Interview box: In conversation with Sachin Jadhav, Chairman and Managing Director, Polarity smart bikes.

Interview by: Deepti Thore

Q: What is the potential of the pedal-assisted bike segment in India? How big is the market?

A. Currently, the pedal-assistant market is not directly categorized unlike bicycle market in India. There are plenty of bicycle manufacturers in the auto component industry but they are not legal permitters. Their numbers are really huge. Even in the motorcycle segment, the numbers are very limited but they have registration. Considering that these are two different areas, we have a certain number of bikes and we have a certain number of bicycles hence we need to categorize it first. It completely depends on the acceptance of people for such a product which is a combo of both, the bicycle and the motorcycle. We are definitely expecting to sell more than one lakh vehicle next year.

Q: A lot of the tech feature is standard on bikes today with the rising customer awareness. What do you think are the USPs of the six bikes?

A. Any pedal-assisted bike launched till date do not offer a speed more than 25 km/hour. The new vehicle with a speed of 25 km/h needs government registration. Our smart bikes have been registered and the users get the RC book, insurance, resale value, bank loan like any other motorbike. This will certainly give an advantage. Offering adjustable seat system, these bikes can be used on-road and off-road by anyone who is fond of gadget technology which enables connection with the vehicle via android and Apple IOS based system. It helps the users to track the vehicle and access it. One can also install a fitness app. and use it for health maintenance.

Q: Are these bikes well-differentiated not to affect the sales of each other?
A. I don’t think it will. The levels of customisation and levels of functionalities this bike offers, I think it’s good that people have that option. Range hoping does not happen ideally, so I am sure each bike will have its own customer base. We are showing the prototype early so that we know who wants what and what quantity. This is why we have started the pre-booking of these bikes.

Q: What is the future of EVs in the two-wheeler segment?

A. Everyone thinks the future of EVs is bright. The ICE’s are here to stay but for EVs it is in a compact space. We will definitely witness a gradual shift to electric and the EVs are going to rise.

Q: You thoughts on economic slowdown? Do you think the automobile sector will revive?

A. We have witnessed slowdown mostly in the ICE industry but they will bounce back. The economy is expected to go up and down, therefore I am positive that the sales will pick up for them. From the EV point of view, we are positive because electric vehicle sales have gone up by 130 per cent YoY for the past two years. The demand for EVs in the market have increased hence I am sure EV has a promising future.

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