HeroMotor Corp invests in Ather Energy

Country’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp will invest up to Rs 205 crore in one or more tranches to acquire up to 30% stake in Bengaluru-based Ather Energy Pvt.

“The board of directors of the company, in its meeting held on October 26, 2016, approved an investment of up to Rs 205 crore, in one or more tranches, for approximately 26-30% shareholding in Ather Energy Private Ltd,” Hero MotoCorp said in a BSE filing.

The strategic investment is subject to execution of definitive agreements and completion of certain conditions customary for a transaction of this nature.

It further said: “As the market leader and… a global automotive major, Hero MotoCorp takes the lead in many areas that benefit the environment, customer and the industry.

Adoption of environment-friendly fuel is a priority for Hero MotoCorp, as is propagating sustainable manufacturing through green facilities.”

It added: “Hero MotorCorp intends to enhance its participation in the EV space by pursuing its internal EV programme, in addition to partnering with Ather.”

What needs to be seen is if Hero Motor will direct Ather Energy or vice versa. It will be disastrous if Hero Motor tries to steer the Ather’s “EV-ship” because the EV space needs minds who are not having an “automobile only” experience.

So who gained? Ather or Hero or both? Think what would have happened had HP invested in Apple computers even before a single pc was out… it wouldn’t be the same what Apple achieved on its own… I think this investment did a lot of bad for Ather than good… the HM dealers and the cold cash that Hero brought in are no big bargain as Ather was not looking towards the dealership-thing anyway. HeroMotor was already making Electric bikes so why invest somewhere else? I wonder if it was the Venture Capitalist who got the most benefit from the deal?

Or for that mater Mahindra ne kya ukhada after buying Reva 6 yrs ago? Chetan Maini would have been much better off without Mahindra at least with the sales and overall development and promotion.

Now say if Bajaj invests in Tork they will (knowingly or unknowingly) only try to stop Tork from working to their potential. Every problem/solution might need to travel 5 to 10 levels of managerial hierarchy while if it was with Chetan Maini he would be in his element even if he had to slide under the car and evaluate the situation and take a decision on the spot.

As this big investment plays out in the background the biggest problem in Indian EV industry still remains un-tackled… that of highway charging stations especially interstate. Does Hero Motor have any answer to that? I guess NO.

Are there any startups that are building charging-infrastructure in the country?  If no… why? Are these EV companies even looking out for such charging-network creators… even if they are small time and part time? Are Ather, Tork & Hero Motors even trying to incubate such charging-networks either from their own staff or as a separate division?

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