March 15, 2021: Madhumita Agrawal has become the very first Indian woman to own and simultaneously lead an EV (Electric Vehicle) manufacturing company. Hailing from Rourkela, Odisha, Madhumita has brought this honour not only for her state but also for the entire nation.
Madhumita Agrawal leads from the front
An alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kharagpur, Madhumita Agarwal, along with her husband, Dinkar Agrawal, has founded an EV manufacturing company, OBEN.
In 2016, Madhumita co-founded Ipixcel, a consulting firm focusing on innovation and technology.
She earned her engineering degree in biotechnology from BPUT (Biju Patnaik University of Technology), and pursued law from RGSOIPL (Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law).
Madhumita’s Ipixcel has now more than 1,500 customers all across the world with some from the Fortune 500 list even, along with various startups and companies from more than 10 countries globally. It has now become a company which generates annual revenue of multi-million dollars.
Madhumita Agrawal and her love for technology
In an interview, Madhumita Agrawal had mentioned that when ones specialises in patents or intellectual property, one needs to understand the different and finer nuances of technology.
“After completing my engineering, I never wanted to leave the field entirely, but I also wasn’t interested in studying for a PhD. That’s why I pursued this course at IIT-KGP. After graduating from the course there in 2012, I started my own firm called IPexcel, a technology and innovation consulting firm, which helps technology companies in developing innovations, improving existing technologies and protecting their intellectual property rights (IPRs). Our firm has also done a lot of scouting for big MNCs, helping them identify the right kind of technologies for them,” she said.
In fact, like her, her husband Dinkar Agrawal is also an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus. He holds five patents as an innovator, and has previously worked with General Electric. It is her husband who helped Madhumita co-found their first venture IPexcel.
“Leveraging his knowledge of innovation and my understanding of IPR, we initially sold our services to mid-sized firms and startups who didn’t have their own in-house setup. From just my husband and I, today IPexcel has more than 70 team members in India and the United States. While running IPexcel, I also did my executive MBA from IIM-Bangalore (2016-17),” said an elated Madhumita.
Working in the Electric Vehicle sector
When asked regarding the launch of OBEN, Madhumita stated, “For the past four years, we have been closely working in this domain understanding the different products on offer, problems and gaps in the Indian market. But it was only early last year, when we held serious discussions as co-founders about identifying the gaps in the market, how to position ourselves and what we can do to achieve our goals moving forward. By August 2020, we had identified the gaps, set up the right team around us and officially incorporated OBEN Electric Vehicle in Bengaluru. Our e-scooter, which will have a pre-production model ready next month, has a top speed of 90 kmph and company claimed battery range of 130 km. We have installed all the necessary smart features. We have built a proprietary technology for autonomous battery swapping and the infrastructure to back it up. Every component is made and designed in India except for the battery cells. Initially, we will be manufacturing these e-scooters ourselves, but as volumes increase, we will be looking for other partners. “
OBEN, founded by Madhumita and Dinkar, in August 2020, will soon be launching its first e-scooters in the Indian market, in the upcoming months.
Madhumita Agrawal is now another shining name, added to the ever-growing list of numerous brave and able female entrepreneurs who have successfully come past all hurdles, and have made their mark, even in the fields where male dominance has always been more.