Goal is to create ecosystem for EVs: Greaves Cotton MD

‘Will serve needs for parts, maintenance, multi-brand items’

Engineering firm Greaves Cotton is engaged in transforming itself into a green-energy entity with a focus on electric mobility. It has made acquisitions in the electric vehicle (EV) space. The company has planned capital investment of ₹700 crore over 10 years in its upcoming plant in T.N., said MD and Group CEO, Nagesh Basavanhalli. Excerpts:


How are you transforming into a green-energy entity?

We have a rich legacy of over 162 years and change is not new for us. The past four years have been strategic in terms of enabling that move towards a transformation into a green-energy company. Our goal is to get closer to the consumer; hence this shift towards a more B2C and B2B approach.

What is your strategy for the EV business?

Our strategy is geared toward fostering inclusivity among Greaves’ primary business verticals. We hope to achieve this by leveraging enablers within the company, such as Greaves Financing, Greaves Retail, and Greaves Technology, to create synergies among our verticals, which include automotive, non-automotive and electric mobility.

We [also] have over 7,000 retailers and 12,000 mechanics who are being reskilled in EV technology. Our primary goal is to create an entire ecosystem that caters to both B2B and B2C segments, serving as a one-stop shop for EV needs ranging from spare parts to periodic maintenance, multi-brand EV products, and aftermarket solutions.

What is the roadmap?

We have made 3 strategic acquisitions in the EV domain — Ampere scooters, ELE rickshaws and MLR autos. The long-term plan is to retool for the future. Our Ranipet plant will be ready by this year-end. We are making a total capital investment of ₹700 crore over the next 10 years here. This plant will have a capacity to produce up to a million units.

What are your plans for multi-brand EV retail?

The notion of multi-brand electric vehicle store may be found all over the world, but it is a relatively recent phenomena in India. We are inspired by the response we have received for this format. Our goal is to be present not only in major metro centres, but also in emerging and small communities, with an emphasis on Generation Z and millennials. We’ve successfully started ‘AutoEVMart,’ our first multi-brand EV retail store in Bengaluru.

How are you ensuring domestic sourcing?

Battery cells are imported from outside India… Greaves is on a Make-in-India mission, with committed and planned resources, localised in accordance with the FAME II strategy, and continuing to cooperate with a large number of Indian suppliers and developing a still-evolving supplier ecosystem. One reason we chose Ranipet is, it is located in the Bangalore-Chennai corridor and regarded as an automotive belt; a large portion of our supply chain is located here.

Who is buying EVs? Which region is fuelling demand?

Thanks to FAME II and government policies of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi… [here] high demand is witnessed; in many cases demand is surpassing supply as due to the government subsidies, there has been a change in consumer behaviour. Bengaluru has been the EV capital, thus there has always been a demand there. We are also seeing first-time buyers like Gen Z, millennials, college students, retail consumers buying EVs. Increase in petrol prices, too, has been a factor for faster adoption of EVs.

In B2B, people who [offer] shared rides and those transporting goods… have seen deliveries skyrocketing during [the pandemic].

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