Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The Road to Innovation: RLZ Motorsports’ Unique Journey

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RLZ Motorsports Pvt Ltd, India’s pioneering automotive pre-impregnated carbon fiber composite parts manufacturer, was founded by Tilak Gowda and Nikhil Das. This dynamic duo shares a passion for motorsports and a drive for innovation. They’ve set a unique benchmark in India’s automotive industry by producing top-quality carbon fiber components for vehicles. In this interview, we’ll dive into their journey, philosophy, and future plans. We’ll also explore how their blend of artistry, innovation, and high-speed engineering has powered RLZ Motorsports’ success.

Can you share RLZ Motorsports’ journey to becoming India’s first automotive pre-impregnated carbon fiber composite parts manufacturer?

RLZ Motorsports Pvt Ltd is India’s first automotive pre-impregnated carbon fiber composite parts manufacturing company based out of Bengaluru. Back in 2014, when we laid the foundation of the company, our vision was clear—to cater to the upcoming demand for lightweight, robust carbon fiber components. Our team comprises professionals with a background in aerospace engineering, well-versed in state-of-the-art precision engineering. This aligns perfectly with the global demand for sustainable, fuel-efficient solutions, nudging the industry towards carbon neutrality.

Lightweight materials are the only way ahead to significantly reduce vehicle weight while upholding the vehicle’s durability, safety, and structural integrity. Pre-impregnated carbon fiber composite material perfectly meets all these requirements.

Initially, our journey began with crafting carbon fiber parts for the aerospace industry, and soon, we recognized the growing demand for similar material specifications in the automotive sector. This led us to produce parts and components for numerous automotive manufacturers worldwide.

Today, after more than a decade of experience in this field of innovation, analysis, and development, we can proudly say that RLZ Motorsports has established itself as a leading full-service manufacturer, specializing in top-notch carbon fiber automobile composites.

What inspired the founders, including Tilak Gowda and Nikhil Das, to establish RLZ Motorsports in this field?

With experience in drone manufacturing, my fascination with creating intricate designs for aerospace components, manufacturing, aerodynamics, and metallurgy grew. Simultaneously, my passion for motorsports and my background as a motorcycle stunt rider further fueled my interest. Both of these realms have a common need for lightweight materials, particularly in the area of high-speed vehicles striving for extreme speed.

Interestingly, Nikhil shares the same fervor for motorsports, and it’s a family affair as both of his kids actively participate in motorsport championships. When his children began their motorsport journey, Nikhil set out to find carbon fiber motorbike manufacturers in India. This way we got connected, and our shared enthusiasm for motorsports and lightweight materials was the catalyst for the inception of RLZ Motorsports.

How does RLZ Motorsports ensure high-quality carbon fiber automobile composites, and what sets your products apart?

The majority of our components find applications in high-end vehicles of global racing corporations. These components are tested under extreme conditions, enabling us to understand the precise needs of the vehicles and optimize the parts accordingly. This valuable knowledge is instrumental in producing carbon fiber automobile composites of the highest quality.

What core values drive RLZ Motorsports as an employee-owned company in terms of delivering composite solutions and customer satisfaction?

Upon receiving a new project, our entire team works together to comprehensively grasp its requirements, potential challenges, and the optimal path forward. We engage in thorough discussions as a cohesive unit, leveraging the collective expertise within our organization.

Our engineering department is composed of a skilled team of 10 professionals, complemented by an additional 10 individuals dedicated to production. Hailing from the motorsport industry, these team members possess a profound understanding of the unique demands of these specialized machines.

Furthermore, we have a specialized team of 70 to 80 female staff members, all with backgrounds in the garment industry. Their primary role is to execute precise cuts of carbon fiber, leveraging their expertise in working with fabric-like materials. This deliberate choice proves invaluable as carbon fiber requires meticulous cutting, and these proficient women excel in achieving the necessary precision. This strategic combination significantly enhances the overall performance and finishing of our components, thereby adding substantial value to the end product.

Could you provide examples of components you manufacture for the automotive industry?

Our manufacturing operations encompass a wide array of products, including complete body panels, load-bearing components, side panels, bonnets, and more. In addition to these, we have designed carbon fiber fuel tanks for motorcycles and vehicle chassis that has brought in a significant reduction in overall vehicle weight. Our product range is extensive, covering everything from heel guards to full vehicle body panels.

How does RLZ Motorsports listen to customer feedback and incorporate it into product enhancements?

In our industry, customer feedback holds immense significance. Given our direct collaboration with numerous international racing teams, who rigorously test our components under extreme conditions, the insights we gather from their experiences define the future trends of the automobile industry. Their invaluable comments serve as a blueprint for designing forward-thinking parts and components. The process of learning from our customers is ongoing, driving us to continually elevate the standard of quality and performance in our products.

Can you share insights into collaborations and projects with key clients like TVS Racing, NAL, Ultravilotte, BMW, and Hero?

We engage in partnerships with numerous global automobile manufacturers to produce an extensive range of parts and components, enhancing vehicle efficiency, speed, and safety. Utilizing pre-impregnated carbon fiber composite material leads to substantial weight reduction, contributing to improved fuel efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the vehicles.

How does Tilak Gowda’s artistic and stunt riding background influence the company’s creative aspects?

I have a passion for painting, and many of my artworks have been sold through art galleries. This passion translates into my approach to designing intricate mechanical parts, infusing them with aesthetics and beauty. Crafting cars and motorbikes is an artistic endeavor in itself. The amalgamation of aerodynamics with aesthetics elevates these vehicles, adding panache and sophistication.

Nikhil Das, with his business expertise, plays a crucial role in RLZ Motorsports’ growth. How does his experience contribute to the company’s development?

Nikhil joined RLZ Motorsports in 2021, bringing with him a background as an aerospace engineer turned entrepreneur. He previously founded India’s pioneering LED lighting company, devising a diverse range of LED lighting solutions for various industries. Havells later acquired this company, recognizing its innovative and forward-thinking approach, much like RLZ Motorsports.

In alignment with RLZ’s vision, Nikhil consistently seeks future-ready solutions for the industry. His primary focus is on operational efficiency, implementing scalable processes to enhance day-to-day activities across the company. Additionally, he oversees the organization’s financial matters and actively contributes to business expansion through fundraising and collaboration initiatives. Nikhil proves to be a valuable asset to the organization.

What are your plans for expanding RLZ Motorsports as a global brand in the future?

Since there are very few companies working in this area, we currently maintain an oligopoly within this industry. Considering the surging demand for lightweight materials across diverse automotive sectors, this is the right time for us to expand our outreach. We have major plans to elevate our brand on a global scale by opening stores in major cities such as Dubai, Singapore, and several other locations in the APAC region. We are proactively progressing towards our objectives, striving to solidify our position as a pivotal player in the market.

Could you share any upcoming projects or areas of innovation you’re focusing on?

Our robust R&D team has achieved a groundbreaking feat by innovating components with exceptional and unique specifications. A recent accomplishment includes the successful development of a carbon fiber fuel tank, which required nearly two years to achieve precise tolerance with oil or petrol. In another notable breakthrough, we managed to drastically reduce chassis weight from 14 kgs to an astonishingly low 3 kgs using carbon fiber. This achievement represents a significant leap forward in the automotive sector, an industry continually seeking ways to reduce the overall weight of vehicles.

Founded by Tilak Gowda and Nikhil Das, the company has not only become a global force in the automotive industry but has also marked its place as India’s first pre-impregnated carbon fiber composite parts manufacturer. With a vision for expanding their brand internationally, a keen focus on customer feedback, and a commitment to delivering top-notch products, RLZ Motorsports is poised for even greater achievements in the world of lightweight, high-performance automotive solutions. Their journey showcases the perfect blend of creativity and engineering.

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