Hating to pedal his bicycle every day to errands and go to school, Raj Mehta decided to find a solution. Driven by his conviction that there has to be an easy way to run errands, he set out to find the answer.
Initial thoughts were to explore petrol/ICE engine typically used in motorbikes and mopeds. As he pursued the line of thought, it became apparent that getting the required RTO approvals would be challenging since he was underage.
Raj redefined his problem; he needed an effortless drive that fit his budget and would not require government approvals, and hence started his research from scratch.
While residing at his aunt's place in Ahmedabad, Raj began to open mechanical toys to explore how they worked. One day, it struck him, 'How about an electric conversion kit?' he asked himself. The thought so occupied his mind that he was soon obsessed. In grade 8th, there was nothing in his curriculum related to engineering.
Running from pillar to post looking for answers, Raj reached out to his teachers for help. While his teachers admitted they had no practical experience with what he was endeavouring, they left no stone unturned to lend him theoretical support of gear ratios, the physics of water and energy conversion, etc.
Goal To Create Environment-Friendly Solution
As he started exploring solutions and experimenting, he realised he would need money, which got him to start saving his pocket money. As soon as he amassed 50K, Raj began researching and procuring components. His goal to create an environmentally friendly solution was evident even at that young age.
His quest for the optimum solution required the import of some components. By now, his kitty was running low. To avoid being stalled by insufficient funds, he reached out to his grandfather for a loan, who granted ₹8000 on the condition that he supervises expenses.
Finally, Raj's hard work paid off when the prototype, once fitted to his pedal bicycle. Raj finally had an e-bicycle.
After the success of this initiative, he decided this was what he would want to pursue once he completed his education. Providence, though, had other plans.
Pursuing His Dream
A chance interview with a leading news agency brought Raj and his invention into the limelight, and suddenly, there was a demand for e-kits pouring from all across the country. The outpour of demand acted as the catalyst to fuel Raj's determination to pursue his dream. As a result, despite the trepidations of his father, with the support of his grandfather, at the age of 14, Raj Mehta started Raj Electromotives in 2015, breaking Henry Ford's age bar for starting a business.
Early imports of prototype components had exposed him to banking, import-export modalities, etc. At 17, he became the youngest person to apply for and get an import-export license in 2018.
Raj Electromotives started operations with the production of conversion kits for pedal cycles. The product range grew to include conversion kits for Tricycles for differently-abled people, Bikes (India's first retrofit kit to convert a Petrol Bike to Electric), and Pedal Rickshaws, both for cargo and passenger use.
Raj Electromotives Conversion Kits found quick traction in India and overseas. Currently, the company supplies to over 19 countries across the globe.
Starting Greta Electric Scooters
Young, dynamic, and with a hunger to learn and make a difference, Raj was constantly looking for ways to make the commute easy and effective without adding to the carbon footprint. Out of many of his drawing board plans, the first to take life was Greta Electric Scooters, his venture into 2-wheeler electric vehicles set up in June 2019.
"By now, I knew I wanted to be at the helm of the changing definition of commute in the transportation industry. The success of Raj Electromotives strengthened my resolve to benefit from an easy commute with zero carbon footprint to a larger audience. Greta Electric Scooters makes e-scooters with state-of-the-art features at affordable prices while contributing to a global carbon footprint reduction," Raj Mehta told The Logical Indian.
The startup offers best-in-class comfort and superior performance with 100 km per charge mileage. Currently, it manufactures four models, which come with DRL, EBS, reverse mode, ATA System, smart shift, digital instrument cluster display, keyless start, disc brakes, and anti-theft alarm. They come resplendent in attractive colours and support light designer consoles and extra-large storage space.
"As an inquisitive person at the core, I have made research a way of life at Greta Electric Scooters. There is constant work on exploring new ways to improve the customer experience. The result of the research is consistent enhancement of features and quality of our offerings," Raj said.
"Our vision to be a dominant player in the International markets pushes us to continually upgrade our quality standards according to the norms defined by the industry at home and abroad. The price at which we offer the best in class features and quality makes us stand apart," he added.
Greta Electric Scooters is present in the domestic and international markets. It has opened its first international showroom in Nepal, and e-scooters are under road test in Europe.
To its merit, Greta Electric Scooters has the world's first highest EV Showroom at Leh Ladakh, 3500 meters above sea level.
Despite the ups and downs posed by the pandemic, 2021 was a year of growth for Greta Electric Scooters. The company was able to scale up the business by three times.
Starting with mere funding of ₹8,000, Raj believes the journey has just begun. While focusing on product enhancement, he follows his passion for working on ways and revolutionalising mobility across sectors.
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