Srikanth Reddy Kalakonda is the Founder and CEO of Hala Mobility, a multimodal EV subscription platform based in India. After completing his graduation, he decided to pursue higher education abroad and obtained dual master’s degrees from the University of Padova in Italy and the Polytechnic University of Madrid in Spain, specializing in Big Data/Telecommunications and Machine Learning.
Srikanth had the chance to work with World Wide Mobility on key initiatives in Madrid while completing his doctoral thesis. Where he gained invaluable knowledge and expertise in the area of mobility, which inspired him to take on major challenges in India’s transportation industry. However, in 2020, Srikanth decided to return to India, leaving behind a lucrative position, to launch Hala.
Getting to know Hala
“Hala is a multimodal EV subscription platform with data at its core, offering the right electric vehicles and finding the nearest charging, service, and swap stations. Currently, we serve third-party logistics and delivery companies across five cities in India: Hyderabad, Vizag, Chennai, Mumbai, and Pune. We operate a fleet of 3500+ EVs. Every month, we cover approximately 3 million green kilometres, resulting in the saving of thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions and petrol consumption.”
Inception of Hala
The difficulties he encountered in the mobility sector, particularly concerning first- and last-mile connectivity concerns and the general transportation systems in cars, cabs, the metro and public transportation, served as inspiration for Srikanth. He had a strong desire to solve these issues and develop a sustainable movement of people and things because of his knowledge in this area.
Srikanth and his group came up with a straightforward and integrated system by ideating, testing, and brainstorming solutions to these problems. The founding of Hala Mobility was the product of their methodical, step-by-step approach. The company’s current priorities are two- and three-wheeler solutions. They intend to increase the range of their offerings in the future by integrating new technologies and public transport connectivity.
Srikanth explains, “When it comes to mobility, immediate and efficient support is crucial as it directly affects the core aspects of comfort and convenience for our customers. Understanding this, we have made significant investments in building a robust infrastructure to ensure seamless transitions. Despite charging a premium, our customers choose us because we offer prompt on-ground support with a remarkable uptime of 95% (equivalent to 28.5 days of the vehicle is up and running). Furthermore, we prioritize addressing any concerns within a mere 15 minutes, further enhancing the overall customer experience.”
“At least in the initial days, it was challenging to manage the show because we wore multiple hats to build the company. However, with the right team and a mindset that pushes beyond boundaries, as a founder, we can find some time to balance personal life as well.”
The entrepreneurial journey can often be a solitary and deeply personal experience. However, Srikanth acknowledges that he is fortunate to have found major pillars in the form of his co-founders who are equally dedicated to solving significant challenges alongside him. As a startup, they encountered various hurdles in building teams, establishing processes and systems, and navigating regulatory, legal, and compliance aspects.
During this journey, their association with T-hub proved to be instrumental in overcoming these barriers swiftly. T-hub provided crucial support by nurturing and incubating the company while offering assistance in every aspect. The comprehensive ecosystem provided by T-hub played a vital role in the startup’s growth and development.
Srikanth also emphasizes that “Any business is prone to risks and challenges, but how we mitigate them is what leads the company to success in its journey. We have a dedicated risk management team that examines various aspects such as policy, legal matters, compliance, personnel, competition, markets, and regulatory requirements. Maintaining a competitive edge and prioritizing these factors are of utmost importance to us.”
Achievements so far
Srikanth believes that “success is not a fixed destination but an evolving journey. As they accomplish one milestone, they strive to reach the next. For Srikanth, measuring success goes beyond financial gains and encompasses the impact they create in social, environmental, and economic aspects. They prioritize giving back to the community while also considering the profitability and well-being of the company and its stakeholders.”
While there is truth to Srikanth’s beliefs, here are some of their key accomplishments:
- Being awarded as one of the Top 11 sustainable startups of Telangana by the TIE Hyderabad chapter, recognizing the impact and sustainability efforts of his venture.
- Representing Telangana at the Dubai Expo 2020, showcasing the innovative solutions and contributions of his company on a global platform.
- Winning the Innoprenuers Season 6 contest, organized by the Lemon School of Entrepreneurship, signifies Srikanth’s entrepreneurial prowess and the unique approach of his venture.
- Being invited to deliver a TEDx talk at Ambitus Global School, providing an opportunity to share insights and experiences with a wider audience and inspiring others with his journey.
- Representing Hala at the City-Tech.Tokyo event, which demonstrates the international recognition and presence of the company in the tech and mobility sector.
- Achieving a significant market share in Hyderabad’s business landscape, establishing Srikanth and Hala as leaders in the industry and reflecting the success of their business strategies.
Srikanth also adds, “Our journey started in an apartment, with 20 EVs stacked in the cellar, working tirelessly through sleepless nights. Today, we have grown into a company with 78 employees and a fleet of 3500 EVs. The reputation we have established as a trusted brand and the progress we have made is truly inspiring to me. With this confidence, we continue to push beyond boundaries, and the challenges we have faced along the way serve as constant motivation to hustle every day.”
A bright future ahead
In the future, Hala Mobility plans to expand its offerings beyond e-bikes, two-wheelers, and three-wheelers and enter the four-wheeler space. They aim to scale their fleet to a total of 10,000 vehicles in the current financial year. This growth and expansion are made possible through strategic partnerships with NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies), financiers, bankers, manufacturers, and other stakeholders who contribute to a mutually beneficial ecosystem.
The company expresses gratitude to the government of Telangana for their continuous support throughout the journey of scaling operations. With a clear vision and the necessary support in place, Hala Mobility is confident in the path ahead for further growth and success.
“Ideas that remain trapped in the mind hold no value; execution is the key to achieving measurable outcomes. A supportive ecosystem exists, ready to assist in every possible aspect. However, it is our responsibility to proactively reach out and seek help when needed. In addition to execution, a solid strategy and effective planning are crucial. To outpace the competition and maintain a leading position, we must stay ahead of the curve. Above all, cultivating a growth mindset is paramount.”