Hero to replicate popular cycle brands of UK, says its chairman
Cycle connoisseurs, fitness freaks and those who cycle for recreation will have a whole lot of new range of premium and high-end bicycles to choose from as cycle-making giant, Hero Cycles after proving its supremacy in these segments in United Kingdom (UK) markets, will replicate the popular brands in the Indian market.punjab Updated: Apr 20, 2017 13:52 IST
Cycle connoisseurs, fitness freaks and those who cycle for recreation will have a whole lot of new range of premium and high-end bicycles to choose from as cycle-making giant, Hero Cycles after proving its supremacy in these segments in United Kingdom (UK) markets, will replicate the popular brands in the Indian market.
Hero Cycles, a name which was associated with mass makers of cycle with traditional ‘black cycle’ being its main forte, has decided to exploit the potential for fancy cycle segment in India. These cycles will be available between the price range of Rs 8,000 and Rs 7 lakh. In its bid to expand its operation across globe, the group has roped-in some of the best talent to its board room.
Sharing these details chairman and managing director of Hero Cycles, Pankaj Munjal, on the sidelines of a launch of their new arm Hero Motors Company (HMC) which combine its eight different operational firms into one.
In an interaction with HT, Pankaj Munjal shares his future plans and challenges for the group. Here are the excerpts:
Q: China has deep penetrated into Indian cycle industry domain, what is needed to fight it to save business interests of a domestic industry?
A: The only way out is arming the domestic cycle industry with latest technology. Despite being second best cycle makers in the world, we do not stand anywhere when it comes to world market share and annual production volumes.
Q: What is the future of Indian bicycle industry?
A: We are fast moving towards a fancy and premium cycle segment from traditional black cycle. The demand is triggered by fitness freaks and those who believe it to be status symbol.
Q: Challenges faced by cycle industry today?
A: Recent ushering in of unstructured parallel cycle market which offer cycle on cheaper rates with comparatively low quality. These products may look the same but do not stand a chance against brands when it comes to quality and feel and most likely perish in the longer-run. The products may look the same but innovation and technology used in them is altogether different.
Q: What potential market, Hero Cycles is eyeing in the near future?
A: We want to cater to every segment by focusing techniques with low production cost with maximum quality and feel to provide cycles of international standards to the buyers. In the fancy bicycle segment we will design our products at UK, manufacture them in Sri Lanka and then sell it in the Indian market. Currently, we have 37% of mass market, 59% of fancy cycles and 63% of high-end cycles share of total Indian bicycle market.
Q: The purpose of forming Hero Motors Company (HMC)?
A: There was no thread binding until now. Aligning 8,000 workers employed in 8 different operational categories will ensure effectiveness and smooth operation of business operations.
Q: Would not traditional ‘black cycle’ lose its sheen with intensive focus on high-end and fancy cycle segment?
A: The traditional black cycle remained unchanged for over six decades, now we have made changes in its safety, features and engineering more recently.
Q: Any updates on the coveted cycle valley project at Dhanansu which will see Chinese and Taiwanese counterparts to set base here?
A: I will hold a meeting with Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh soon on the same.