Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) joined the bandwagon of Indian companies investing in startups with the launch of its Mobility & Automobile Innovation Lab (MAIL) programme. The ultimate objective is to gain from innovative ideas that entrepreneurs generate and integrate them into their own ecosystem.
Under this, Maruti has now picked up four startups, Dave.AI, Rezo.AI, Fabrik, and ElectreeFi which are all involved in the automobile and mobility space already. With these four, Maruti has now got nine startups under this umbrella.
The MAIL initiative was first launched in January 2019 and is aimed at helping the startups in their respective fields and allowing them access to the technology that the Japanese auto maker already has. Efforts will be made to integrate the ideas the startups bring to the table to the actual working at the car assembly lines.
Maruti has developed the MAIL programme with processes set in place to shortlist and select startups to be included in the programme. Once chosen, the startup entrepreneurs are provided with appropriate training and given exposure to Indian and international startup ecosystems. The domain experts in Maruti offer mentorship to the startup promoters. These sessions could result in arriving at the startups choosing the right products for development.
There is a healthy competitive spirit developed amongst the startups and they are asked to make their Demo Day presentations. In this year’s Demo Day, Dave.AI came out the winner, followed by Rezo.AI and Fabrik was the third placed. Though not in the first three it is reported that the fourth startup, ElectreeFi also gave a good presentation.
The top three start-ups- Dave.AI, Rezo.AI and Fabrik will get an opportunity to undertake a paid Proof-of-Concept with Maruti Suzuki for actual business use.
In terms of the specific areas the four startups are working on currently, Dave.Ai is into creating a virtual sales avatar. Rezo.Ai has on its hands, Artificial Intelligence based Natural Language Processing or NLP. The third startup Fabrik will work on Enterprise AR solutions and ElectrrFi has the task of developing an IoT platform for EV.