By Raju Moza:
Raju Moza (RM): How did the idea of making such a car strike?
Jagjit Singh: I always tried different things. Though I inherited the automobile business from my father, I always explored new initiatives. I have been making modified cars for people with disabilities, nearly modifying more than 170 cars. My customers have been driving these cars since the last 16-17 years successfully. Moreover, I used to personally aspire to buy a sports car but always found it way beyond my budget. So one fine day, I got an idea to fulfil my desire and started working on this car.
RM: What is the model of the car you have modified?
JS: It’s a second-hand Maruti 800. I bought it for Rs. 35,000 from a dealer in Vasant Kunj and then started working on it.
RM: How much time and money did it take to make this?
JS: It took me nearly three years to make this and has cost me a bomb as it entailed certain types of dyes beside the opportunity cost. With such a hole in my pocket, I am looking for an external investor to fund this project and scale it up commercially.
RM: If I am not mistaken, you have got the design registered with the patent authority of India?
JS: Yes we recently received the certificate of registration from the patent office of India. The design of the car now stands patented.
RM: What is the way forward now?
JS: We have got overwhelming response from people and everyone wants to buy this but we are stuck in bureaucratic quagmire. To enable mass production, we need necessary government clearances, which will be costly, plus the cost of necessary tools entailed for mass production. Now, if we will spend so much money on just approvals, the dream of giving a sports car to the student at an affordable price goes for a toss.
RM: But you have not changed the engine; you are just modifying an existing car? Why does it need approvals? In my limited understanding, your invention should be celebrated.
JS: If I had been abroad, I would have turned into a celebrity. But here in India, I am struggling to take this on road.
RM: I really wish you good luck.
JS: Thanks and I really need wishes to make my dream a reality.