Jhumarmal Pannaram Tunwal, Founder
Amit Kumar Pannaram Mali, Co-Founder
The world is on the cusp of a mobility revolution that will be Electric Vehicle (EV) driven, and the domestic manufacturers of EVs are leading this disruptive change to secure a strategic position in the global value chain,” says Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. Unlike in the motor vehicle revolution of the 19th century, India is striving hard to ascertain that we rely on indigenous brands during the on-going EV revolution, and the exponentially growing reputation of home-grown EV brands like Tunwal E-Motors Pvt. Ltd. is definitely helping this cause.
Over the last five years, Tunwal has been riding on a massive growth curve by building trust and creating awareness among customers, while keeping the margins low, rather than focusing on the profit. This impeccable approach is complimented by the robust experience of the company’s founder, Jhumarmal Pannaram Tunwal, in the electronic components industry and running successful ventures in the past. This has helped the company build a solid ground-work, and also quickly adapt to the changing technology and
management trends. CIO Insider engages in an exclusive chat session with the founder & co-founder of Tunwal E-Motors.
In conversation with Jhumarmal Pannaram Tunwal, Founder & Amit Kumar Pannaram Mali, Co-Founder, Tunwal E-Motors Pvt. Ltd.
What’s the inception story of Tunwal? What inspired you to venture into the EV industry?
It was in 2013 Tunwal Group on-boarded this mission to pilot the country’s transportation industry to a greener future. In fact, it was also the year the government pulled the plug on subsidy on EVs after just two years of its introduction. Needless to say, we had a tough start. But by keeping the head down, and working tirelessly, our team was able to perfect the art of assembling the electronic parts and build e-bikes, which later became a sensation in the Maharashtra region. When the industry started to grow again, we kept in mind the convenience, price, adapt-ability, battery life, speed and mileage, and toiled away in developing perfect products that essentially met the needs and requirements of the customers. I have to say that our efforts paid off eventually, and there was no turning back ever after.
Niti Aayog pegs EV sales penetration in India for two- and three- wheelers at 80 percent by 2030. Where is Tunwal positioned in the current EV industry?
We are all set to start production in our new manufacturing plant, which boasts a production capacity of 20,000 units per month. This includes manufacturing of motors, chargers, and batteries. While we have greater grip on the price since we manufacture components in-
house; this coupled with keeping the margins low for our products, we focus on building trust and educating the customers, rather than focusing on the profit.
We continue to capture the pan India market, despite the fact that we have already captured markets in almost 17 states and have also started with exports to Nepal and now we are going to start exporting to Bangladesh very soon as well.
That sounds like an impeccable growth journey. What makes your EVs unique? What do you do differently?
A business plan that was well-conceived, an agile approach of updating products as per consumer requirements & with respect to futuristic technologies, being able to inspire the team a positive culture, and our willingness to take risks make us the best brand. A positive, healthy work environment has been a catalytic to the growth of the company.
We have a meticulous Quality Assurance division. From design to manufacturing and assembly, every product goes through durability & reliability tests that are in fact a lot more stringent than the roads in India. This helps us ascertain that the customers get the best quality products that exceed their expectations with respect to every parameter.
We kept in mind the convenience, price, adaptability, battery life, speed and mileage, and toiled away in developing perfect products that essentially met the needs and requirements of the customers
Tell us about your range of products and innovations in powering them.
At Tunwal E-Motors, we have developed a wide range of e-Vehicles that are unique with respect to various parameters ranging from speed to mileage, battery life, comfort and convenience. Most importantly, each of our products is built keeping in mind the quality and safety. All our e-Bikes are ARAI certified.
Moreover, all our e-Bikes come with a digital speedometer, tubeless tires, and high rigid tubular frame. We use BLDC motors for higher efficiency, and Lead Acid battery and Li-ion battery in models that come with one and two years of warranty respectively. Also, Tunwal E-Motors offers a wide range of color options with our bikes. The additional features that we have incorporated also include an anti-theft alarm and smart locking system amongst others. More than anything else, we have made sure that our e-Bikes’ prices are economical, as well as we sell our e-Bikes under government subsidy schemes.
We currently have a total of 12 low speed models with advanced batteries to suit a diverse range of customers. Recently, we have also launched a few high speed models including one bike
and four electric scooters. Some of our low speed models include Storm Zx, Lithino (Mini, Pro, Li, & 2.0), Elektrika, Sport63 (48v, 60v & Alfa), Roma, and Alfa Pro, while high speed models are namely T133, Elektrika 60 Li Plus, Storm ZX Plus, RomaS, and TEM G33 Additionally, we also have a couple of models that are designed specifically for handicapped & senior citizens, which are called Storm Advance Dual Seater & Single Seater.
What are the initiatives adopted for creating awareness among people about the advantages of EVs and what’s your marketing strategy?
As a matter of fact, I ride the bikes that we manufacture. We believe that our business is not just about building a loyal customer base, but also about building a better, cleaner and greener future for the generations to come. As an exponentially growing brand in India’s evolving e-Bike market, we wish to be the benchmark of applying affordable eco-friendly technology. The initiatives by the Government are stirring up a revolution and this helps us in driving marketing & society awareness campaigns through almost all mediums possible, thanks to our upgraded, alluring technology as well.
“From design to manufacturing and assembly, every product goes through durability & reliability tests that are in fact a lot more stringent than the roads in India”
Tell us about your team. Also, how would you describe your workplace
environment? How did it adapt to the pandemic situation?
The lion’s share of credit of our success goes to the dedicated efforts of our team. Their passionate and uncompromised approach has been the most crucial part of our credibility and intact reputation in the market.
At Tunwal E-Motors, our engineers are working in a state-of-the-art factory where international quality and safety standards are followed to manufacture the best quality eco-friendly vehicles. Like almost all other companies in the world, especially in the manufacturing industry, the pandemic gave us a tough time in the beginning. But we gradually resumed work, strictly adhering to the safety guidelines. We had advance bookings of more than 2500 units at that time. We soon resumed our other offices as well, while leveraging the technology to take maximum functions online, including closing the projects and conducting meetings. Now things have changed as there is 40 percent increase in sales.
Going forward, how is Tunwal planning its future?
Carving a niche in the industry, we have set a new benchmark by providing an array of premium electric bikes that are eco-friendly and pocket-friendly for our consumers. The price of our vehicles roughly ranges from Rs.32,000 to Rs.125000.
Apart from this we have started our own motor manufacturing plant to have complete localization. Additionally, we have even started with inbuilt chargers manufacturing to come up with 10,000 unit sales per month within a span of four-to-five months.
Over the last few years, Tunwal E-Motors has manifested massive growth. Most importantly, in the next two years, keeping the margins low for our products, we are heading towards building trust and educating more customers, rather than focusing on the profit.