Maruti Suzuki could fund your startup idea with the new Mobility Challenge: Here’s how

Maruti Suzuki’s Mobility Challenge for 2021 has been announced and it seeks new startup ideas to help grow and scale up their business. The two-year-old venture has already resulted in many start-up companies becoming vendors for the automaker.

By:June 21, 2021 3:57 PM

Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has announced the launch of its Mobility Challenge. The new venture aims to seek new startups and ideas to help boost their growth and scale up their business. The automaker has collaborated with Hyderabad-based business incubator T-Hub who will act as their innovation intermediary. MSIL is calling Series A to unicorn startups from India and overseas for the Mobility Challenge.

Rajesh Uppal, Member Executive Board (HR, IT, SAFETY & DE), Maruti Suzuki India stated that the company is looking for new startups with innovative ideas and solutions in the mobility space. The automaker’s topic for this year’s challenge consists of solving problems, and improve service efficiency in dealerships as the key performance indicator. MSIL seeks to find new ideas for improvements in Service, Logistics, Marketing, Manufacturing and more through the Mobility Challenge initiative.

In 2019, Maruti Suzuki launched MAIL (Mobility & Automobile Innovation Lab), a programme in partnership with GHV Accelerator. It is designed to accelerate growth for startup companies with potential. The Mobility Challenge is a new programme targeted exclusively at mature or growth-stage startups.

The programme will select a mature start-up that has experience and technology in digital, data and AI/ML(Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning) in the fields of augmented and virtual reality, autonomous mobility, automotive remote diagnostics, automotive servicing efficiency, big data analytics, electrification, internet-of-things, mobility-as-a-service and smart infrastructure.

MSIL will accept applications from a startup with ideas and help them execute their proof of concept. Maruti Suzuki will choose two winners of the challenge who will receive prize money worth Rs 10 lakh each, in addition, to support and mentoring from experts at Maruti Suzuki and T-Hub. MSIL and T-Hub will provide domain knowledge, investor connect and test bed to help further stimulate the startups and execute their Proof of Concept for its growth.

An ideal solution for the challenge would be a disruptive solution with the capability of rapid scalability.

The project by MSIL was started back in 2019. Since then it has engaged with 17 startups. 13 of them already have their proof of concepts with Maruti Suzuki. In fact, Uppal confirmed that up to seven of the startups are now vendors for MSIL.

The automaker is accepting applications this month and will announce a winner in August 2021. It will then help with the startup’s proof of concept and invest in the company as well. Should the automaker find it attractive, it would even acquire a minority stake in the startups with the investment, confirmed Uppal.

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