India: New Playground for International A-Brands
India is turning into the new playground for the global players in the international bike scene. During the past month major makers like
NEW DEHLI, India – India is turning into the new playground for the global players in the international bike scene. During the past month major makers like Raleigh, Giant, Schwinn and Adidas have set up alliances with local manufacturers and/or distributors for their brands.
Earlier this year Cannondale and Bianchi announced their entry into this huge and rapidly developing market. Others like Thailand’s LA Cycles even established local production with Indian partners which in the case of LA Cycles is Sovereign. Trek already entered in the India market in 2006.
Are the glory days over for the old Indian black Roadster bikes that have been made by the tens of millions during the past decades in India by renowned names like Hero, Avon, Atlas, TI Cycles and Safari? Surely not as they are still the backbone of the local bike market. In fact they are as popular like maybe never before since local governments started offering them in millions to students to use them for commutes to schools.
Nevertheless, the Indian bike market is warming-up for hi-end performance bikes. Recently, the country’s major bicycle tyre/tube maker Ralson (India) Ltd diversified into the distribution of international bike brands through a recently opened sporting goods outlet in the heart of New Delhi. Here high-end bikes under Raleigh & Adidas brand names are sold.
The Raleigh bikes are imported from Raleigh South Africa; the Adidas bikes are produced in India by Hero Cycles. The Ralson sports outlet also offers a P&A range from Decathlon as well as from Raleigh. When asked about the response to the international brands, a Ralson representative said: “Response is very encouraging as people are well aware about brands like Raleigh and Decathlon.”
The Raleigh bikes on offer in Dehli range from 70 to 850 euro and the Adidas bikes is Euro 250 to 475.
Giant has been knocking on Indian doors for some time in search of a local partner. Finally the world’s biggest in bikes zeroed in on a company called Red Rooter Racing, a company known for promoting motor sport in India, based in Bangalore. The first shipment of Giant bikes arrived in India and Red Rooster Racing is in the midst of setting up its first store in Bangalore. The company declined to comment upon the number of Giant bikes to be sold in the first year.
After Cannondale now also Schwinn has landed in India. Both belong to Dorel Industries owned Cycling Sports Group and both brands are represented in India by TI Cycles. TI is the second largest manufacturer of bicycles in India, marketing top brands like Hercules and BSA and is a part of Tube Investments of India (TII), a flagship company of the US$ 3.14 billion Murugappa Group.
The company is also promoting Cannondale & Bianchi’s performance ranges in the Indian market. Since their introduction in April 2009 some 500 bikes from both brands have been sold by TI’s Track & Trail stores in Delhi & Bangalore. For the first year a sale of about 3,000 Schwinn bikes is targeted per year, as they are lower prices compared to Cannondale and Bianchi bikes. TI Cycles controls 32% of the bike market in India and it is planning to open more Track & Trail outlets.