Yulu Hopes For A Winner With Wynn

Murali Gopalan
02 Jun 2023
01:14 PM
4 Min Read

The Bengaluru-based company is betting big on its first product in the personal ownership space, which has been developed by Bajaj Auto and is now set to be delivered to more customers in Bengaluru.


As Yulu steps into a new arena with personal ownership, Amit Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO, is keen to ensure that the script goes according to plan.

Developed by Bajaj Auto at its Akurdi plant, Wynn will now be ready for customer deliveries in the coming days. For Yulu, which is synonymous with shared mobility, Wynn marks a foray into the ownership arena and Gupta does not want to leave any stone unturned in this endeavour.

“Customer feedback has been hugely encouraging so far,” he says while referring to the market seeding exercise that has been underway for some weeks now since the time Wynn was unveiled at a price of around INR 55,000. What is equally encouraging is that most customers have opted to pay upfront instead of seeking loans.

“People want to buy Wynn for their parents or siblings which tells us in a way what the brand is about. From our point of view, we think there is an opportunity to create easy mobility. Wynn goes at comfortable speeds and you can trust this bike happily without a care in the world,” says an upbeat Gupta.

Easy Mobility 

While reiterating the Yulu pitch of ‘easy mobility’, it is also a no-brainer that Wynn is not meant for the highways but a five kilometre radius, where it can double up as a useful mobility tool for running errands. The good part, from the user’s viewpoint, is that no licence or registration is needed. Likewise, there is no overhang like a FAME subsidy and “you just pay monthly fees for the battery subscription”.

At the time of announcing Wynn’s price, Yulu had stated that the offering has been born out of years of understanding and research on user behaviour and urban mobility needs of a wide cross-section of customers. Bajaj has a near 20% stake in Yulu and, prior to Wynn, has participated in two significant launches earlier this year: Miracle GR and DeX GR for the shared mobility space. 

At the time of the unveiling of these products in Bengaluru, the underlying message was that this was “a partnership between a mobility tech company and a leading two-wheeler OEM built on the common vision to transform mobility through smart, shared, sustainable, and safe electric vehicles”.

As in the case of Wynn, both the Miracle GR and DeX GR have been tested by users over the last few months and their feedback taken. Consequently, some minor changes have been made in the products keeping customer preferences in mind and Gupta says the stage is now set to increase numbers in Bengaluru and hopefully look to expand in other cities like Hyderabad.


Seeking Ownership 

This has been Yulu’s calling card since it began operations six years ago in shared electric mobility and battery-as-a-service. In recent times, customers have been clamouring for brand ownership and this is where Wynn will hopefully hit the bull’s-eye. 

“There is a lot of demand for the Yulu brand and this is evident from the excitement/ emotion when someone sees a rider. Everyone wants to take this home since it is cool. The market needs something like this compared to a Chinese product, which is unreliable,” says Gupta. 

Yulu is, therefore, coming into this “white space” and the idea is to create a business model that is distinct and unlike premium electric scooter brands like Ather, Chetak etc. Yet, there is clearly an underlying message of nationalism and believing in the India story. “By the end of the day, we are clear about not competing with low quality Chinese products,” he reaffirms.

Wynn, he continues, is “a great product” built by a reputed manufacturer and the closest analogy is a Samsung and not any low grade brand. “We are in an easy speed, easy mobility space and not in the high speed lane with the big guys. We have a backbone of tremendous energy within the organisation and the brand is growing,” says Gupta. GenNext “loves Yulu' but there are many other potential customers who need mobility and are in an older age group.

“With Wynn, you are not dependent on anyone and it is all about individual freedom and mobility,” he adds. Bajaj Auto had no problems either with Yulu’s ownership ambitions since it produces motorcycles and there is no conflict as a result.

In the electric space, Chetak is its flagship scooter brand and it will be interesting to see if the company is open to sharing showroom space with Wynn going forward. Gupta steers clear of commenting on this possibility but hints that “maybe more avatars can be created from this platform and we can coexist without any issue”. 

Working Together

Wynn can also be conceived for export markets, given Bajaj Auto’s domineering presence in ASEAN and Africa and, eventually, the goal is to “work together and create enormous value along with trust and transparency”.

Gupta admits that there is a long journey ahead which will doubtless have its share of challenges but there is every reason to be optimistic since Wynn is about creating opportunity share. Even while these are early days yet, there could be more synergies with Bajaj in terms of sales and distribution too. 

This would be unlike shared mobility offerings like Miracle, where Yulu is more self-sufficient and can work towards creation of demand, supply chain, etc. The other factor that could go in Wynn’s favour, adds Gupta, is the fact that there is “some undercurrent for sure” among customers’ minds on sourcing from China. On the contrary, Bajaj is an established Indian brand which will hopefully draw more buyers to Wynn. 

The association with the company has also helped Yulu access easier financing/ debt capital from top institutions at “interesting” price points. Gupta is equally upbeat about demand for Wynn growing in Tier 2/3 cities where “distances are not so great” and people will not buy expensive products costing INR 1.5 lakh. This is where there could be distribution synergies with Chetak as the Wynn story grows in the future.

Collecting Data 

The other exciting component about the Bajaj-Yulu alliance is the potential of gathering useful data that will play a huge role going forward. “Data is a compounding effect and a company like Tesla has this virtuous cycle of the product getting better. Bajaj knows how to manufacture and we understand what is happening with the bike and with every kilometre. There is an immense amount of compounded learning in the process,” explains Gupta.

It is keeping this in mind that he believes that Bajaj-Yulu can be a win-win partnership where “data is the big differentiator” and can help formulate a host of strategies. For instance, there could be some interesting solutions in the B2B space for two-wheelers where Bajaj can make a mark like it has in the three-wheeler space, where it has a vice-like grip. 

“This is just loud thinking but perhaps they may make another brand in the B2B segment for heavy duty applications in two-wheelers for last mile connectivity,” says Gupta. This will happen when the market opens up for more powerful engines even while Yulu “will not play here since the value creation is critical”. However, this could be a different proposition for Bajaj Auto which is a manufacturer and will have different priorities when it comes to market share/ leadership.

The other part of the Yulu ecosystem is Yuma Energy, the alliance with Magna International of the US, which is “very excited about personal mobility” since this translates into tremendous opportunities in terms of powering more two-wheelers. Wynn’s swappable battery, for instance, can be procured at any station on the Yuma Energy network.

To that extent, this marks “a great beginning for Yuma” and there could be value-addition in the future with other users, which can be monetised so long as there is compatibility in the battery. There are around 100 Yuma stations across Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi, which will be increased to 500 by 2024.

According to Gupta, Yuma can create a network of stations to cater to Yulu initially and there will be more touch paints subsequently. Anyone keen on a swap can access Yuma and, by virtue of being a shareholder, Yulu can get more value too. “There are huge opportunities for sure but I would rather take one thing at a time and ensure that everything is in place first,” signs off Gupta. 

Also Read:

Yulu Opens Bookings For Wynn E2W At INR 999

Yulu Joins Zomato To Make Last-mile Deliveries Green

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