TimesTech Buzz: How do you think India’s Electric mobility sector will boom so far in 2025-2030?
Partha: Well, 2025~2030 EV is bound to make a significant inroad! There are multiple reasons for that like state focus in all major nations including India would probably be the key. This would induce friendlier policies, encourage supply chain eco-system and induce more relevant innovations for consumers to find the solutions meaningful. Proactive adoption is the key to success and that would start happening from 2025 onwards. Once the transition starts; migration would be very fast. 40~50% of two, three-wheeler vehicles are bound to be EV say by 2027~28, if not any earlier. The foundation has already been laid I feel. The right vehicles (not the cheap Chinese two-wheelers or E-Rikshaws) have already made entry, only the cost optimization remains to be met.
TimesTech Buzz: What is the idea behind the newly launched E-Cycles range?
Partha: E-Cycle is by far the largest selling EV category Globally for most sound reason. The deficiency of EV is in its inability to store enough energy in the storage batteries to meet various expectations of the users starting from Range, Top Speed, Torque on Demand, Cost etc. The lack perfect balancing of these factors as opposed to that of an ICE mature vehicle makes EV a not so preferred choice in the mass market! E-Bikes being light engineered and having pedal assist option overcomes these barriers easily at an absolute affordable cost. From a functional stand point E-Bikes are most suitable for short distance commute for a solo rider and 70% of India commutes mostly solo for 12~15 kms in a day max. Surely lack of social aspiration fails to drive E-Bike demand currently in India but a more effective understanding of the category thru experiential learning can change the prospective user mindset. This will open a huge opportunity! Since the rational cost benefit outcomes will prevail once the emotions are in favour. This besides our core competence of being the leading bicycle player makes us enter this space as a natural diversification with serious functional upgradation.
TimesTech Buzz: Since the pandemic, people have become more cautious about health and cleaner & greener environment, has it caused any impact on your company?
Partha: Yes, it has not only caused positive impact but took our business volume grow many folds. However, supply has been a challenge since then as many component suppliers are in similar constraint like ours. We have reasons to believe the Pandemic has made irreversible positive changes in the bicycle industry and the way people see it! Fitness being a serious priority bicycles and E-bicycles are serving multiple needs of solo commuting as well as fitness goals at the same time. Also, for many who otherwise were indifferent to bicycles so far.
TimesTech Buzz: What are the initiatives has been taken in the field of reducing carbon footprints& energy conservation by Hero Lectro?
Partha: Bicycles are the only vehicle that actually leaves positive carbon footprint besides taking care of public health and road congestion/pollution. So, Hero has been the conscience keeper of the nation in this area by being the leader by example. Now surely our nature friendly initiatives and communications are being taken more seriously since the stakes have changed. Stakes govern behaviour and the stakes on health are very high now, people can’t ignore the reasons we offer.
TimesTech Buzz: With distinctive technology, does Hero lectro plans to paddle further in the international E-cycles market?
Partha: We are a Global company. We are not only the world’s largest bicycle maker by volume but also have footprints all over the world. We acquired Brands & Companies in UK, Germany, Sri lanka and in the lookout for further strategic M&As. HNF in Germany & Insync in UK has been quite flagship brands which are now a part of Hero. For us the market is Global and we are leaving no stones unturned to expand our footprint.