have inked a deal with Arjun Maini for the popular DTM races. Now that is
something a B2C player does, not really in sync with B2B players. Why?
are bold, we are dynamic and OSM is about finding solutions. OSM is not India alone,
OSM is a global e-cargo company. People should understand that our vision is to
build India’s first global electric cargo company. I was hearing a speech by
our Minister Nitin Gadkariji and he was talking about how he would like India
to be the number one electric car manufacturer in the world. That’s a bold
statement but we believe that we are part of that journey. Our aspirations and
our dreams are that. Building vehicles, doing these things will make this
company a very major player. So this is where Arjun Maini comes in. He is bold,
he is what we call rocket Maini, he is somebody who is young and one who takes
up challenges. And the best thing about Arjun Maini that I love is that Arjun
Maini never gives up. We at OSM never give up. It was an alignment. We also believed that we want to put
our brand awareness across Europe and the US and what best than to have it in
DTM and we also believe that we want to be the future of electric racing. The
three wheelers are just a taster. We are growing into two wheelers and four
Are you really
serious about getting into the electric 2 and 4 wheeler space?
England we say the proof is in the pudding (a new twist to the very old proverb-
proof of the pudding is in the eating). The two wheelers come out in July or
early August. You will also get to see my first prototype of my
four-wheeler. What people are showing
today is retrofitting. Retrofitting is not building electric vehicles. Many of
my competitors are doing that. We believe that is not the right strategy. When
we talk of electrification we talk of 100 per cent electrification.
Retrofitting is easy. We are not in this journey to make quick money, we are in
this journey because of fitness, we believe in running a marathon. And we are
going to run a marathon.
Getting into the
areas as you mentioned above, will require a lot of hard work, especially on
the R&D front, so are you prepared for that?
call ourselves a company with technology in motion. R&D is the key to our
company. I have just built a state of the art facility in Faridabad in one of
our facilities which will house 50 new engineers. We are going to set up an
R&D facility in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We are opening up an R&D centre in
Europe. The formal announcements will come in the next two months. We are
working with European OEMs to build vehicles in Europe with them and they will
be building buses with us here. We will be building factories across this
nation. At this moment we are building factory number two in Haryana as we
speak and hopefully in six months ti would be up and running. We will be
putting up factories in the South, in the North and in the West. We have
purchased 106 acres in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh where we would be
possibly putting up a bus factory with a European OEM.
will be building factories in Africa with local partners. My belief is that
Africa is a huge continent which has great opportunities. What we are all
forgetting is that is all about environment and the other key part is the
rising fuel costs. In this scenario, electric makes sense and battery prices
too are going down. Electric is the future. A lot of competitors will come, we
welcome Ola, we welcome Ather, they are amazing companies, we want to be an
amazing company too. India and the world is big enough that can accommodate
many players and we claim to be one of the players too.
Since you have said
you are getting into the electric two-wheeler space, is there not a lot of
competition there with players like Hero Electric, Okinawa, Ather and Ola and
many others? How will you fight the big names there, besides a lot of cheap
have calculated our space. We are not just focusing on electric two wheelers
but even e three wheelers and four wheelers. We are talking about building
buses, tractors, etc. Our scale is going to be quite large. In the B2B space we
are going to focus on the last mile delivery segment. In the two wheeler space,
we will sell to B2C but our major products will go to B2B. We believe that we
are a cargo company. We will do certain
products that will be B2C. Our product portfolio should have everything.
B2B players can make a choice whether they want a three wheeler, a two-wheeler
or a four-wheeler. What do they have today? Their cost of operation is 70 per
cent. If we can manage and give them efficiency there, their profitability
increases substantially. If we substitute oil to electricity, their costs go
down. Today in our country we are only focusing on B2B e-commerce players. I
cannot tell you how many non-ecommerce players are coming to us for electric
will give you an example, we are into steel business and we are running this steel
company for the last 52 years. We are the largest steel processing companies
nationally. We have started using these vehicles within our factories. The
costs have gone down significantly.
India the most important part should be the environment but people are not so
much concerned about the environment, rather they are concerned about their
pockets. We will improve the pocketbook as well as the environment. I am into
fitness, I am an athlete, I compete every day, let the best man or woman,
whether it be Ather or whether it be Hero or whether it be Ola, they build a
better product, they win, we should be ready for competition. One thing is for
sure, OSM isn’t going away.
In the four-wheeler
space too there is a lot of competition, especially from very big companies.
How do you hope to take on that competition?
you recall Elon Musk build a company and today the value of his company is more
than the combined valuation of all the old IC engine companies. The new world
is not about IC engines. The structure is completely new. The people who build
the IC engine world are not the same who will build the electric world. Just
because someone is good in the IC engine space will be also successful in the
electric vehicle space. They will move and they have the firepower. But people
like us are quick, we are agile, we are new brand, new quality.
am into boxing and Muhammad Ali is one of my biggest idols. I always look up to
him. He did not come from the richest family. He was hungry. But in a world
where there are new young men and women who have joined us, we will need
capital. I have spent 35 years working in the financial markets of US and
Europe. We will go to the private equity market and we will go for alliances.
At this moment we are very close to finalising an agreement with a very large
European OEM that will work with us in producing 3 wheelers for Europe and
exports out of there. And we shall be producing electric buses with them here
in the country.
question is how come a small company like OSM out of nowhere has got a product
out there. These companies are valued at Rs 1 lakh crore in the stock market,
but it’s not about the stock market, it about the product, it’s about the
design and technology, and it is about believing in yourself. Coming back to
Arjun Maini, why did we pick him up, because we don’t give up. Like the boxer, you put us down, we’ll come
back. For me, this is not just OSM, it’s a mission to be part of this electric
revolution in the country. We have to improve the quality of life of the future
generation because this pollution will kill us all. If we don’t change it, we
will all be in the hospitals.
want to take electric to every village in India. This government is very pro
electric, you have to give them credit whether it is the FAME subsidy or the
support given. Today all our states are aligned towards electric vehicles. I
have been seeing tenders of several thousand e-vehicles. Take for example the
garbage sector, no one is talking about this sector. I have just bid for a
tender for electric vehicles in Andhra Pradesh for electric garbage vehicles.
There is enough demand for electric vehicles going on in this country and OSM
will not only change part of this country but also be in Africa, Bangladesh,
Latin America, etc. We have got a lot of work to do, I am ready for it and I am
energised for it.
How much time do
you think you will take to realise some of your dreams pertaining to OSM?
days, 24 hours a day is not enough. There is not a single day that I am not
living this with my team. If we are not a major player in the next three years,
then it’s too late. We have a huge amount of work, I will be hiring a lot of
smart people, I want a lot of young blood with me, men and women. I want people
to be part of this journey. For me, my biggest pay off will be that the people
who work here do so well that they go out and build new companies to make a
better India, to make a clean India and to make a more electric India. In the
next three years we have to be a force to reckon with.