How Hemalatha Annamalai started her journey as an entrepreneur has an exciting and interesting story behind her. Her journey as an entrepreneur started when she thought of an idea and that idea, she mailed it to one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world, and that is Ratan Tata. Here is what her mail said, ‘In 2000, China sold 40,000 electric vehicles. In 2015, they are selling 32 million vehicles. Why not India?’ Now Ratan Tata gets a thousand of emails every day because he is no way less than any celebrity, and in fact, he is more.
But to her surprise, Ratan Tata not only read her mail but also decided to meet her. When he visited Coimbatore, they have a ten-minute meeting and after that, Ratan Tata was so convinced with the business idea of hers, that he even made an undisclosed personal investment. When she got a reply from Ratan Tata, this is what she had to say about that, ‘He receives over 10,000 emails and yours has to stand out. I wrote to him about the need for the auto industry to be democratized. It should be technology intensive and capital light. Most commercial players focus 80 percent on building brand value and just 20 percent on technology. I also emphasized on having manufacturing units in villages. You have to think-out-of-the-box and dare to do new things. It carries loads up to one tonne and the battery requires about 6-8 hours of charging. Our customers, especially from villages, are happy. The four primary components of the vehicle are the battery, motor, controller and charger. Sixty percent of our components are indigenous and we are working towards making it 100 percent. What is important is your contribution to society. In 2010-11, we sold 1000 electric scooters. We trained 300 women on how to operate it and a team led by Shanthamani are doing an excellent job. Of the eight tonnes of waste that is generated there, four tonnes are collected using electric vehicles. It has empowered many families. The industry has to be democratized. Finances should be rapidly available for companies. The Government should work closely with industries to create awareness. It should support manufacturing units who want to become fully automated. The market is bullish now. Many players have shown confidence. Empowerment must happen at all levels. Relaxation in VAT and Central Sales Tax (CST) will be encouraging. In China, there is zero VAT for electric vehicles. The Tamil Nadu Government should enforce tax-friendly measures. The exemption in any form will be a great boost to the industry. We want to hire engineers, especially from middle-class families, who can contribute to R&D. Currently, 25 percent of my workforce is women. I want to create more women managers.’, she told during her interview with The Hindu.
Hemalatha Annamalai of Ampere Vehicles, being the founder and CEO, only has to say that of course there is a woman behind every successful man, but in her story, there is a man, which is Ratan Tata behind her success story.