Bhavish Aggarwal, the founder of OLA, has set his sights on erecting the largest electric scooter plant on Bangalore’s outskirts within the next 12 weeks. He has planned to roll out about 2 million a year – which will be a landmark for one of India’s largest startups.
If things go as per his plan, Ola Electric Mobility Pvt hopes to make 10 million vehicles per year or 15% of the world’s e-scooters by the summer of 2022 – it will start with sales abroad later this year.
“It’s a vehicle we’ve engineered ground-up so India can get a seat at the world EV table,” the 35-year-old said in an interview last week. Indian companies “have the smarts and energy to leapfrog into the future of EV,” he told in an interview to Bloomberg.
Aggarwal will have to stave off competition from not just local rivals Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto, but also from up-and-comers such as Ather Energy as well as Chinese brands that include Niu Technologies.
Aggarwal is taking his inspiration from the likes of Tesla, Nio and Xpeng Inc., which have out-engineered established auto giants as they have rolled out ever-cheaper batteries and over-the-air software capabilities.
“Our ambition is to build the world’s leading urban mobility EV company,” he said.
OLA challenged Uber when he pioneered ride-hailing in India and now, he has headed across to 200 cities before heading overseas to the U.K, Australia and New Zealand. His EV startup was incorporated in 2017 and the company became a billion-dollar company, or unicorn, two years later, as SoftBank Group Corp. and Tiger Global Management chalked out hundreds of millions
However, now, Aggarwal has secured capital from Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. and he also has the backing of several others.
“We’re very well-capitalized and investor interest is unprecedented,” said Aggarwal.