In an exclusive conversation with TimesTech, Mr. Dinesh Arjun, Cofunder CEO, Raptee, unveiled its game-changing approach. With their state-of-the-art factory in Chennai and groundbreaking CCS compatibility, Raptee is poised to redefine electric mobility in India, setting new standards for innovation and user experience.
TimesTech: How does the launch of Raptee’s first factory in Chennai contribute to the company’s growth strategy?
Mr. Dinesh: Raptee’s new factory will be its primary production plant for the next 24 months. It will have a peak production capacity of 100,000 units per year and will employ 470 people further for manufacturing and design innovation. Our proposed investment for this factory is Rs 85 crore.
TimesTech: Could you explain how Raptee’s motorcycles being CCS standard compatible with government stations gives you an edge in the EV market?
Mr. Dinesh: Current electric vehicles (EVs) in our country face a major challenge: the public charging infrastructure is not compatible with 2Wheeler EVs. The only charging points available are CCS2 charging systems, which are not compatible with a wide range of 2Wheeler EVs. This means that EV owners have no choice but to charge their vehicles at home, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming and induces range anxiety in them.
Our motorcycle is the only electric 2-wheeler that uses the CCS2 charging port, which is the standard type of charging port used in public charging stations. This means that our customers would be able to charge their vehicles at public charging points, as well as at home. Our vehicles can also be charged from 0-80% within 45 minutes, making them a convenient and practical choice for EV owners. Our motorcycles are built around the belief that EVs are an upgrade from conventional ICE vehicles and not a compromise as it has been mostly perceived. With our tech first approach, we aim to turn this perception on its head.
TimesTech: How do you plan to achieve the annual production of 100,000 motorcycles and the revenue projections for the first two years?
Mr. Dinesh: We will start production by the end of the year, the first year, we plan to produce 10,000 Units and engage with our customers for their response both using online and offline channels. From the beginning of the second year, we will start scaling up by integrating some of the customer feedback. We only plan to hit the 100,000 Unit target in year 3 of production. Our revenue estimate for 2024 will be around Rs 200 Cr with a limited network of outlets and dealerships.
TimesTech: What’s the strategy behind launching physical stores mainly in Bangalore and Chennai, and how will your dealership model enhance the brand experience?
Mr. Dinesh: As part of our phase-wise expansion plan, we would be starting with two brick and mortar stores and based on the learning we will scale it up to the next set of markets. These experience centres are designed based on the brand story and theme and we would be able to immerse the consumers in our brand experience during their interaction with us in the online or offline mode.
TimesTech: Could you discuss a couple of the patented technologies in your motorcycles and their impact on user safety and experience?
Mr. Dinesh: We have accumulated over 45 pieces of IPR so far across the stack. Everything that we have done so far at Raptee has had one goal- User experience. Even the patents that we’ve filed clearly highlight that and not just merely adding features. User experience also includes rider safety which translates into peace of mind and that’s a place we’ve put in considerable amount of effort. For example, we’ve patented driver assistance systems that can work in heavy traffic conditions such as urban Indian roads helping avoid accidents. We’ve also patented battery assembly methods that prevent on road failures in the long run (10-15 year period).
TimesTech: How have platforms like Davos and awards such as ‘Aspirational Innovative Startup of the Year 2022’ contributed to Raptee’s growth and industry reputation?
Mr. Dinesh: Davos was huge for us. It was instrumental in making the current fundraise happen. These platforms definitely help portray our Moats and USPs to our investors and more importantly inspire confidence with our vendors and suppliers.
TimesTech: What’s your vision for Raptee’s future and how do you plan to maintain innovation and a seamless customer experience in the Indian motorcycle market?
Mr. Dinesh: We at Raptee want to offer a 360 degree experience to our consumers’ right from our product to the experience across the touch points. We are developing the consumer processes based on the brand experience that we intend to offer to our consumers. We would be automating the processes to ensure the consumers have the option to do it themselves and if needed seek the support of our representatives for accomplishing their tasks with Raptee.