Varun Goenka CEO of ChargeUp on building India’s largest battery swapping network.
Making it easier and cheaper for e-rickshaw drivers to earn a livelihood.
Today my guest is Varun Goenka, CEO & Co-Founder of ChargeUp. Charge-up offers the simple solution of Battery as a Service (BAAS) to a growing community of 2.4 million E-Rickshaws.
The company enables the e-rickshaw drivers to join the service without any upfront costs. By subscribing to a daily battery rental plan. Charge-up allows the drivers to visit the swapping station as many as 2–3 times a day to swap the discharged batteries with fully charged batteries.
In this episode he talks about how he got started by talking to over 500 drivers, finding huge pain points on the way. He will explain what they are. Talks about working backwards to create product market fit , which they did in 12 months. Talks about traction, the business model and how they use technology and data to grow the business. E.g driver behaviour, patterns, performance analytics and how they leverage the data.
Talks about missing out on the opportunity in solar and what he learned. Talks about the positive impact they have on drivers earnings and the environment. Talks about trying influencer marketing, partnerships with dealers. How fast they are growing. Thoughts on oil/fossil companies. He talks why reading Bhagavad Gita helps and finally he talks about having a growth mindset and why being a backbencher at school helped!
In this conversation we talk about:
- Battery technology
- Product research
- Helping drivers overcome range anxiety & increase revenue
- Overcoming negative feedback from the battery dealers.
- How they stop the theft of batteries
- How they build trust with drivers and dealers
- Having a co-founder with ‘no attitude’
- Pay per use v buying the asset
- ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’ — Albert Einstein
- Last mile connectivity/shared mobility
- Thoughts on the indian Government role in the clean tech space.
- Working on B2B deliveries
- The experience of driving an electric vehicle.
- Thoughts on bootstrapping
and much more
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music by Punch Deck.