TI Cycles Opens 4th Bicycle Factory in Punjab
RAJPURA, India – TI Cycles of India inaugurated its fourth facility which is based in the district Rajpura in the North Indian state of Punjab. The state-of-the-art plant has a capacity of three million units annually and is the largest among the four bike production units of TI Cycles.
“The plant took an investment of approximately 14.1 million euro and has a capacity to produce 250,000 bicycles per month, with an option for future expansion,” said Arun Alaggapan, President, TI Cycles of India in an exclusive interview with Bike Europe.
The construction of the plant took a record period of only eleven months. It comes with a modern bake-on-bake painting technology for a glossy finish that last longer, besides three painting lines with German machinery. Spread over an area of 25 acres, the unit has two assembly lines. The eco-friendly facility is emission free and recycles 100% of the water consumption. It will soon have a 350kW solar panel to provide energy.
This is the second plant of the Murugappa group in Punjab, the first being in Mohali, an industrial town near Chandigarh, which is manufacturing tubes for applications in the auto sector.
Maintain production levels
TI Cycles has four bike manufacturing facilities, one in Nashik (Maharashtra) with a capacity of 1.2 million, in Noida & Chennai with 1.8 million each and the new Rajpura plant with 3 million units respectively. “We will continue to maintain our production level at around 4.5 million units annually,” Arun Alagappan said. TI Cycles holds a 34% share of the Indian bicycle market. The Rajpura plant will likely distribute on the India market only, which has experienced upswing in last few years as a result of the rising number of vehicles and emission levels in the major cities.
Noida plant might be shifted
TI would likely shift the Noida plant to the Rajpura once the new factory starts functioning up to its full capacity of 250,000 units each month by 2017. Initially, the plant would manufacture 100,000 units per month.
It would be logical as it is the company’s second and larger plant in Northern India with ample space to increase its capacity, whereas, the Noida plant is located on a rented premises and has a much smaller capacity. Once the Noida production has been shifted to Rajpura, the capacity would eventually increase to 6 million units annually. However, TI’s current cumulative capacity including a full operational 4th plant reaches a huge volume of 7.8 million units.
Production closer to the market
“The idea is to distribute bicycles on the North and East India market from the Rajpura plant and to be located closer to our other factories as well as our suppliers based in Ludhiana, which is hardly 100km from Rajpura,” Arun explained. The initial production in the new factory commenced and full scale operation would likely start soon. The plant is expected to generate direct and indirect employment for 3,000 people. Together with the new factory, TI also moved to a bigger warehouse in Howrah (Kolkata, the capital of the state of West Bengal) to serve the East Indian market.
Distribution in Europe
The Chennai headquartered company is also improving its distribution on export markets. “The UK is our major market as we are exporting kids bikes and besides, we have also been improving our position on the European Continent were we started s couple of years ago,” said Arun. According to industry insiders TI Cycles exported mainly kids bikes and shipped 60,000 units to the UK last year. For this year the company targets to export 100,000 kids bikes to the UK.
In 2015-16 TI Cycles registered a turnover of 197 million euro and expects to grow to 198.6 million euro in 2016-17. “The operation of the new plant reflects only marginally on the turnover,” Arun said.
Ridley production in India
To meet the growing demand for foreign brands in India, TI Cycles is planning to commence the license production of some of the brands it markets in the domestic market. Recently, it has launched Ridley in India and South Asia after it signed a distribution contract at Eurobike last year.
“We are considering to manufacture some of Ridley’s India specific models. “The final decision would likely be taken in the next few months,” confirmed K C Ramamoorthy, VP, International Business of TI Cycles. Interestingly, it has not decided to produce India specific bicycles of one of the other foreign brands it represents in India like GT, Mongoose, Schwinn, Cannondale, Bianchi etc.