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Tarun Mehta, Swapnil Jain, 29, 29

Co-founders, Ather Energy

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After much research, IIT Madras batchmates Mehta (right) and Jain were convinced that manufacturers of electric scooters in India were only building low-cost and under-powered vehicles. So in October 2013, the duo set up Ather Energy in Bengaluru, with a mission to build an electric scooter that could either match the performance of a petrol-powered scooter or do better. Five years and $63 million in venture capital later, Ather Energy launched two electric scooters— the Ather 340 and 450, priced at ₹1.11 lakh and ₹1.23 lakh, respectively. “The A450 goes from zero to 40 km in 3.9 seconds, whereas a 125cc scooter can do it in 4.1 to 4.2 seconds; we’re faster,” says Mehta. Both scooters have a GSM-enabled 7-inch touch screen dashboard. “You can run Google Maps on the dashboard without the need of your mobile phone,” says Mehta, the CEO (Jain is CTO). At present, the scooters are sold only in Bengaluru and have a waiting period of six to seven months. In May, India’s e-commence poster boy Sachin Bansal invested $32 million in Ather Energy, after being convinced that it is building products which would be the future of urban mobility.

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