The country\u2019s largest storage battery maker Exide Industries has said it is witnessing a \u201cbig leap\u201d in online sales of its products, with the company stepping up its offerings for online sales channel. \u201cIn line with the evolving business ecosystem in which brands are trying to reduce the lead time for providing services and enhancing consumer experiences, Exide has been constantly stepping up its offering across the entire value chain,\u201d the company said in its latest annual report. The city-based company, in its annual report for financial year 2017-18, said, \u201cWhile our digital connect initiatives with our channel partners in the form of customised portals and apps have gained huge momentum, our real success story is the big leap we have managed to take in terms of online sales.\u201d \u201cReaching an average monthly sale of over 10,000 units, our unique online marketplace model has opened up the huge potential that the online channel offers for our dealers. Today, over 2,500 unique channel partners sell batteries through this platform,\u201d Exide said. The company has nine factories, of which seven are dedicated to batteries and the other two manufacture home UPS systems. During the last fiscal, the firm\u2019s capital expenditure stood at more than `750 crore, primarily in different manufacturing plants. Significantly, Exide Industries formed a joint venture with Switzerland-based Leclanch\u00e9, one of the world\u2019s leading energy storage solution firms, last month to make lithium-ion batteries for India\u2019s electric vehicle market and grid-based applications. The joint venture was formed between Exide and Leclanch\u00e9 in a 75:25 ratio. The JV company\u2019s production plant will be based in Gujarat, where Exide is set to acquire a facility of Tudor India. The proposed plant would be the first such indigenous facility in the country. As part of the JV, Leclanch\u00e9 will provide access to its knowhow and intellectual property for lithium-ion cells, modules and battery management systems, and Exide Industries will leverage its extensive sales network and brand. \u201cYour company has also been pursuing the development of appropriate lithium-ion technology for applications in the country particularly for the emerging demands of electric vehicles. Prototypes have been assembled and are undergoing laboratory and field tests to be followed by submission for certification by regulatory authorities,\u201d the battery major said in its annual report.