August 15, 2022
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There are a few people amongst us who are passionate about travelling the
second, demanding mile. Their vitality is not in their ability to persist but the
potential to start over. In the growing EV industry, such personalities are
beginning to gain ground.

We bring you such eclectic and electrifying personalities who are driving the promising future of mobility. These are people who are not predicting the future, they are inventing it.

It is said that accomplishments are the ornaments of life. In that perspective Nitin Gadkari own many jewels in his crown. In 2014, when he became the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Gadkari quickly proved that ‘a vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it. Once realised, it becomes commonplace’.

But Gadkari does not sit on achieved laurels. He gave renewed speed to construction of highways in every nook and cranny of the country.

Highway construction pace post 2019 was 36 km per day in 2020 and Gadkari aims to take it to 68 kms per day with a target of 25000 kms in 2022-23.

It has been his dynamic approach to the EV industry that under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) Phase-II scheme, 2,877 public EV charging stations have been sanctioned in 68 cities and 1,576 EV charging stations across 9 expresessways and 16 highways.

Always one to encourage the EV industry, he had said, ‘Indian automakers are more than capable of producing the world’s best electric vehicles and the country has a plethora of young, skilled designers who are improving their craft’.

Gadkari also believes that before the end of 2025, India’s auto sector will become the ‘world’s number one manufacturer hub and will be exporting to the entire world’.

Amitabh Kant, the former CEO of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog is a man for whom aspiration is discontent. No wonder, he made a difference when he was Chairman of the Empowered Committee on the transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme of the Government of India, which was launched by the Prime Minister of India in 2018.

And in his new responsibility as India’s Sherpa at G-20, Amitabh will have to carry on from his highly successful stint as the poster man of India’s EV revolution who took on existing auto OEMs to show them the mirror that there is no future for companies that do not go green.

He strongly felt that sunrise sectors comprising renewables, battery storage, clean mobility, electrolyzers and green hydrogen would grow faster, adding that with India’s commitment at the Glasgow summit, the country would require focus on these technologies.

So much so that the former head of the apex public policy think tank of the Government of India got himself a white-coloured Tata Nexon EV, which serves as his daily commute.

At NITI Aayog, he helped the government to draft the policy for PLI scheme incentivising EV production and even facilitating the development of the country’s EV ecosystem. At the same time, he encouraged the industry to work on its R&D capabilities for use of alternative fuels like ethanol, bio-LNG, and green hydrogen.

Heading Convergence Energy Services (CESL), Mahua believes that excellence must above all conform with realistic standards. It is but obvious because she is at the center of redefining the future of public transport in India. A state-run energy transition company, it was recently contracted to procure 50,000 electric buses across India worth over 10 billion dollars.

CESLs latest tender is aimed to support India’s mission to decarbonise public transportation and achieve net zero emissions.

CESL is instituted under the Ministry of Power, New and Renewable energy is bringing various stakeholders together to enable a large-scale switch to electric mobility in the public domain by aggregating demand for electric buses from various state transport undertakings to meet the country’s net-zero emissions goals.

She has been focusing on enhancing the overall EV usage experience, address range anxiety, and hence, encourage EV adoption. According to her, the government is planning to include crucial details about the charging stations on the app including their availability, charger types, and tariffs. The app is expected to go live very shorty.

Mahua is already in the process of collating information from the private sector for the super app.

Naveen Munjal, the MD of Hero Electric, India’s largest two-wheeler EV-maker is highly optimistic about the future. So much so that he has taken the battle pitting his product against the ICE variants at the entry level mass market which forms more than 70% of India’s two wheeler sales. His entry level scooter, Optima, is strategically priced at Rs 65,000 and is making rapid strides with a days charge of 1.5 units at a minuscule Rs 20 insuring EV patrons from the vagaries of petrol prices.

With this aggressive pricing strategy and lower total cost of ownership, Naveen’s company was at the pole position in July with 35% increase in sales and overall 35-40% market share unseating Okinawa, pegged at No. 2.

Hero Electrics’ latest greenfield plant in Ludhiana is expected to have an annual production capacity of 200,000 vehicles and increase to touch 1 million units in the next three years.

Besides EVs, Naveen is also looking at global business interests in bicycles, healthcare & rehabilitation products, real estate and fitness & sports equipment that he manages in the capacity as Group Managing Director.

For Girish Wagh, purpose has always been the keystone in his temple of achievements. And in his sustained determination to achieve, purpose seems to have evolved as an invincible power towards the march to success.

For Girish Wagh, purpose has always been the keystone in his temple of achievements. And in his sustained determination to achieve, purpose seems to have evolved as an invincible power towards the march to success.

In his illustrious career of 29 years with Tata Motors, Girish has held several senior roles with increasing and complex responsibilities across Passenger Vehicle and Commercial Vehicle Business Units. Leading teams across multiple functions, he successfully delivered game changing projects including the Tata ACE - Mini Truck and the new generation cars including Nano, Bolt, Zest, Tiago, Hexa and Tigor.

And with focus on electrification of passenger and cargo, his Group is expected to unveil 10 EVs including SUVs by 2027, while the thirdgeneration EV architecture Curvv and Avinya concepts sits beautifully with its existing product line that has market leadership with the Nexon EV, Tigor EV and fleet-only XPres-T EV.

The company’s acquisition of the Sanand plant for Rs 726 crore will boost its annual production to 300,000 units in the first phase with an additional capex of 1,20,000 units adjacent to its existing facility aided by rich supplier ecosystem for seamless transition.

Beethoven once said, “The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, ‘Thus far and no farther’. Suman is one such talent in the EV world. And she makes no little plans.

Having been associated with the Mahindra Group since 2015, she has been hitching the ambition wagon to ride to higher stars. Deservedly, the MBA from University of Michigan, Ross School of Business and a Computer Engineer from NTU Singapore, was appointed Suman as the Chief Executive of Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd (MEML) last year on August 14.

Under Suman’s able tutelage, Mahindra Electric Mobility Limited (MEML) has achieved a key milestone of 50,000 electric 3-wheeler sales from a humble start with its debut vehicle, e-Alfa Mini in 2017. MEPL’s Treo range has received the maximum awards for indigenous powertrain and a Li-ion battery pack with a real world driving range of 130 km on a full charge with 0 to 100 per cent in 3 hours and 50 minutes through a 16V charging socket.

Prior to Mahindra, Suman worked with Cipla and McKinsey. She joined the Mahindra Group in 2015 as Senior Vice President, Group Strategy Office.

She was recognised as Economic Times 40 under 40 business leaders and Economic Times Woman Ahead in 2019. She is part of the Group Corporate Office Leadership Team and Group Diversity Committee.

Chetan believed from the beginning of his career that dreams are the seedlings of realities. So, when he was completing his masters degree in mechanical engineering at Stanford University after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan in 1992, he was already dreaming lofty dreams.

The Founder of Reva, one of the first in India’s electrification space, is now looking to further help e-commerce players by installing battery swapping stations inside the warehouses of Amazon India, pan India. According to him, the
company wants to make refuelling electric vehicles ‘faster, cheaper and more convenient’ for fleet operators.

Chetan is bullish on swapping as a service and on the back of the government’s recent policy, has deployed over 115 swap points in 18 cities, powering over 40 million km and over 1.8 million swaps.

Their recent partnership with Lets Transport will see over 2,000 vehicles contributing to the last-mile delivery segment. The immediate plan is to roll out 100 electric three-wheeler cargo vehicles presently deployed across Delhi-NCR and Bangalore.

After running a successful hedge fund outfit in the United States for three decades, Uday decided to listen to his heart, a calling which poked him to try, change, and go on creating, endlessly. He returned to India and found his mission to redefine sustainable mobility.

Eventually floating Omega Seiki Mobility (OSM) Pvt. Ltd, his strong belief has been that his firm will disrupt the Indian mobility landscape with ground-breaking but affordable electric vehicles. His focus is now on developing commercial EVs primarily deployed with e-commerce for last-mile delivery.

His company’s first vehicle, Rage+, was indigenously designed and developed in his manufacturing facility in Faridabad. Launched in February 2020, Rage+ is claimed to be India’s first smart electric cargo three-wheeler.

Recently, he announced a strategic partnership with Agri Junction to deploy more than 10,000 electric two and three-wheeler vehicles in rural markets by FY2023.

Uday has been growing his product lineup and manufacturing footprint rapidly. His OEM has two-, threeand four-wheelers in its product portfolio.

Venkateswara Pradeep Karumuru is a shining example of someone recognising his course by discovering the paths that stray from it. With over 22 years of experience in business development, execution of projects and general management of EPC & aviation business, Pradeep was enamoured by the EV world.

The Chairman and Managing Director of Olectra Greentech Limited has led the EV manufacturing firm to achieve its goals by believing in his instincts and keeping objectives slightly out of reach to be of maximum value.

And his achievements speak.

Recently, Olectra, a group company of Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Limited, bagged a huge order from Telangana State Road Transport Corporation to supply 300 electric buses. The value of the order is approximately
Rs 500 crore.

And in terms of revenue, he has ensured the figures bring in joy. Olectra reported standalone revenue from operations of Rs 304.7 crore for the quarter ended 30th June 2022, as against Rs 41.2 crore recorded in the corresponding
period of the previous year, registering a year-on-year growth of 640.4 per cent.

After a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2008, Bhavish had started to engage himself in pursuit of path breaking ideas. Starting his career with Microsoft, he used his intellectual instrument to break into phenomena.

Ola Cabs was launched in 2011.

And as a good idea is like a brilliant diamond having many facets, Bhavish knew the potential EV will have on his brainchild.

He recently confirmed that Ola Electric is going to launch a new electric vehicle on India’s 75th Independence Day. The CEO teased the launch of its upcoming EV online. His company captioned the new product as the ‘greenest EV’ it has ever made.

Bhavish has already made public his intention for Ola to launch its first electric car in the next 2-3 years to be produced at a new 4W factory to be built.

This year, Bhavish announced the first indigenously developed Li-ion battery cell. Ola S1 and S1 Pro scooters were launched in India in August last year.

Rajeev heads the Indian subsidiary of China’s largest automaker SAIC, MG Motor India which is looking at expanding its presence at the lower end of the market by launching a sub-Rs 20-lakh electric vehicle later next year.

His firm operates one manufacturing plant in Halol, Gujarat with a capacity of 80,000 units per year and was previously owned by General Motors India.MG Motor India has invested more than ₹2,000 crore in revamping the 178 acre facility after its takeover from General Motors.

“We are working on finalising the details of a battery assembly facility this year, which is likely to go on stream next year,” he had announced.

Ever since he started his journey in India in 2018, driven by the vision of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric) mobility, Rajeev’s firm brings to the table cutting-edge augmented experiences across-the-board within the automobile vertical. His company has introduced several ‘firsts’ to the Indian automotive industry with the first Internet SUV – MG Hector, first Pure Electric Internet SUV – MG ZS EV, and first Autonomous (Level 1) Premium SUV – MG Gloster.

Last year, the board of Amara Raja Batteries Ltd. (ARBL) decided to rejig the company board and announced ‘Energy and Mobility’ as the strategic focus. It announced expansion of the Lead Acid Batteries business and the establishment of a New Energy SBU encompassing Lithium cell and battery pack, EV chargers, Energy Storage Systems, Advanced Home Energy Solutions and related products and services.And spearheading this new development was Jayadev Galla, popular as Jay Galla.

The Vice-Chairman who took over as Chairman had said, “After a careful review of the global business opportunities, the ARBL Board has decided to future-proof our business by repositioning ARBL as an Energy and Mobility player,” he said.

Along with the new energy SBU, Amara Raja Batteries posted a net profit of Rs 131.45 crore in the quarter ended June 30, 2022, as against Rs 124 crore in the same quarter last year. During the period, the company registered revenues of Rs 2,620 crore as against Rs 1,886 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Not many people come close to the league of those who possess both courage and perseverance, in equal measure. The combination has a magical talisman to overcome difficulties, and Mahesh surely has both traits instilled in him.

With over 25 years of experience in mobility, Mahesh joined Switch from Mahindra Electric where he was Managing Director and CEO. Under his leadership, Mahindra Electric launched six new electric vehicles including 3-wheeler and
4-wheeler commercial vehicles, as well as the innovative software platform NEMO. One of the most prestigious projects under his leadership was India’s first monocoque SUV, the XUV500.

He has also been instrumental in shaping future mobility policy in India by delivering electric TCO solutions through groundbreaking initiatives in passenger vehicles, commercial fleets, and last mile mobility. Mahesh actively contributed to various EV committees of both central and state governments, CII and FICCI.

Facts are stubborn things, and Subir loves that very nature of all his business facts. Strategically planning every move with a keen eye for detail, the mechanical engineer from IIT, Madras and PGDM from IIM, Calcutta, he has grown with Exide Industries from 1996, serving as a director on the board and deputy managing director of the company since May 1, 2019.

After his elevation to MD & CEO, under his leadership, Exide Industries has seen an 81 per cent growth in standalone net profit for the quarter ended June 30, aided by a growth in topline despite high input cost inflation.

And keeping a close watch on Exide’s wholly owned subsidiary, Exide Energy Solutions, Subir oversaw procurement of 80 acres of land in Karnataka to set up its planned lithiumion cell manufacturing project.

Exide joined hands with SVOLT Energy Technology Co Ltd (SVOLT) in the new scheme of things of lithiumion manufacturing. The land will be used to set up a greenfield multi-gigawatt li-ion battery cell manufacturing facility for the new-age electric mobility and stationary application businesses in India.

A mechanical engineering graduate, Diego got his start in the industry with Fiat Automobiles in Torino, Italy. From there, he joined motorcycle company Moto Guzzi, which was acquired by the Piaggio Group in 2003. Having spent about
five years in a purchase environment, in 2012, he was Global Purchasing Head for the entire Piaggio Group.

In 2017, Diego was invited to head up the Indian subsidiary on the condition that he transform the company’s public image in the country.

The opportunity to head Piaggio Vehicles, to become Chairman and Managing Director of an important company of 3,000 people with a US$500 million revenue, was huge.

But Diego did not fret. He believed that if excellence has the potential to bring enough joy, it is only reasonable to focus on higher excellence. And he did.

Under his watchful eye, Piaggio India launched the all new Ape NXT+ passenger 3 wheeler. The CNG variant offers fuel efficiency up to 50 km/kg CNG. “The new Apé NXT+ is designed and developed in India for the Indian market and will
also be exported to markets overseas.

With the launch of this Apé NXT+ we aim to further strengthen our position in the alternate fuel segment space,” he had said during the launch.

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