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Automobile 2009-11-04

Driving in a Change

By Ramanjit Kaur Feature Writer

When the entire automotive world is moving towards the era of electricity, REVA is also planning to expand across the globe via franchise route. Chetan Maini, Deputy Chairman and CTO, REVA shares the future plans of his electronic car company.

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): What inspired Reva Electric Car Company to take the franchise route?

Chetan Maini (CM): According to Frost and Sullivan estimates, the electric vehicle market is set to grow up to 1.2 million globally by 2015 driven by factors such as oil price uncertainties, Government support and technology breakthroughs. As a global leader in the manufacturing of electric vehicles with a focus to enable greater penetration of EVs in new markets, we have today evolved to include franchised manufacturing as one of our business models.

As part of our business strategy REVA will partner with local organisations in select markets whereby REVA cars will be assembled and distributed by the local partner. REVA will support local partner in establishing the assembly plant, quality control, distribution and after sales service. We are exploring opportunities in various markets for expanding through franchised manufacturing.

RK: What practices and initiatives have you introduced in Reva Electric Car Company?

CM: REVA cars have the unique advantage of being built on a rolling chassis which makes the investment in local manufacturing plants very low compared to conventional automobiles. We have ensured that the plant is green and clean from environmental point of view.

RK: What is the eligibility criterion for taking the franchisee of your company?

CM:  The criterion will vary from market to market.

RK: What are the challenges that can be faced by a franchisee in this business?

CM: This model will be successful only with the active support of the local Government in promoting adoption of Electronic Vehicles in the market.

RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?

CM: Young India has a lot of aspirations and there are many promising entrepreneurs with zeal to change and innovate. My advice to all of them would be to never stop ideating, be passionate about your unique proposal and strive to be persistent in overcoming hurdles and challenges to ensure that your ideas are successful.

RK: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?CM:  Today, REVA is selling or test marketing its products in 24 countries across Europe and Asia, as well as Latin and Central America. In India, REVA aims to be present in 25 cities by 2010. Further to our recent technology licensing collaboration with GM, we will leverage our combined distributor network to further penetrate EVs enabling a greater pan-India market presence. We are currently evaluating different markets where we could establish Franchisee relations.

RK: Share with us any new venture that your company has entered into?

CM: Our recent collaboration with General Motors for licensing of REVA technology sees a synergetic partnership between the two companies each bringing their own strengths. As a result, we aim to expand the EV market in India.

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