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India’s First F1 Driver Builds A Profitable Startup In Simply 3 Years

Narain Karthikeyan, India’s trailblazing Formulation 1 driver, has transitioned from the thrilling world of motorsports to the dynamic realm of entrepreneurship. Following a triumphant victory within the Tremendous GT x DTM Dream Race in Fuji, Japan, in November 2019, Karthikeyan had anticipated a return to the monitor for the next season. Nevertheless, the unexpected disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic prompted him to rethink his trajectory.

Credit: The Higher India

The Genesis of DriveX Mobility

Captivated with vehicles and desperate to make a distinction in India’s altering mobility scene, Narain co-founded DriveX Mobility in April 2020. The corporate’s express objective was to supply fairly priced mobility options, which have been desperately wanted given the societal conventions that discourage social interplay and monetary limitations. With the assist of his huge Formulation 1 expertise, Karthikeyan aimed to make use of his shut ties to the automotive trade to determine a platform that was not brand-specific and targeted on secondhand bikes.

DriveX Mobility’s Mission

DriveX Mobility units themselves aside by offering premium reconditioned two-wheelers at reasonably priced prices. By a tech-driven platform, the corporate sought to carry confidence, assurance, and transparency to a sector that was primarily dominated by unorganized brokers. The need for cost-effective transport decisions is addressed in a 2020 KPMG analysis, which additionally highlights how the emphasis on economical private mobility is in keeping with altering client tastes.

TVS Motor Firm’s Strategic Funding

In a big improvement, Indian two-wheeler big TVS Motor Firm acquired a considerable 48.27% stake in DriveX Mobility in August 2022. Valued at INR 85.41 crore, this strategic transfer displays TVS’s recognition of the untapped potential within the pre-owned two-wheeler market. Sudarshan Venu, Managing Director at TVS, recommended DriveX’s distinctive platform, envisioning a metamorphosis within the largely unorganized pre-owned two-wheeler phase.

Speedy Progress and Market Growth

DriveX Mobility has grown remarkably because it was based. The corporate now employs about 250 individuals and ships 2,500 items a month, an enormous enhance from the meager 15 items it despatched in August 2020. The corporate’s growth was additional spurred by the injection of exterior capital, which totaled roughly $11 million over two funding rounds. Remarkably, DriveX declared the launch of ten new dealerships round India, increasing its presence within the very aggressive Indian market.

The DriveX Enterprise Mannequin

DriveX sources pre-owned two-wheelers by customer-to-business (C2B) and business-to-business (B2B) channels. These automobiles bear refurbishment within the firm’s in-house factories in Hosur and Coimbatore, adhering to the very best high quality requirements. With OEM assist from trade giants like Bajaj and TVS, DriveX ensures a seamless refurbishing course of. The corporate has strategically established 38 retailers and touchpoints for retail, offering prospects with an expertise akin to buying a brand new two-wheeler.

Overcoming Challenges by Innovation

Navigating challenges within the provide chain, DriveX employs digital platforms for spare components, streamlining the refurbishing course of. The mixing of digital instruments permits technicians to establish and purchase essential components effectively. Over the course of its brief existence, DriveX has considerably lowered the turnaround time for refurbishing, from 90 days per car to the present 45 days.

Narain Karthikeyan’s Motorsport Expertise Fuels Success

Narain attributes a lot of DriveX Mobility’s success to his background in skilled motorsports, emphasizing parallels between constructing a profitable racing workforce and a profitable enterprise. The corporate boasts a workforce of over 150 technicians devoted to the meticulous refurbishing course of. Narain’s means to leverage his in depth community and understanding of automotive processes has propelled DriveX in direction of turning into a market chief.

Future Outlook and Potential Impression

DriveX Mobility has raised $11 million in series-A and seed finance, placing it in a powerful place to develop. Previous to evaluating a series-B funding, the corporate plans to increase all through India, demonstrating its dedication to constructing a powerful place within the used two-wheeler trade. Narain agrees {that a} shift to pre-owned two-wheeler electrical vehicles (EVs) is inevitable because the automotive trade regularly strikes towards EVs. He does, nonetheless, spotlight the continued marketplace for vehicles with inside combustion engines (ICEs), particularly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.


Narain Karthikeyan’s journey from Formulation 1 to entrepreneurship exemplifies the spirit of adaptation and innovation. DriveX Mobility’s speedy development, coupled with TVS Motor Firm’s strategic funding, positions the corporate as a big participant in India’s pre-owned two-wheeler market. As DriveX continues to evolve and increase, Narain’s distinctive mix of racing experience and entrepreneurial imaginative and prescient units the stage for an thrilling chapter within the Indian automotive trade.