We recently shared the news of EMotorad (EM) launching its premium Indian-made e-bikes in the UAE and shared a detailed description of the e-bikes being launched. Today I got to chat with Kunal Gupta, cofounder and CEO of EMotorad, to get into the matter more deeply. Kunal shared his excitement about the e-bikes and some plans that the company has as well as the good news of high sales. The e-bikes are in high demand in his own country, India, which has one of the highest amounts of air pollution in the world. Kunal shared the journey of EMotorad and said he has been in the commute space for several years.
The journey started in 2020 when Kunal realized that consumers wanted e-bikes. He explained that they chose bikes based upon the high and rising consumer demand.
“That is where we started our journey. That is where we started understanding how our consumers go from Point A to Point B and what their actual needs are. And we started understanding what other technological needs were needed in addition to the commute.
“We started understanding and exploring the product more. Back in 2016, we came across our first e-bike. We were traveling abroad and found that there were e-bikes.”
This led Kunal to realize that there was a new segment of transportation that he and his team could learn about and develop. They realized that this was a great market to be in and they began the research and development which included learning about the technology needed. One key problem Kunal wanted to solve was how to develop and bring this product to India, and then bring Indian-made e-bikes to other countries.
“We have a team for marketing, business development, R&D, and technology. This is how we join our hands together and began building a product and started supplying to various markets.”
Within the span of the past six years, Kunal said that they have been supplying to over 72 countries and have large manufacturing businesses in India and abroad.
“We supply to seven of the top largest e-bike companies in the B2B space. And we launched our brand, EMotorad, last year around 14 months back. It has been doing great. We have launched in India as a company. We have launched the vehicles in the UAE. Nepal and Africa are coming very soon.
“So this is what we have been doing. Love this space, love the product, and we’re going global with it.”
The Focus Is On Clean Energy
Kunal explained that the e-bikes are clean energy products and explained why he focused on India and the UAE.
“India is the highest consumer of automobiles in the world. When I say this, the largest number of two-wheelers that are polluting are there in our country. To eliminate that we need to develop certain products that don’t give any air pollution, noise pollution, or anything at all — it’s a clean energy product.”
Kunal pointed out that the idea has been accepted all across the country and that he’s hopeful that India is able to shift to clean energy by 2025. He added that the government has been supportive and has come up with several plans to support clean energy companies such as EMotorad.
“We are very optimistic and positive about the future of clean energy in our country and across the globe.”
The UAE Launch
Kunal said that they had an investment of $500,000 to launch in the UAE and that the market has responded extremely well to the products.
“People are very well educated and the government has been promoting EV products a lot there. They are coming up with separate lanes for e-bikes. Also, the costs are lower there. Since they are very knowledgeable, we have seen a lot of sales there and a lot of good companies coming in buying the products for their employees.”
One company mentioned was Noon, which is an online shopping app similar to InstaCart where you order products online and have them delivered. However, the difference is that InstaCart is primarily groceries and with Noon you can pretty much buy anything.
“In the UAE, Noon has been promoting us at its stores.”
Kunal shared that EMotorad is now eyeing the USA.
“We are hoping to launch in the U.S. very, very soon.
“We have strong plans to launch there soon.”
He explained that they are still researching and developing but that the first product they will launch here will most likely be Doodle, which has a full twist throttle and quick-release rechargeable battery for charging. It has anti-jerk shock absorbers for potholes (Louisiana would be a great testing ground for that, as we are pothole country here). It can also endure moderate rains and dust — and it has responsive e-brakes.
Learn more about the Doodle’s specs here.
There’s another bike that they haven’t released yet that they plan to launch here as well. It’s called Magnum.
“It’s a very powerful bike specially made for all countries, like the US, where high-speed bikes are welcome. It’s a very high-speed and sturdy bike specially made for the US.”
I asked him to share the timeline of when EMotorad would launch here in the US. Kunal said that they were targeting December 30th or December 31st, which isn’t all that far away, or even a bit earlier.
“Hopefully by Christmas of this year, but let’s see if everything goes well.”
The fact that they are aiming for a Christmas Day launch is unique in itself. Here in the US, that is toward the end of the holiday shopping season. However, money is a common gift for the holidays, along with gift cards. Although the launch will miss the chaotic holiday shopping season, it’s actually a unique time to launch a new e-bike and prime for those looking towards the new year with resolutions in mind.
This shows that not only do Kunal and his team know the US market fairly well, but well enough to understand the impact of launching the product after the busiest shopping season of the year. It shows they are thinking about the long-term needs of American consumers more than a short-term pop. I think the e-bikes will do well here, especially in the busier cities where traffic is a serious issue and bike commuting has been rising.
Africa & Future Plans
Kunal also touched upon plans to launch in several African countries, and he pointed out that EMotorad designs its products to meet the needs of specific countries. Examples of these are the bikes tailored for the UAE and the new Magnum that is coming which is tailored for countries such as the US.
He didn’t say which government of an African country he was referring to, but noted that he is working with one of them to launch a product there. (Note that when he mentions Africa, he’s talking about the various markets/countries there that EMotorad is working with, not generalizing them under one continent as all the same.)
“Africa is a large continent and we cater to various countries. We are trying to become a global brand that is launching a green product that is usable for every single country.
“Whatever country we go to, we customize the product according to country’s needs. No two countries have the exact same demographics or spending budget. So we make the product according to the country’s needs and then we launch it.
“We have big plans for the world and hopefully we will come to the US very soon to cater to the markets there.”
I asked Kunal to give an example of the UAE’s needs compared to a few countries in Africa that he is working with.
“The UAE is a market where consumers have a high spending capacity compared to the African markets. So we can launch very high-quality products in the UAE. Also, the roads are very strong in the UAE as compared to some in the African markets.”
He added that budgets in Africa may not be as high as budgets in the UAE, which has quite high per capita income.
Another key component is the travel demands of consumers. In some countries of Africa, he explained, consumers may not travel as far as they do in the UAE. Creating an e-bike for different markets means incorporating design relative to the travel patterns there, financial norms, and any other specific needs or habits of the countries.
“If we want to become a global company, we have to understand the countries’ needs and develop a product according to that.”