☠️ 30%+ of startups fail due to lack of product-market fit. In this eBook, you'll learn how to avoid it. Only $10 for a limited time.

❌ Failed startup
✅ Successful startup

Mishra Motors: Huge Problem, Little Money

Mishra Motors was to be the premier electric sports bike in India. Time and capital were the causes of its collapse.

India
Transportation
Capital
Unprepared Market

Naveen Mishra

March 16, 2018

Sponsor Failory and get your business & product in front of +20,000 CEOs, startup founders, entrepreneurs, developers and marketers every month.

Do you want to grow your business? With GenM you can get free marketing from an apprentice as part of their training. The student will work 40 hours per month creating content, increasing SEO rankings, carrying out advertisement campaigns...

Want to take ownership over the growth of your business, but don't know where to start? Get 1-on-1 advice from vetted growth experts about your business.

No more changing developers every time you start a new project. With our full range of development services, no project is too big, too complex, too mobile or too software for us to complete. We’re the only web-dev partner you’ll ever need.

A 5-minute read that's informative, witty and free? That's Morning Brew — the daily email that delivers the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.

Hello Naveen! What's your background, and what are you currently working on?

Hello Failory, thanks for talking to me. I was consulting in tech and business straight out of college, started a few ventures and am now co-founder of a company called Crowdraising (The platform for the future of work).  My first company and very close to my heart was an electric motorcycle company that I started called Mishra Motors

It was right around the time Mission Electric and Electric vehicles, in general, were taking off. It was going to be the premier electric sports bike in India.

 

What was Mishra Motors about?

Mishra Motors was to be the premier electric sports bike in India. Think of it as Tesla for motorcycles. Battery tech was growing at a rapid pace and it was the right time to create a motorcycle. Electric engines have a torque curve that appeals to motorcycle riders. With the right ergonomics, it was a great product.

We were at the prototype stage and were ready to launch it at the New Delhi Autoshow in 2014. The design was set, I had a tech partner and things were looking good.

How did you grow Mishra Motors?

I worked with the team that was at the first all-electric Isle of Man TT. (This team has now gone on to raise institutional/strategic capital and are growing the consumer side of things)

We started by retrofitting an existing Yamaha FZ-06 with our custom EMS and battery setup. We worked with an automotive designer who was working on Ergonomics and had connections to get us into the New Delhi auto show.

Hire digital marketing interns. 40 hours for $49/month.

Learn More!

AD

From Wall Street to Silicon Valley...

Are you busy? Sure you are — that's why you need Morning Brew. It's a free daily email that gives a quick 5-minute rundown of the day's top business news. Join the 925,000+ people who start their day with Morning Brew!

👉 Learn More!

Reach +20,000 Startup Founders!

If you are looking to get your product in front of founders, CEOs, VPs, web and mobile developers, makers, consultants, marketers, bloggers, product managers, and many other thought leaders, then we can help you.

👉 Sponsorships

Which was the problem with Mishra Motors? How did you realize?

The problem was I was a software guy attacking a hard problem with not enough capital. We had a great team in-house, but the two main things we had against us were timing and capital which are a consequence of being fully powered by passion.

We realized this because our tech was proven a couple of years before we started, but the market wasn't there. We spoke to regulators and potential strategists who knew we were on the right track but could see the problems we would face being a small software oriented team. In most conversations, people would bring up these two issues and we knew we had to change something if we were to survive. 

 

What were the mistakes you made?

Building vehicles is an endeavor not to be taken lightly because of the regulators involved and the large strategic partnerships you have to make to be able to just launch. This point is further validated by the fact that our product team got funding from the leading motorcycle manufacturer in 2016 and has now gone on to do a consumer-oriented motorcycle.

                                                                                                                                              

What were your biggest disadvantages?

I can categorize (with 20-20 hindsight) our disadvantages into three categories:

  • Team: Led by a software/ information tech person, building a hardware company with no previous experience.
  • Timing: We were right on the cusp of electric vehicles taking off, so we had to educate the customer in making a premium/sports oriented purchase in this category.
  • External Partners: Regulators are a big deal and its best to have them on your side. We didn’t or were slow to make strategic partners.

Your one-stop shop for everything dev-related.

Anything you need, our devs can build: complex e-commerce solutions, custom software or SaaS, beautiful WordPress websites… anything. We’ll fix, upgrade & customize your website, so you never have to worry about troubleshooting web stuff ever again.

Let’s get to work!

Grow your business. Get 1-on-1 calls with +100 mentors.

Learn More!

AD

If you had to start over, what would you do differently?

If I had to start over, I would go after strategic partners first and get to marketing way quicker. Create a public awareness campaign and make decisions based on building long-term.

I would start working on creating a relationship with the regulator which would have helped us with market timing.

 

What's your advice for someone who is just starting?

One thing I always recommend is figuring out a customer base before you begin and building to solve their problems.

 Also, I would ask entrepreneurs, especially first-timers, to go after problems that they can solve with their core competency (and maybe not go after industries that require heavy regulator approval).

And don't spend all of your savings on one idea, there will always be Idea 2 or venture2.

 

Where can we go to learn more?

You can read about my current venture and I write about the future of work and decentralization here.

✉️ Subscribe to our newsletter!

Invite us into your inbox and get immense learning and 80+ deals on tools to help you scale your startup (worth up to $50,000)!

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

👇 Other Interviews

JustReachOut: Bootstrapping a PR SaaS up to $360k/year
By 
Dmitry Dragilev
  •  
August 1, 2019
United States
SaaS
Up to 50K
Standuply: Making $80K a month with a problem-solving Slack-first App
By 
Alex Kistenev
  •  
August 12, 2019
Australia
SaaS
Below 150K
Wavve: Making $76k a Month Turning Podcasts into Videos
By 
Baird Hall
  •  
March 25, 2020
United States
SaaS
Below 150K
ONAK: Raising €235,000 for Foldable Origami Canoes
By 
Thomas Weyn
  •  
February 21, 2019
Belgium
e-Commerce
No Data
Scalefusion: $400k/month configuring businesses’ devices
By 
Harishanker Kannan
  •  
February 12, 2020
India
Technology
Over 150K
Quitting my job to make $5000/month with side-projects
By 
Fabrizio Rinaldi
  •  
May 5, 2020
Italy
SaaS
Up to 50K
From losing a business partner to shutting down a $20k/mo SaaS
By 
Pablo Fernández
  •  
August 26, 2020
United Kingdom
SaaS
Capital
Ink: Burning $16,000 in an Online Tool for Designers
By 
Andrew Askins
  •  
April 28, 2018
United States
Web Application
Bad Marketing
Gameslog: Overcame Failure and Achieved $30K/Month
By 
Michael Hebenstreit
  •  
March 17, 2018
Germany
Blog
Big Competitors
Readership: The Marketing Tool with No Market
By 
Gregg Blanchard
  •  
October 3, 2019
United States
SaaS
Bad Marketing
No Need
Singulution: Burning $30,000 & 10 Months - Why you need to start lean
By 
Hunt Burdick
  •  
June 26, 2019
United States
Technology
No MVP Validation
Capital
NOX: From $183,000/year to $0 - How not to deal with competition
By 
Jeremiah Lam
  •  
June 12, 2019
Singapore
e-Commerce
Big Competitors
Technical Problems