MG Motor India Announces Developer Programme & Grant Season Four

Srinjoy Bal
10 Oct 2022
07:00 PM
3 Min Read

With the theme "Electric Mobility Innovate for India," the fourth season of the MG Developer Programme will focus on expanding the innovation platform for start-ups, developers, and innovators

MGDP Season 4 Jury

In a bid to provide a platform and infrastructural growth opportunities to start-ups, MG Motor India on Monday announced the fourth season of its MG Developer Programme and Grant.

With the theme 'Electric Mobility Innovate for India,' the fourth season of the MG Developer Programme will focus on expanding the innovation platform for start-ups, developers, and innovators. It will not only provide opportunities for solutions and innovative insights into areas such as charging infrastructure, fleet management, electric components, electric batteries, green energy solutions, EV battery life cycle management, connected car solutions, and BaaS but also enable the development of new applications and experiences across the entire EV ecosystem, a press release from MG Motor India said.

The entries for the programme will open on November 10, while the shortlisting for mentorship will commence on November 15. Following this, shortlisted start-ups will be invited for a demo day with the jury members from the fourth week of January 2023. Finally, the winners of the programmes will be announced in the first week of February 2023.

The jury members for the season include Astha Grover, Head, Startup India; Anant Nahata, Managing Director, Exicom; Dr BK Panigrahi, Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Centre for Automotive Research and Tribology (CART), IIT Delhi; Mahua Acharya, MD, and CEO – Convergence Energy Services (CESL); Rakesh Verma, Chairman, MapMyIndia; Dr Rashi Gupta, Founder, and Managing Director, Vision Mechatronics; Sandeep Bangia, Chief Operating Officer- Electric Mobility, Jio-bp (Reliance BP Mobility) and Sanjay Aggarwal, President, Fortum India.

Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motors India, in an interaction with Mobility Outlook, noted that the new age transition in the mobility space is similar to the transition that mobile phones faced a decade back when the industry moved from feature phones to smartphones.

To help start-ups get through these challenges, he believes that all the stakeholders need to engage together; hence, the MGDP was started in 2019.

Deepak Bagla, Managing Director and CEO of Invest India, said that with the transition that is being witnessed in the sector, India has a strong chance to emerge as the leader in the mobility sector, and start-ups will play a part in this.

He added that at present, around 1,376 start-ups are registered, out of which the Government recognised 540. Out of these 540, around 47% of them are currently in the validation stage. While a jump of 113% has been seen in the number of start-ups from FY21 to FY22, the MD stated.

Additionally, 45 of the 1,376 start-ups currently have at least one women member as the director, Bagla said.

“Having a woman on board is not only good from a diversity perspective, but also great the start-up and the organisation's progression,” Gupta added.

This allows for a diversity of ideas and thought processes, which complements the other members in the organisation, and there is a healthier interaction as a community within the company, he opined.

Although the top three States with EV start-ups are Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi, around 48.3% of EV start-ups are from Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities, Bagla noted.

Gupta stated that MG Motor is currently experiencing high demand for EVs in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. This is because while driving in the city, the cost of ownership between an ICE and an EV is not significantly different; however, when travelling to nearby larger cities, EVs provide a lower cost of ownership than ICEs, he explained.

“Although volume is of course, in Tier-1 because of the large population, a very progressive interest is coming from Tier-2 and that is why we find a lot of start-ups coming in from Tier-2,” the MG Motor CCO noted.

Besides helping start-ups with a platform to grow, MG Motor India is also utilising these start-ups for its operations. For example, start-ups like CamCom and RedBot, whose computer vision is being used in the MG plants, and CoinEarth, whose blockchain technology is being used by the carmaker for NFTs and digital passport for its EVs, were all part of previous MGDPs.

“We work with start-ups to help the ideation to move to a proof of concept and actually working in industry,” Gupta said.

Alongside helping start-ups to work with other industry players, MGDP also has UK India Business Council (UKIBC) as a panel member, and they are expecting to share the start-ups of India with the UK market as well.

“We also expect that in future some of the start-ups we work over here in solutions, charging management solutions, IoT based solutions will be shared with our global markets as well,” the CCO added.

Interestingly, over the last three seasons, MGDP has seen around 830 entries to date from 320 in the first season.

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