Gulf Oil Lubricants India, a subsidiary of the Hinduja Group, is developing a strategy to penetrate the e-mobility value chain. The Mumbai-based firm, which is one of India's leading lubricant players, recently announced a 26% purchase, valued at roughly Rs 14.5 crore, in Delhi-based Techperspect Software, popularly known as ElectreeFi.
The startup, which is primarily a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider to electric vehicle companies, provides IoT-based e-mobility solutions such as charger management software solutions, battery swapping management system, EV fleet management system, and software to support charging and grid load management.
The company's Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ravi Chawla, stated that the association with ElectreeFi is intended to utilize its over 100,000 pan-India touchpoints as well as ties with automotive An original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and industrial clients to deliver a complete range of solutions to both Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). He further stated that the firm will utilize synergies with other Hinduja Group companies such as United Kingdom (UK)-based Switch Mobility, Ashok Leyland, and OHM Worldwide Mobility in India and global markets.
In February 2021, the company entered into an agreement with Gulf Oil International (GOI) to participate and co-invest in the government's recent investment in Indra Renewable Technologies, a UK-based Electric Vehicle (EV) and smart energy technology company developing charging and energy storage solutions for home and commercial use, along with the Clean Growth Fund (CGF). Gulf Oil invested around Rs 15 crore for a 7.5% strategic investment in Indra Renewable, a maker of automobile chargers. Chawla explains the reasoning, saying that the corporation is creating an ecosystem by investing in specialist companies in those industries that may "Benefit us on a longer-term basis" .
So, what is it about ElectreeFi that drew Gulf Oil to it in the first place, despite the fact that there are numerous other established SaaS firms in the e-mobility space? Gulf Oil officials, for their part, note to ElectreeFi's experience in working with OEMs of all types in the EV ecosystem, including those making vehicles, chargers, and batteries, among other things.
The top five EV OEMs in the country are clients of the country's SaaS platform supplier, which controls roughly 40% of the four-segment market. The business is said to be in various stages of conversations with practically all of the main companies, including TVS Motor, Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle & Scooters, Ola Electric, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Kia, Audi, Mercedes, and MG Motor, among others. In fact, MG Motor India recently announced the installation of about 1000 electric chargers in residential housing societies and other sites in just a few days, utilising a white label application offered by ElectreeFi.
The top five EV OEMs in the country are clients of the country's SaaS platform supplier, which controls roughly 40% of the four-segment market. The business is said to be in various stages of conversations with practically all of the main companies, including TVS Motor, Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle & Scooters, Ola Electric, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Kia, Audi, Mercedes, and MG, among others. In fact, MG Motor India recently announced the installation of about 1000 electric chargers in residential housing societies and other sites in just a few days, utilising a white label application offered by ElectreeFi.
According to Sumit Ahuja, Director (Business & Strategy) and Co-founder of Techperspect (ElectreeFi), while B2B sales remain a priority, the larger change will occur when the business launches a subscription model for B2C format. Our platform has already served 25,000-30,000 EV consumers. When this figure hits 100,000 to 1,50,000, we will begin commercializing our B2C operations, Autocar Professional spoke with Ahuja.
ElectreeFi's entry into car OEMs should be seen in the light of these firm's goals and investments in the EV industry. After being chosen as one of the 500 startups, ElectreeFi is stated to have completed a successful trial with Maruti Suzuki in the EV charging area.
Similarly, Hero MotoCorp, the country's largest manufacturer of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) motorcycles, plans to launch its 'Vida' brand of its first ever electric two-wheeler by establishing two greenfield plants in West and South at an estimated cost of Rs 1500-2000 crore and with a capacity to produce 50 lakh electric two-wheelers annually. In addition, the business has invested across Bengaluru based Ather and collaborated with Taiwanese firm Gogoro to build up battery swap stations in the nation.
While there is still a large market to be taken in India and overseas in the context of the EV ecosystem, Ahuja believes that the greater game would be to eventually go into power management. We receive a share of the power charged by your system if it exceeds a specific kilo watt (kW). That is the model we are considering. Once that happens, a firm our size will be worth Rs 8000-10,000 crore in the next 10-12 years. Because opportunity exists not only in India, but all around the world He went on.
The Gulf Oil money has also aided ElectreeFi in attracting top talent for its planned Research and Development (R&D) in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Currently, the firm employs around 20 people, in addition to 6-7 consultants.
Given that demand for lubricants from categories such as buses, trucks, and other large vehicles would take time to convert, analysts predict that India's lubricants business will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)of 2-3% over the next 15 to 20 years. This is an estimated timescale for Gulf Oil to prepare for the imminent transition to an EV-oriented eco-system. Gulf Oil's influence will be mostly from its two-wheeler market, as it has little representation in the three-wheeler category. Furthermore, 95% of its revenue comes from the replacement market, with only 5% coming from new automobiles.