Even in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stated that “We in India have always believed in sustainability. For us, the law of nature holds great value. If we all observe it, then many man-made laws will not be required. A path becomes sustainable, if all stakeholders are benefited,” while addressing the International Conference on Rule of Law for supporting 2030 Development Agenda.
Rahul Gayam, CTO at Gayam Motor Works is precisely doing that by pushing the sustainability agenda through his innovations of electric vehicles. Tech companies like Big Basket and Ekart are test running his electric three wheeler for delivery while Uber is using his electric bike for testing in Singapore for their local delivery vertical. With a passion for changing the world one step at a time, Rahul Gayam shares his journey as an innovator in India.
Tell us about your Electric Bike and Smart Auto
We at GMW and Limitless make India’s fastest and most value for money Electric three-wheeler and pedal assist bikes, we have developed our products over the past 5 years and built them to withstand Indian road and weather conditions; emphasis has been to make vehicle performance equal to or exceed that of their petrol/CNG counterparts.
What inspired you to make these electric vehicles?
Schooling has been a big part of the inspiration, both me and my brother who is the CEO of GMW took part in various National Children’s Science Congress events and did well up to the national level, the themes for the projects were always about finding solutions to various environmental problems and indigenization of technology, I guess it stuck with us.
Tell us about your background; has it helped you become an innovator?
I have done my Integrated Masters in Physics and am currently a 3rd year Phd student in Electronic Science at University of Hyderabad, while my physics back ground helps me approach R&D of the vehicles in a scientific manner, the work I do as part of my PhD helps me stay on top of various innovations in battery and power electronics technology in the field.
Tell us about the personal challenges faced while choosing to venture into this field.
Except for the bad days and some bad weeks in terms of things not working out the way you expect them to I have not faced any personal challenges as such, my family has always been supportive.
What has been the most fulfilling part of your journey?
The most fulfilling aspect is to know you contributed your bit to not only helping your customers cut costs but at the same time displace a polluting vehicle off the road.
Have you received any support from the government or industry in adopting your vehicles?
We work closely with the Govt of Telangana and AP and have had great experience working with them, both the states are proactive in adoption of new technologies and Electric Vehicles is one of their core focus areas.
What are your plans for the next two years?
Over the next two years we would be deploying pilot projects with our passenger and pickup versions of Electric Three-wheeler and have signed up ecommerce players like Bigbasket and Ekart for the same. A network of service centers would be deployed to enable and grow sales of our pedal assist bikes. Expect a surprise in the form of new concept vehicle for urban commuting.
Have you done any internship during your college years? If yes, has the internship experience helped you in this journey?
In between my MSc and PhD I had interned at a Solar Energy company and Electric Vehicle company in US and this helped the most in terms of giving me the confidence to startup and make products that compete with the best in the segment.
Any advice you would like to give future innovators?
The tools required to innovate are becoming cheaper by the day, knowledge availability is ubiquitous thanks to the internet. This is the best time to innovate but innovation has no meaning if you are unable to market it, this is very important because as Walt Disney said ‘We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies’, your first innovation should be your work-horse that will generate traction, the revenue stream from this will enable you to do what you really love to make.
If you know anyone who has taken up innovation as a career, please do share their story with us!