Interview with Mr. Raj Mehta, Founder of Greta Electric Scooters, The Youngest Founder of an Automobile Company
As the founder of Greta Electric Scooters, Raj Mehta holds the distinction of being the youngest entrepreneur to establish an automobile company.
Raj’s foray into the electric vehicles industry began at the age of 12 when he invented a battery-powered bicycle on his own. This marked the initial phase of his journey towards establishing Raj Electromotives Pvt. Ltd.
At the age of 14, Raj established Raj Electromotives, and by the time he turned 17, he had secured an import-export license, thereby becoming the youngest entrepreneur to do so.
Driven by his vision to make transportation affordable while simultaneously reducing the global carbon footprint, Raj founded Greta Electric Scooters in June 2019. This subsidiary of Raj Electromotives Pvt. Ltd. is dedicated to the manufacturing of electric scooters.
In addition to running his business and bringing his vision to life, Raj prioritizes his education. He has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Automobile Engineering while concurrently working on his business.
Tell us a little about yourself
Raj Mehta: I hail from a family of businessmen. Operating in non-technical businesses of Jewelry, Secured Finance, and Bullion Trading of Gold/Silver Bars, my father and grandfather taught me finance management and the importance of money in finance.
My farming lineage gives me the ability to stay grounded. From a very young age, I had the good fortune to accompany my father, Shri Shaileshbhai Bipinchandra Mehta and grandfather, Late Shri Bipinchandra Badamilal Mehta to their respective business meetings.
Being a quiet person, I listened well during the sessions; their patient answers to my unending questions as we headed home were lessons I treasure.
My parents also taught me social responsibility through their active contribution to social programs in our community.
My younger sibling Rajvi – is pursuing her BSC in Yoga. Our family has been in business for over 150 years.
On the educational front, I have completed BE in Automobiles and am pursuing MBA from Swarnim Startup & Innovation University.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey
Raj Mehta: Compelled to ride my bicycle for many miles for errands, I wanted it to be simpler. Naturally lazy, I wished for a solution to take the toil out of the task.
As they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” one thing led to another, and I fumbled with the idea of building an electric engine for my bicycle.
I was around 11 yrs old then, but even then, I was aware of the significance of developing an environmentally sustainable solution.
Once the possibility of having an electric engine for a toil-free ride took root in my mind, I was hooked. If there was no solution in the market, I wanted to make one.
Researching and seeking help from my teachers and anyone I could find, by the age of 12, I managed to create a workable model of an e-kit that converted by cycle into an e-cycle.
The challenge of making it, the research experimentation, and finally, the sweet success, not to miss the convenience it lent – I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
At that stage, not in the foggiest did I envisage starting a company, but an unexpected interview with a leading news agency got viral, causing a flood of demand for e-kits and lo! Behold!
I was in business. I was all of 14 when I set up Raj Electromotives, becoming the youngest entrepreneur in the automotive industry.
During my initial prototyping days, I realised that the production of e-kits would require the import of a few critical components.
Hence once we started the company, I applied for an import-export license becoming the youngest person to ever apply for one and be awarded one at the age of 17.
None of this would have happened had my grandfather not stepped in to loan me INR 8K in exchange for getting complete visibility of my finances as collateral.
Raj Electromotives started operations by producing conversion kits for pedal cycles. It soon expanded its portfolio to include conversion kits for tricycles for differently-abled people, bikes (India’s first retro-fitment kit to convert a Petrol Bike to Electric), and pedal, freight and passenger rickshaws.
Raj Electromotives Conversion Kits found traction both in the domestic and overseas markets. Today Raj Electromotives Pvt. Ltd. supplies globally to more than 19 countries.
The drive to expand my vision of a clean commute led to setting up Greta Electric Scooters in June 2019. Greta Electric Scooters is dedicated to manufacturing e-scooters. It received its ICAT permit in late 2019.
Greta Electric Scooters has made its presence in India and Nepal and are under road test in select European markets.
Our showroom at Leh & Ladakh has given us the privilege of having an EV showroom at the highest altitude.
The journey so far has been a roller-coaster ride. I am striving to be a front-runner in spearheading the changing face of transportation.
Kindly brief us about Greta Electric Scooters, its specialisation, and its services
Raj Mehta: Greta Electric Scooters is an electric scooter manufacturer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raj Electromotives Pvt. Ltd, founded 2019.
Greta Electric Scooters was my second initiative, an extension of my vision to make commuting accessible and affordable for the largest audience without adding to the carbon footprint.
Greta Electric Scooters offers affordable two-wheeler electric scooters with state-of-art features. Over the 3-years, we have introduced four models in the market.
All four models come with DRL, EBS, reverse mode, ATA System, smart shift, Digital instrument cluster display, keyless start, disc brakes and anti-theft alarm.
They come in attractive colours and support light designer consoles with extra-large storage space. Greta Electric Scooters offer best-in-class comfort and superior performance with mileage of a max of 100 km per charge.
What inspired you to start an electric two-wheeler manufacturing company?
Raj Mehta: To create an affordable mode of transportation that would revolutionalise the transportation industry. I chose the 2-wheeler segment as it is the 2-wheelers that form the backbone of the country, and if I wanted to do anything transformational, it had to start here.
My vision is to have Greta penetrate the remotest of regions in the country, making commuting easy in the cleanest manner possible.
Can you share some challenges you faced while setting up this company, and how did you overcome them?
Raj Mehta: Like every other start-up, I had my share of challenges, but given my age, my hurdles were a bit different.
Initially, I intended to find a solution that took the load off the manual peddling of my bicycle and not establish an enterprise.
But, once I decided to commercialise my idea, I faced the same challenges as most start-ups: idea validation, funding, market knowledge, defining the USP, people management, procurement, establishing a supply chain, and understanding the fundamentals of financial management and operations.
Being young, it took a lot more hard work, questioning, and harsh measures to drive the learning home; also, for a lot of legal work, I had to collaborate with elders, which had its own challenges.
All said, I believe the key is to take the leap and fine-tune along the way. Till date we are perfecting at both Raj Electromotives and Greta Electric Scooters.
What is the unique selling point of your electric two-wheelers compared to other companies in the market?
Raj Mehta: I believe my vision differentiates me from the rest. I am driven by my single-minded mission of making commuting easy and affordable for the majority, with a clear focus on safety first.
We have brought a line-up of affordable 2-wheelers with safety, state-of-the-art features, and high quality to the market.
Understanding that each customer has a different requirement underlined our approach to leave the choice of battery to the customer. The customer can now tailor the vehicle to fit hi/s her need & pocket.
How do you plan to expand your market reach and increase your customer base?
Raj Mehta: Being a player in an industry that is exploding, growth is not an option; it is a way of life. I want to make Greta Electric Scooters a leading player in the EV two-wheeler segment.
We are aggressively expanding our footprint nationwide as a step in the direction. My vision is to educate the customers and give them the experience to help them make an educated purchase. I intend to have an experiential zone in most of our touchpoints to achieve that.
With E-scooters under road test in Europe, we hope to see them grace those markets too. Working towards the goal, our focus has been to be competitive and pass the stringent international standards focusing on incorporating the state of art features and delivering quality in line with the standards.
How do you plan to tackle the challenge of infrastructure development for electric vehicles in the country?
Raj Mehta: Our current models are designed to charge from any power socket.
Not being a charger dependent as of now, association or collaboration with EV Charger manufacturers is not on the charts.
Our focus is to bring better than the best to our customers, with safety as the paramount focus.
Can you share your thoughts on the government’s recent initiatives to promote electric mobility in India?
Raj Mehta: Given the 2070 goal of the government to be a net zero-emission country, EV is the area of development focus.
As an industry experiencing explosive growth, EV has attracted many new players, resulting in a proliferation of start-ups in this space.
Driven by favourable government policies and increasing environmental awareness, the industry has seen traction for EVs.
The Indian government has launched several initiatives in recent years to promote electric mobility, create a conducive environment for the growth of the EV industry and make electric vehicles more accessible to consumers, demonstrating the government’s commitment to the goal. EV is a growth sector with loads of opportunities & lots of work to be done.
What is your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?
Raj Mehta: The quote I always use is- Try, Try until you succeed; success requires consistent effort, and one needs to take the learning from each failure and use it as a stepping stone to success
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