Entrepreneurial Excellence

Muhammad Usman Sheikh, Founder, Chairman and CEO at Jolta Technology DMCC talks about the journey of launching his future-forward company



Published: Mon 27 Jun 2022, 11:11 AM

Muhammad Usman Sheikh is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of JOLTA Technology DMCC, a technology-driven, future-forward company that aims to solve the region's pollution and environmental problems by electrifying the transportation and energy sector.

With an early interest in mobile games, electric cars, renewable energy and software services with packaged solutions, Sheikh honed his passion, finishing with a degree in computer science and engineering from the reputed University of Engineering and Technology (UET) in Lahore.

As a strategist, Sheikh said that he is passionate about creating business models that empower people. “Many of my start-ups have now become successful companies after I founded and bootstrapped them,” he added. As an investor, Sheikh is passionately looking to fund electric vehicle (EV) start-ups, mobile apps, e-commerce, and technology start-ups.

Services

Jolta Technology DMCC has four main divisions. The company is into services and trading/ manufacturing business. The divisions within the company are:

  • Software development / mobile apps and games publishing
  • EV and renewable energy
  • BMS and electronics programming
  • E-commerce

Milestones and achievements

Sheikh said that he is proud of what his company has been able to achieve in such a short time. These milestones include:

  • Becoming one of the largest mobile apps and games publishers in Southeast Asian region.
  • Launching Pakistan’s first mobile ad network — Consoli ads
  • Founding a localised first chat app Tello talk for Pakistan — a homegrown messaging app with financial services and data residing within the country
  • Successfully rolling out the first government approved and licensed electric bike in Pakistan with nationwide sales of 10,000 units so far
  • Developing and designing super capacitor-based energy modules for solar, telecom and banking sector. 1 MW of energy to different parts of the world has been sold as a result.
  • Awarded ‘Best innovation company’ by the President of Pakistan
  • Speaking at international conferences and events on Blockchain, EV and other topics

Competitive edge

In mobile apps and games division, Jolta has targeted non-gamers on mobile phones and developed its own success formula with one-time play of casual games. Sheikh said: “In software division, we developed open source ERP that caters to small-sized companies with no upfront cost and a monthly minimum subscription with a complete managed software.”

The company’s competitive edge within the EV and energy division lies in its unique proprietary localised design that is superior to Chinese EV bikes because 70 per cent of the parts are local and hence, cheaper for the market. Sheikh said that they also have global demand in the African region of the same design.

Another advantage that the company enjoys is that it developed IP of high-end super caps modules that can charge within minutes and has a battery life of 30 years with its own cloud-managed monitoring solution for updates and that has an edge over lithium-based batteries and other competitors in the market.

Challenges

Launching any company, let alone a forward-thinking tech company is an arduous task. The life of an entrepreneur is full of challenges and is not for the faint of heart. Looking back at his start, Sheikh said: “In the early days of my entrepreneurship, setting up a company from the ground up was the biggest challenge. I overcame it by incorporating an owner-minded team, leveraging my connections astutely and timing my deep dive into the world of software business that was peaking globally at the same time.”

Sheikh said that when his company expanded from 100 people team to 1,000, the challenge he faced was of managing and utilising the potential of the team. “I overcame it by bringing in CRM, Project management and ERP systems to optimise the team,” he said. By dividing the team into segments with a proper hierarchical structure and hiring C-level professional teams to defined KPI’s for each unit and employees, he was able to boost merit-based career growth.

Another roadblock Sheikh faced was when he decided to introducing EVs to the market. “Lately, I jumped into EVs that required huge amount of funding to create a value-based economy. I overcame the obstacle by utilising the ‘think big, start small mindset’. I started building the ecosystem of vendors and dealer’s network with our own localised proprietary EV bike and managed to have balance of sales and delivery with minimum capital investment,” he said.

“Recently, the renewable division had a challenge to setup global sales team. I overcame it by setting up a sales team in Dubai with supply from China and a technical delivery team in Pakistan. So far, 1MW of energy has been sold to SA, USA, Italy and Canada,” said Sheikh.

Future plans

“My future plan is to share our IP across the world for toll manufacturing of our EV and energy modules. We want to focus in our domain as technologists and franchise our software and hardware products,” said Sheikh.

Looking ahead, he said that in coming years, Jolta Technology will be in the complete value chain of EV and energy with electric motor development of three and four wheelers, battery with BMS design and swappable battery solution for all wheelers. Sheikh finished off by saying that he is planning to launch a flying taxi in Dubai soon as anything is possible.

— ali@khaleejtimes.com


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