The country‘s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India on Tuesday announced the fifth round of its ‘Mobility & Automobile Innovation Lab’ (MAIL) initiative, inviting entries from early startups in mobility and automobile space. So far, the company has collaborated with 18 startups selected in the previous four rounds of the MAIL programme, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said in a statement.
Commenting on the initiative, MSI Managing Director & CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said, “As a next step, in the fifth cohort, we look forward to engage with more startups with innovative ideas for the automobile industry. Entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic situation, can apply for the fifth cohort of our MAIL initiative”. The MAIL programme has completed two years of collaborating and promoting the startup fraternity, he said, adding “We have successfully engaged with 18 startups and have enabled 10 POCs (proof of concepts)”.
Launched in January 2019, MAIL supports the startup ecosystem by providing them with industry exposure. It offers them an opportunity to work on technology and solutions that can be applied in real-world business scenarios, the company said. Maruti Suzuki has partnered with GHV Accelerator – an Indo Japanese early-stage seed fund – to identify and address the early-stage startups with innovative and customer-oriented solutions, it added.
“The participating startups will be provided with an opportunity to turn their innovative ideas into practical disruptive solutions and showcase their entrepreneurial capabilities. As of today, Maruti Suzuki has on-boarded two startups as business partners,” it said. Out of the 18 startups currently associated with MSIL, four are undergoing acceleration with the company, the statement noted.