India there is a rich class, a middle class, an upper middle class, a lower
middleclass, besides a class that belongs to a level below these classes. The real
masses in India belong to this class. For the people at this level, it’s all
about affordability and durability and not just about fancy hi-tech features.
Yogesh Bhatia, CEO & Managing Director of SG Corporate Mobility Pvt.Ltd is
someone who has been fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of the masses. From
being a seller of SIM cards, branded mobile phones and electrical appliances in
1995 when he started his business, he gradually moved into manufacturing affordable
mobile phones and LCD television sets.
thing led to another and the company launched an electric two wheeler under the
name Detel Easy in the year 2020 for around Rs 20,000, again for the masses.
2021, he not only launched a revamped electric bike under the name Detel Easy
Plus, but also announced a big ticket acquisition. He acquired the LML brand,
the erstwhile manufacturer of IC engine scooters. With that he set up another
company LML Electric Pvt Ltd. Now while SG Corporate Mobility will focus on
making mass market electric bikes under the Detel brand, LML Electric will
cater to the savvy middle class with smartly styled e-scooters and
e-motorcycles with the latest technology, again at affordable prices.
started my business in 1995. I have an FMCG background. My company sold SIM
cards and then mobile phones from Nokia, Reliance, Tata and also appliances from
LG and Samsung. After gaining great experience in selling branded products, in
2016 we launched our own Detel brand. In order to reach out to the masses by
2017 the company launched the world's most economical mobile phone at Rs 299,”
recalled Yogesh Bhatia, in an exclusive interview with Motown India.
said that at that time there were more than 40 crore or 400 million people who
had no mobile phone and he targeted them with his cheap phone. “On Aug 15, 2017
we launched a mobile phone through ND TV at Rs 299. By 2018 we launched an LCD
TV at Rs 3999. I wanted the television to reach the crores of households who
could not afford a television. The when the Covid pandemic came, we launched
affordable oxymeters and digital thermometers. I want ordinary Indians to
benefit from our affordable products.
This is our philosophy and this is what we want to achieve, to offer
products at affordable rates to our teeming millions,” he stated.
FORAY INTO ELECTRIC TWO WHEELERS
two years ago, the company did a survey on electric vehicles in India. “We
realised there are more than 20 crore (200 million) two wheelers plying on our
roads that run on petrol. And every year approximately 2 crore (20 million) two
wheelers are added to the market. Recently the government has come out with
guidelines that by Jan 1, 2026 sale of petrol two wheelers will be banned. If
such a norm is implemented, then there would be 30 crore petrol two wheelers on
road and the doors will be wide open for electric two wheelers,” Bhatia
Bhatia is skeptical about the industry being able to absorb a huge demand for
electric two wheelers. “Will electric
two wheeler manufacturers be able to produce a large number of electric 2
wheelers to fulfill the demand for them in the country? Keeping this mind, on
Aug 15, 2020 we came out with a pilot project and introduced the Detel Easy
electric two-wheeler at Rs 19,999. It was a pilot project because we wanted to
gauge the sentiments of the consumers.
We wanted to understand how there would be a transition from IC engine
two-wheelers to electric two-wheelers. We realised post the project that there
are some obstacles here and we need to overcome that. Our Detel electric two
wheelers do not require a driving license and neither is there a registration
for the same. Coming to charging stations, since it takes a huge
infrastructural input, we wanted our products to have batteries that could be
charged at home or office,” he informed.
noted that the aim of the Detel brand is to reach out to the masses through
very affordable products that are absolute value for money. By November2021, company
aims to make available the Detel Easy for the B2B segment also. The pay load
for this vehicle will be 250 kgs, compared to 170 kg for the Detel Easy Plus
targeted for the B2C segment. This B2B product will be designed differently and
it will have a localisation level of more than 90pc.
fact, all the shortcomings of the Detel Easy have been removed in the Easy
Plus. I want my consumers to love my product and that is the reason I gave a
digital screen, tubeless tyres, alloy wheels, etc. And not only that, we shall
also be providing road side assistance for this product within a radius of
40kmm. If the vehicle is under warranty, the vehicle will be picked up and
defective part will be replaced free of cost,” he affirms.
company has a plant in Binola, Gurugram. Binola is close to Manesar in Haryana.
There it has its own in-house design team. The company spent around 12 months
to develop Detel Easy Plus. In the next financial year, the company plans to sell
one lakh units of the Detel e-bikes and that will include products for both the
B2C as well as B2B segments. The company
is also in touch with big investors for capital infusion. Talks are on to
acquire a large tract of land for a new plant that would be exclusive for manufacturing
the LML electric two-wheeler. .
THE LML BUYOUT
the World EV Day on September 9, 2021 Yogesh Bhatia made an announcement that
he had acquired the LML brand from the Singhanias and he would soon be
manufacturing LML electric two wheelers in India.
a company with a great in legacy was primarily an IC engine powered scooter
manufacturer for around 50 years. Despite its best efforts to survive in the
highly competitive two-wheeler market of India, it shut shop sometime in
2016-17. How and why did Bhatia buy the LML brand?
I was thinking about the brand for the last year and a half, we closed the deal
only a month back. We acquired the LML brand from the Singhanias. We feel that
the LML brand is entrenched in the hearts of so many Indians since 1972. I feel
that a brand that was launched by the Singhania fmamily with so much effort
needs to grow now with focus on electric two wheelers. Thus LML electric will
represent not only the latest in technology but also in style and design,” he
his other affordable products, Bhatia wants the LML electric two-wheeler to be
sold at a “mid-point”. By that he means, not too high, not too low. It is
targeted at India’s middle class. “We are in talks with an Italian design house
for this electric scooter. A separate team will be looking after LML electric
two wheelers. We have a global ambition with this LML electric brand. We shall
be targeting overseas business in a big way. As an electric two wheeler brand,
I want to see LML reach out to global markets,” he added.
to Bhatia, LML products were well accepted in far off Egypt and even today some
of the dealers there are keen that he relaunch the product in that market in an
electric avatar. “Our vision is to become part of India's EV revolution and to
fulfill this vision it was important that we bought the LML brand which has a
legacy of more than 50 years. Since the
time we announced our acquisition of LML brand, I have got hundreds and
thousands of congratulatory messages from ordinary as well as eminent people
all across the country,” he pointed out proudly.
and LML will be run as two separate entities, two separate companies and with
two different visions. “With Detel brand my vision is to target the bottom of
the pyramid. I want to cover the masses with low speed electric vehicles with
Detel. With LML electric, I shall address a different class. We will introduce
an electric scooter first, and after that we shall bring in an electric
motorcycle. It will have best in class design and technology. The pricing will
be for the mid segment. I shall be selling that in India. By the end of 2022, a
world class LML scooter will hit the Indian markets. We shall be setting up a
third plant for this. We are in talks to acquire the right place for setting up
this plant. And we are also in talks with the Indian government for this,” he
Bhatia has learnt the mantra of mass market affordability with his consumer
electronics products. Now we have to see how he is able to successfully utilise
this mantra in his electric two-wheeler business, for both Detel as well as
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