product and network will all combine to help us reach a five-digit figure.

You have had only one product since 2018. What more can we expect?
This year, there will be another three-wheeler with higher load capacity. Then we will also introduce a three-wheeler passenger vehicle. There will also be a four-wheeler (like LCV) but it is in the future.

We have a significant orderbook and the production is booked 100 percent for the next 2-2.5 months. We have signed some huge orders. For example, with Flipkart we have signed around 1000 units. With MoEVing, we recently signed a Rs 75 crore order.

The challenge we see is on the supply side. The component shortage has been affected. And, before committing a number we are cautious and looking how we can deliver.

What will be the recent funding of Rs 300 crore used for?
It can be broken down to 3-4 things. One is R&D. So, this is the phase one where we are putting the money. Phase two is for the new plant. The new plant is in the process of setting up. This will also be in Bangalore and is at 200,000 sq ft. We are at 6000 units per year in the current facility and with the new one, we will be ramping it up to 40,000 units.

The machinery has been ordered and the plant will be ready in the next 4-5 months. The third investment will be in manpower. The shop floor which has 30 people now will increase to 300. There will also be an increase in the number of headcounts in the management side too. We see major job creation in Bengaluru, Pune and Delhi.

Are you partnering with any charging or infrastructure players?
So far, our chargers are done in partnership with Amara Raja. They are our supplier. In slow charging, it will take around 3.5 hours from a 15-amp power point. This is common for all and we are also looking to tie up with other partners which will be announced soon.

Also, we will be announcing a partner with whom we will install fast chargers at our dealerships. This will be part of the 4S model and it will start with Bengaluru and Delhi. We are trying to implement this in the next six months.

What sort of training is being given to service employees?
It will be a normal classroom training model where they will be trained in diagnostic tools and more. We will also be reaching out as many as possible for the same. Also, we are focussing on driver training. We will tie up with multi brand service outlets for the same. Also, for every dealer we set up there will be a mobile service option. As many of our customers are constantly on the move, we need to send the service to them.

What are your plans for exports?
We want to establish the production in India, see the failure and success and take it forward. We have designed the products for both the global and Indian market in mind. So, the product is ready, but now we have to concentrate in India.

How has the semiconductor and supply chain issue affected the production?
It is difficult and affects us. We would expect to overcome it by early September. We have aligned the volume plans in such a way that we want to come out of the issue.

Also read
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Tags: Altigreen, EVs

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