“We Intend To Establish A Direct Local Presence In Most Countries Within Three To Five Years”

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In its quest to expand globally, eCharge Mobility has laid out several strategic initiatives for the upcoming years. During a discussion with Nitisha Dubey from EFY, Ashish Kumar, the company’s CEO, highlighted substantial progress in charging infrastructure and shared plans for the future.


Ashish Kumar
eCharge Mobility

Q. Please describe eCharge Mobility and its operations.

A. We are a charger company that manufactures chargers and focuses on the charging infrastructure business. We began our journey in 2018 as a charging infrastructure company and later expanded into designing, developing, and manufacturing EV components. We focus on chargers, charging stations, BMS, motor controllers, and DC-DC converters, all manufactured locally in Bangalore. Our primary customers are EV and battery manufacturing companies, mainly engaging in B2B transactions.

We also ventured into retailing charging stations last year, recognising market demand and have started exporting to seven African countries. We established a local company in Nairobi, Kenya, to serve our clients better and mitigate business risks. Additionally, we are exploring markets in East Asia, primarily Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, where similar products are in demand. We aim to start exporting to Southeast Asia in the next three months.

Q. Is your company based in Delhi or Bangalore?

A. The company is registered in Delhi. However, all our business operations, backend activities, and manufacturing are conducted in Bangalore. We shifted our base from Delhi to Bangalore, as it is an electronic hub. So, legally, the company is registered in Delhi, but all GST and operational aspects are managed from Bangalore.

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Q. How has your relocation to Bangalore influenced your product portfolio expansion?

A. We relocated to Bangalore in late 2019. Since then, our product portfolio has expanded to include battery chargers, motor controllers, DC-DC converters, and BMS. Currently, we offer chargers ranging from 150 watts to 3.3 kilowatts, compliant with government regulations. Our plans include local manufacturing of chargers for public charging spaces, with a target to enter the charging infrastructure business by 2025.

Q. Could you provide more details about your products and what you offer?

A. We primarily develop and manufacture four products: battery chargers, BMS, controllers (including motor controllers), and DC-DC converters. Additionally, we customise swapping stations based on customer needs, primarily for the African market, not the Indian market. Operating in India is very different, so we have pivoted our business towards the African market, focusing on Africa’s eastern and western parts.

Q. What sets your chargers apart from others in the Indian market?

A. In India, we are the sole company developing, manufacturing, and supplying IP67 chargers. While multiple suppliers in India are selling these products, most are sourced from China, Taiwan, or other countries. These suppliers perform assembly, testing, validation, sticker application, and firmware flashing. However, to my knowledge, there is no indigenous technology for these chargers in India. Even tier-1 companies often partner with European companies for technology and license manufacturing in bulk.

Q. What advantages do your IP67 chargers offer compared to competitors?

A. We exclusively promote our IP67 chargers in exports due to their significant technical, operational, and application advantages. Our costs are highly competitive on a global scale, even within India. We can sell our IP67 chargers at the cost of IP20 chargers, giving us a competitive edge in expanding our market reach to various OEMs and customers in India and internationally.

1200W IP67 Off-Board Charger
1200W IP67 Off-Board Charger

Q. What is the range of charger prices, and how does your IP67 charger price compare?

A. A regular charger’s price ranges vary based on category and power ratings. For two-wheeler bikes, prices start at 2000 and can go up to 5000. Our smallest charger, with an IP67 rating and a 600-watt capacity, costs around 3000 rupees. We offer the most affordable option in this category. For an IP20 charger, the price might be around 2500 rupees for a 500-watt charger. However, we are far ahead regarding technology, product quality, uniqueness, and advantages, even considering cost. It is unlikely that anyone else in India is supplying a 600-watt charger with an IP67 rating for 3000 rupees.

Q. Do you procure components from India or from abroad?

A. India doesn’t manufacture semiconductors. We rely on sources outside India for these components. However, on a small scale, we don’t purchase from China. Instead, we have local indigenous suppliers or authorised dealers/distributors of tier 1 companies that manufacture or supply semiconductors, albeit not in India. In essence, we source 100% of our components locally in India. Still, there are situations where we rely on China for critical components like semiconductors, which make up around 5% to 7% of our total bill of materials (BoM).

1800W IP67 On-Board Charger
1800W IP67 On-Board Charger

Q. What are the primary customer categories that your company caters to?

A. We cater to three main customer categories: EV OEMs who manufacture 2/3 wheelers, other buyers of our products battery manufacturing companies who source the BMS and chargers, and third-category customers we have who are energy or charge point operators. We supply swapping station hardware and software to the companies to enable them to become an energy operator. This also applies to charge point operators, empowering them with our electronics and software. Our current focus is on B2B; we plan to expand to B2C by 2025, anticipating market standardisation for easier operations despite market fragmentation.

Q. What advantages does your customer support strategy offer?

A. To ensure our product’s success, we commit to supporting customers for 12, 18, or 24-month warranties as agreed. Our focus is on seamless product and service integration. For instance, we offer software as a service (SaaS) alongside swapping station sales to ensure 24/7 machinery operation and minimise equipment downtime. We aim to resolve customer issues within 24 to 48 hours, backed by a strong team of field service engineers and dedicated backend support. This commitment has earned us repeat business, even internationally, like in Africa, where we prioritise customer satisfaction despite logistical challenges. We have planned to set up a Center of Excellence in Nairobi, which will be operational by June 2024.

Q. What is the goal of establishing a Center of Excellence in Nairobi?

A. The lab serves two primary purposes. Firstly, it offers training to local manpower. While we do provide paid or hands-on training, we aim to improve capacity building. We desire to address the shortage of skilled manpower in the territories where we already sell our products. This ensures we can provide real-time after-sales support when our products encounter issues. Additionally, we are installing equipment and machinery for a battery management system (BMS) and essential equipment for the powertrain and motor controller. Although this is not an R&D centre, it allows individuals to provide feedback, validate, repair, and adjust products, gaining practical experience with them.

Q. Please share a timeline for local assembly in Africa and its benefits.

A. We are looking to establish local assembly and manufacturing capabilities, potentially within the next six months to a year. Local assembly offers significant trade advantages, particularly given Africa’s 54 countries. Already, we are observing transitions in 15 countries in the eastern and western parts of Africa, with several southern African countries also indicating potential. Establishing local assembly units will allow us to cater to local demand and serve neighbouring countries in eastern, western, and south Africa.

Q. What are your upcoming plans?

A. We may start the technology licensing business in two to three years. However, before licensing, we need to prove our product’s reliability. That is the ideal plan. We still have many inquiries about licensing the product, with many tier-one companies approaching us. We can manufacture this product in bulk, but it requires significant capital. Therefore, we also have inquiries from tier-two companies. We need several operational units in the field that live through the product lifecycle for two to three years. When we see that, out of the three years, we have supplied 100,000 units to the market, and everything is going well with a minimum level of rejection or failure of the product, I think it makes sense for us. By 2026 or 2027, we will have that kind of plan to start licensing the technology.

Q. How do you generate revenue?

A. We generate revenue by manufacturing and selling our products. Our process involves understanding the requirements, sending samples for approval, and, if everything goes well, discussing the business terms. Once the terms are agreed upon, we can proceed with the supply. Additionally, we have recently started a vertical that includes training programs, capacity-building programs, and a secondary source of revenue from SaaS software. These are minor revenue streams, but we expect them to increase in the next six months as we acquire more customers and have more products operational in the field.

Q. How does your company plan to expand its global presence?

A. Our current business is 70% in India and 30% in export. We aim to balance this to 50-50. For instance, if we produce 100 units monthly, we plan to sell 50% in India and the rest as exports, ensuring a product-based revenue stream.

We are also looking to expand into other territories. Latin America is a target market due to its presence of tier-1 vehicle manufacturers. We’re already established in India and Africa, and this year, we’re starting local operations in Southeast Asia, where the shift towards electric mobility is gaining momentum with supportive government policies. Market research and groundwork have been underway since October 2023.

Our next phase includes expanding into Latin America by 2025 or 2026. Eventually, we aim to enter the Middle East and Europe. Every six months, we have specific plans for global expansion, and we aim to establish a direct local presence in most countries within three to five years.

Q. What was last year’s fiscal growth and future expectations?

A. Our business has grown consistently over the past three years, slightly declining this year due to industry corrections. To offset this, we increased our focus on exports, which constitute 30% of our business. Despite lower sales numbers this year, our growth has been almost 100% year-on-year. We aim to see more Indian companies increase their manufacturing capacity to reduce reliance on imports, accounting for 70-80% of our product sourcing.

Q. What is your fundraising agenda?

A. We are currently raising funds to support our business model and growth plans. We aim to raise $2 million immediately and anticipate needing $30 to $50 million over the next two to three years to serve tier 1 OEMs in India and expand our product development capabilities. The government has outlined a significant scope in the Indian market. We are engaging with various VCs and industry players to secure funding and expand our market reach and product lines.

Q. What is the focus of your EV training program?

A. Our electric vehicle training program provides basic technical knowledge and awareness about the EV ecosystem, products, markets, stakeholders, and companies. This online program is conducted weekly at a nominal fee to support our efforts. We offer hands-on training, but not in India, due to the country’s advanced technical skills in EV-related fields. We aim to target regions with early awareness and knowledge about electric mobility, allowing us to leverage our expertise and experiences effectively. Our capacity-building program includes hands-on training where participants can interact with, diagnose, repair, and understand EV products, enhancing their practical knowledge. We are establishing an engineering lab in Nairobi, with training programs expected to commence in June-July. We are open to anyone interested in learning about the basics of electric mobility, regardless of their background or industry experience.

Q. Do you offer free training, and what is your target audience?

A. As a private company, we do not offer free training. We conduct training in Africa every Thursday. In India, we have temporarily halted our online training program but are considering starting a hands-on training program. India has a skilled workforce with ample knowledge of the EV ecosystem. We may target engineering graduates and those seeking job opportunities or mobility insights.

Q. Do you offer internships?

A. We offer internships but are not actively promoting them due to our limitations as a small company. Typically, people contact us for job opportunities rather than internships. However, we have had cases where engineering graduates worked with us for one to three months and then found better job opportunities. In such cases, we provide them with internship certificates.

Q. What are your manufacturing and expansion plans  for 12 months?

A. Over the next 12 months, we plan to expand our in-house manufacturing from 1500 to 3000-5000 monthly units. We are also introducing two new products, with tooling expected by June-July. Additionally, we are establishing an engineering Centre in Nairobi and focusing on sales growth in both Indian and export markets.

Q. How did you address initial challenges and differentiate your product?

A. When we started our journey, we aimed to solve three main challenges: cost, quality, and timelines. Buyers look for a product that meets these criteria. We have created a niche by addressing these challenges and offering technological advantages, such as onboard and IP67 data chargers known for their quality and reliability. Our chargers are 93-94% efficient. However, the challenge remains as buyers vary in their priorities, some focusing on cost, others on quality, and some on quick delivery. Combining these challenges, cost, quality, and time become crucial and critical. Quality is subjective and judged by customers based on their experience. Ensuring the product lives up to its commitments and works as expected for the specified duration is essential. Quality assurance and constant improvement are critical. We are only using genuine, high-quality components and maintaining strict manufacturing standards like IATF 16949:2016.


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Nitisha Dubey
Nitisha Dubey
Nitisha Dubey is a journalist at EFY. She focuses on startups and innovations with a deep interest in new technologies and business models.

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