Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest carmaker has shortlisted five new startups as part of the 3rd cohort of the MAIL (Mobility & Automobile Innovation Lab) programme. The MAIL programme was incepted with an objective to promote innovation in the mobility space.
With addition of these five startups – Clean Slate, Peer Robotics, Vicara, Hyper Reality, and Urja, Maruti Suzuki is now engaged with 14 startups under the MAIL programme in the last 18 months.
Clean Slate Technologies is a startup from Bangalore, which stood as the winner of the programme, followed by Peer Robotics from Gurgaon as 1st runner up and Vicara from Bangalore as 2nd runner up. They will now engage with Maruti Suzuki for paid projects and also will be entitled for other benefits associated with the programme.
The OEM says the programme commenced with an aim to nurture innovation in the automobile and mobility sector. Maruti Suzuki had launched the MAIL initiative in partnership with GHV Accelerator in January 2019. The initiative also aims to create an environment to nurture, foster and guide the early-stage startups.
Explaining the Company’s efforts towards mentoring start-ups, Kenichi Ayukawa, MD and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India said, “The auto industry is extremely dynamic and faces new challenges frequently. The lookout for new technological aids to assist the industry and continue working efficiently is an ever-evolving task. Our flagship MAIL programme is now in its 3rd cohort and in each round we come across several innovative ideas that solve real-life industrial challenges. MAIL programme focusses on offering a platform to these early stage startups where they can translate their big ideas into business solutions. Besides, this they get a unique opportunity to get the idea validated and approved by Maruti Suzuki’s domain experts. We are excited to partner with the shortlisted startups and be a part of their growth story. We wish them the very best and hope this exposure gives them scalability.”
The five startups of cohort 3 underwent an extensive shortlisting process that included screening and pitch sessions. The domain experts at Maruti Suzuki also mentor and guide the startups to create the right product fit by conducting several discussions. Moreover, top three startups will also get an opportunity to undertake a paid Proof-of-Concept with Maruti Suzuki for actual business use of their technologies.