Her enthusiasm is infectious. She can sell ice to Eskimos. She doesn’t take no for an answer. There are no pauses between sentences when she talks, and before she’s done telling you about her dream of building ‘the Tesla Motors of India’, you are already rooting for her to succeed. What’s more, she already has the backing of two biggest Indian corporate honchos, Ratan Tata and Infosys co-founder, Kris Gopalakrishnan, who believed in her vision and have invested in her company. Meet Hemalatha Annamalai, CEO of Coimbatore-based Ampere Vehicles, who wants to lead the electric vehicles revolution in India. Her company manufactures electric cycles, scooters, three-wheelers and specially designed vehicles for the differently-abled.
The idea stemmed up in 2007, when Annamalai attended a conference in Japan, along with her husband Bala Pachyappa. One of the speakers at the conference spoke about electric vehicles being the future. “It definitely got me thinking. I realised that we have a lot of technology acumen in India and yet we are happy entering into partnerships with MNCs and giving them market access or copying their technology. How long are we going to write codes? This has to change. So, I decided to pack my bags and come back to India to start my venture,” says Annamalai. She, along with her family, was in Singapore at that time. She was all set.