Ather Energy are a Bangalore-based company who’ve been working on a powerful, performance-packed electric scooter. Founded by two IIT Madras engineers in 2013, Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, Ather is now all set to start the mass production of the S340 e-scooter. And as the company transitions from an ambitious start-up to a full-fledged contender in the scooter market, they’ve made some significant new hires, primarily from the supply chain and sales sectors.
What is the Ather S340?
A scooter that’s designed to behave like a performance machine, minus the fuel guzzling and excessive emissions. Just a few days back, we’d prepared a list of excellent scooters found globally that we miss here in India. Looks like the S340 could make us miss them a lot less. It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, developed by the folks at Ather themselves. It’s expected to be capable of speeds close to 72km/h. The exact range hasn’t been specified yet, but its makers claim that it will be a reasonably good figure for city commutes – close to 60-80km.
Another highlight in this new scooter is the connectivity. Mounted where you’d ordinarily find the clocks and meters, is a touchscreen instrument panel that doubles up as a navigation device. Further, a smartphone app allows the rider to sync his phone with the scooter in order to track it from a remote location.
Why is Ather hiring senior supply chain and sales professionals at this stage?
Despite the strong confidence in their product and in the future of electric mobility, Ather are aware that what they’re offering is a new concept. To get the S340 to adapt to this market, they need to package it as a viable, practical tool for the Indian roads. And for that they need all the expertise and experience they can find. Especially when considering the costing and marketing it will take to aim for a price-tag below Rs 1 lakh.
One of the major new additions to the company is their new head of process excellence, Dr Sreeram, who comes with 18 years worth of experience in setting up processes and systems for the likes of GE and Caterpillar. Then there’s Richard J Kim, a former Hyoseong Electric employee who will now be serving as VP, strategy and supply chain at Ather. The new VP of sales and customer service is Pradeep Kumar, previously head of customer service and risk mitigation at Payback, a loyalty/rewards programme.
It’s not all sales, supply chain and customer service though. Ather has also brought in Indian Intitute of Science and National University of Singapore alumnus Rajaram Swaminathan as head of hardware design.