Oben Electric Is Completely Designing, Developing, And Manufacturing In India, Keeping The Indian Consumers, Indian environment, And Infrastructure In Mind: Madhumita Agrawal, Co-Founder & CEO, Oben Electric

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Madhumita Agrawal, Co-Founder & CEO, Oben Electric

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Conversation Highlights:

-Since we are an R&D-focused and technology-centric company, we do not believe in offering consumers any product that is retrofitted or re-engineered.

-Oben Electric is completely designing, developing, and manufacturing in India, keeping the Indian consumers, Indian environment, and infrastructure in mind.

-We urge and request the government to help regularise EV-grade cells to ensure better-performing EVs in India.

What specific factors have been considered to tailor Oben Electric’s technology for the Indian driving condition along with keeping the consumer’s expectations on priority?

Our first flagship product- RORR has been designed as a premium product for the Indian masses. It is an offering to meet the daily commuting needs of two-wheeler owners, whilst addressing a market that witnesses a sale of 15 million units per year in India alone as per pre-covid data. Value deliverance is key for the EV industry and Oben Electric believes in that, backed by consumers’ expectation of an EV being similar to or better than an ICE vehicle.

With this, firstly, we focussed on the design and style that is ICE comparable. Secondly, we focussed on building it in-house considering the Indian roads, inclines, bends, and infrastructure dynamics. Thirdly, we have pioneered the use of advanced battery chemistry- LFP which is meant truly for the tropical climates of our country. LFPs can easily withstand 30% higher temperatures, hence putting our consumer’s safety on top.

We have ensured that we have spent ample time in understanding and building a product with years of technical expertise to match the Indian market, Indian consumers, and the Indian topography. RORR was built ground-up, backed by a team that is adept at designing specifically for the EV Industry whilst having a deep understanding of consumer needs from their prior combined EV experience of more than 25 years. Since we are an R&D-focused and technology-centric company, we do not believe in offering consumers any product that is retrofitted or re-engineered.

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In terms of ease of doing business, how would you summarise your start-up experience?

Prior to establishing Oben Electric, we have been consulting various global organizations in Technology, Research & Development in the EV domain where we metamorphosized a bootstrapped organization into a multi-million-dollar revenue-generating model.

It started with the dream of building a product-led company during our first entrepreneurial journey. During that tenure, we acquired more than five years of hands-on experience in the entire value chain of EV technology; from the battery, motor, BMS, charging infra, electric 2-wheeler to 4-wheeler. This gave us a holistic & strong understanding of the technology trends, issues, and gaps, and also showcased massive opportunities.

When Oben Electric was founded, the Indian EV industry was evolving. Skillsets were limited in the EV sector; hence it was also a daunting task to find the right talent pool who would be the right fit. But gradually, it was possible to bring on board a stellar team with prior successful entrepreneurial experience and a combined 20+ years of hands-on expertise in designing, developing & manufacturing Electric two-wheelers.

What is the Uniqueness of the product and market value proposition?

Firstly, India is predominantly a two-wheeler-driven market with motorcycles taking lead. This brings us to the forefront of this huge market. Secondly, Oben Electric is completely designing, developing, and manufacturing in India, keeping the Indian consumers, Indian
environment, and infrastructure in mind. Thirdly, our performance motorcycle ‘RORR’ is benchmarked against the 150cc ICE motorcycles as a mass premium product with the highest range of 200ms (IDC), highest acceleration of 0-40 in 3 seconds as compared to competitors, and best in class charging time of only 2 hours through its proprietary charging technology, and a top speed of 100kmph. RORR is completely designed, developed, and manufactured in-house.

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It has not been imported, retrofitted, or re-engineered. It also has interactive connected vehicle features such as Predictive maintenance, Ride details, Battery status, Geo-fencing, Geo-tagging, Battery theft protection, Charging station locator, On-demand service, and Roadside assistance. Its ‘Combined Braking System’ makes the driver feel safe even at higher speeds and the ‘Driver Alert System’ provide riders with visual and auditory cues, indicating when the vehicle is ON, Stationary, or requires Maintenance.

It showcases some of the best-in-class specifications such as LFP battery (safest and most dvanced battery type to date) than NMC. With 18 patents filed for its critical components like motor, battery, controller, drivetrain, and design, RORR is truly a unique offering.

Do you think a regulatory framework to ensure the quality of E Vehicles should be in place?

We urge and request the government to help regularise EV-grade cells to ensure better-performing EVs in India. Quality checks at the shop floor level need to be conducted by the manufacturer as well.

 What segments of electric vehicles are you focusing on?

Currently, our focus is on delivering performance-oriented B2C electric two-wheelers that provide a similar or better riding experience to a customer over an ICE two-wheeler.

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What made you focus on the motorcycle market rather than the scooter market?

Automotive itself is a very mature conventional industry and India is a huge B2C market.

The two-wheeler industry in the EV space remains untapped basis these numbers. While the low-speed category caters purely to the B2B segment, there is a gap in the B2C segment for quality products. Hence, we wanted to begin catering to this segment first, with a quality performance product that will be productive for the daily commuting needs of the B2C segment.

With this, firstly, we intend to provide Indian consumers with ICE comparable EV products and help them through this seamless transition. Secondly, we are dedicated to selling qualitative electric two-wheelers and are focused on after-sales service for the B2C segment. Thirdly, we are also focusing on agility.

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