‘Electric BharatMala’ to foster entrepreneurship and protect the environment

StartupnREV’s John Kuruvilla and Gautam Khot will undertake the 14,216 kilometers journey across the country, on electric motorbikes, to exhort the youth to take path in entrepreneurship, and drive home the message of environment sustainability.

This will be an ‘electrifying ride’ as the two riders will set off, on a 54-day journey spanning 14,216 kilometers (kms), on heavy duty electric motorcycles, Made in India, travelling the borders of the country. 

This is beyond an adventure trip as the duo will connect with the youth enroute across colleges, to drive home the important message of entrepreneurship and sustainability.

Aptly called the “Electric BharatMala”, this is an initiative of StartupnREV, led by John Kuruvilla and Gautam Khot, who are multi-faceted personalities with experiences across the corporate and startup worlds, and now want to exhort the youth of the country to get out of their comfort zone and StartUp. There has been no better time than NOW in our country to StartUp with plethora of incentives from central and state governments, ample high-quality money chasing great ideas and founders and incubators and accelerators across the country providing the much needs resources and infrastructure for growth.

Karnataka’s Transport Minister, B. Sriramulu formally launched this initiative on January 6, and said that "This is the first time that an attempt is being made to cover 14000+ kilometers on an electric motorcycle. It is also an attempt to create a new World record. I am very happy that such an initiative is being undertaken under the flagship Make In India program of our Hon. Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi by EV startups from Karnataka" .

The journey will begin on February 4, 2022 from Bengaluru on electric motorbikes – Mantis from Orxa Energies and traverse literally around the country, totaling 14,216 kms. With the team scheduled to complete the journey and return back to Bangalore by the 29th of March.

Upon successful completion, the journey would beat the current World Record of the longest journey by electric motorcycle of 12,379 km, which was achieved by Italian friends Nicola Colombo and Valerio Fumagalli who rode through 11 countries, starting in Shanghai, China, and ending in Milan, Italy, from June 10 to July 23, 2013.

Coming back to the feat aimed by John and Gautam, on the Mantis the other key partners in this journey will be Charzer, a network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, SpareIT – provider of EV-ready service & spares network, and PotHoleRaja, whose mission is to fix the potholes whilst creating awareness of road safety. Yourstory, a leading digital media platform in the country is also a collaborator in this project.

During the journey the core mission of these two riders will be to interact with students from various colleges across the path and ignite their passion for entrepreneurship. Having seen various changes across the corporate world and now being part of the startup accelerator – Brigade Reap, the duo understands the path the youth in India need to take in the present environment.

John and Gautam clearly see the changes that have been brought about by technology and this coupled with innovation from bright young minds will certainly bring much bigger changes to our country and society as a whole.

The mission statement of StartupnREV says, “In today's Digital1st environment, India requires young entrepreneurs to take advantage of the country's challenges and ever-expanding commercial opportunities both in Urban and Rural India. We are encouraging individuals to be self-reliant in making decisions about supplying resources and producing wealth and employment through innovation and entrepreneurship.”

This is perhaps the apt time for fostering the seeds of entrepreneurship among the youth of the country and given the innumerable interaction that John and Gautam will have with college students during this trip covering 50 places, they would be best placed to pass on their wisdom as well as guide them on their path.

The challenging journey will also drive another important message on the crisis which is faced by every country in the world, which is of an impending ecological disaster a key contributor being a result of Fossil fuel driven mobility. Moving to alternate and more sustainable forms of transportation can help mitigate risks to the environment.

The electric motorbikes of John and Gautam will drive home the message about ecological sustainability as clean fuel is being used in these vehicles.

Left to Right: Dr.Prajwal Sabnis, Co-founder, Orxa Energies | Sourabh Kumar, Co-founder, PotHoleRaja | John Kuruvilla, Chief Mentor, Brigade REAP | Gautam Khot, CTO, Brigade REAP | Sameer Ranjan Jaiswal, CEO, Charzer | Ranjita Ravi, Co-founder, Orxa Energies | Prashant Kamdar, Founder, SpareIt | Romi Chugh, Co-founder, SpareIt

In India the Adoption of battery powered Electric Vehicles is plagued with issues like Range anxiety, Availability of charging infrastructure and Spares and on road service stations. To dispel all such misgivings, 3 EV startups from Karnataka have come together to create the world’s 1st Collaboration in the EV space to convince customers in India about the benefits of switching to Electric. While dispelling various apprehensions that people have about EVs. These could be about durability and ruggedness of these vehicles’ performance issues etc. in addition to the concerns mentioned earlier. All of which will be addressed as these Electric bikes go through this long and tough journey. Making do with the availability of charging networks enroute to power these bikes. As also the serviceability of EVs in almost any part of the country through their world-record attempting journey. The mountainous and desert terrains with its low and high temperatures will test both riders’ endurance and EV motorcycle reliability

The entire journey is being self-funded by the startups and the 2 riders. Support has come from other companies in Bangalore - Amace solutions a leading 3D printing company that has helped with 3D printing of the EV motorcycles, Khivraj Motors who has provided a support vehicle to carry spare batteries, charging stations and other equipment and 6K IOM a leading bike accessory company that has outfitted the riders with safety riding and communication equipment.

Many hotels too have agreed to offer complementary stays to the crew as they Garland our country in an Electrifying manner.

You can catch daily updates on the journey on Yourstory and on the website www.startupnrev.com and the social media handles. From 4th of February when the ride starts.

If you are a college or a sponsor wanting to participate in this epic world record journey, write to us at gautam@brigadereap.com

Edited by Rajiv Bhuva


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