hero:  Pending litigation of ‘Hero’ brand for electrics, Pawan Munjal opts for Vida for green vehicles - Times of India

hero: Pending litigation of ‘Hero’ brand for electrics, Pawan Munjal opts for Vida for green vehicles – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Fighting a family dispute over the popular ‘Hero’ brand name for electrics, Pawan Munjal-led Hero MotoCorp steered clear of legal tangles and has named its green venture, Vida.
To avoid legal complications, the company simply used the tag-line ‘Powered by Hero’ with the Vida brand, mindful of arbitration proceedings between the Pawan Munjal family with his nephew Naveen Munjal’s Hero Electric who claims to have family rights over the Hero brand for greens.
As the market shifts to electrics on the back of the government’s push and numerous consumer incentives, older two-wheeler companies such as Hero Moto, Bajaj and TVS have started to re-calibrate their business strategies, looking at product plans and launches of green vehicles.
The shift has been exacerbated by the entry of new-age players such as Hero Electric, Ola Electric, Ather, and Bounce, all of whom are green from the beginning and are aggressively launching new products and positioning themselves as the future of sustainable mobility.
Hero Moto chairman Pawan Munjal has been making strides in green mobility, but the company – that leads the petrol two-wheeler market – has been slow to make the transition. In fact, the company has been late in bringing in electrics and a formal launch is only expected by the third quarter of 2022, against the earlier plan of the first quarter. Interestingly, Munjal family owns a significant holding in Ather.
Hero’s electrics will be made at its factory in Chittoor, and the company also announced a $100-million Global Sustainability Fund. “The fund will aim to establish global partnerships, spearheaded by the BML Munjal University (BMU) and Hero Moto, with the objective of nurturing more than 10,000 entrepreneurs on ESG solutions that have a positive impact on the planet,” it said.
Unveiling the new brand logo and the ‘sunrise’ visual identity of Vida, Munjal said, “Vida means life, and the brand’s sole purpose is to create a positive impact on the world… In only 17 weeks from today, we will unveil our Vida platform, products and services to make the world a better place.”
Munjal has previously told TOI that the company is ready to shed its ‘old guard’ stance and play the start-up game – including getting into the ‘cash-burn’ customer-subsidy model if the need arises — as it lines up new investments worth thousands of crores while being open to raise fresh funds.
“We may be the so-called established player – the old guard. Having said that, if and when it comes to playing the right type of game, we will become a start-up… I do believe the way forward is electric (and) we cannot be left behind… We want to be a leader in electrification also, (and) we want to be a global leader… Hero will do whatever it takes to become the leader,” he had said.
And as the company prepares to launch its first green vehicle, it will be setting up a large network of electric battery-swapping stations across the country in a joint venture with Taiwanese unicorn Gogoro.
Can Hero Moto dealers sell Vida?
While Hero Moto announced Vida as the brand name for its electrics, it is still not clear whether the products can be sold through its dealerships pending finalization of its legal battle with Hero Electric.
Hero Moto chairman Pawan Munjal’s nephew Naveen Munjal has challenged the rights of his company to sell green vehicles under the Hero branding, and sources say he may even raise opposition to sale through the dealerships of the biggest two-wheeler seller. The matter is currently being tackled by an arbitration bench.



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