Company Description: Steelbird
Hi-Tech India Ltd. (SBHT) is the flagship company of Steelbird group of
industries in India. Founded in 1964 by Subhash Kapur, SBHT is one of the
oldest manufacturers of helmets, pannier boxes and auto accessories in India.
SBHT, entered in to technical collaboration with Composites Bieffe S.r.l. (previously known as Finim S.P.A,) Italy, in 1995. SBHT also has a tie – up with
AD Engineering, Italy for supply and distribution of its quality laboratory
equipments for Indian market. SBHT has also entered in to exclusive supply
agreements with M/s Nava S.r.l, Italy and M/s GP One S.r.l, Italy for exports
of helmets and auto accessories of certain defined models. The company has 25 helmet models and 8
pannier box models, each having on an average 3 to 9 colour variations and
different decals, and have around 800 product variants.
What is size of the Indian helmet
In the next few years, the size will
be 100 million units per annum. When the helmet becomes legally mandatory in
all the cities, both the rider and the pillion rider will be compelled to wear
them. As a result, there will be a lot
of demand in the replacement market. Right now, the organised market accounts
for only 3 million units. Going forward, it will be 10pc of the total market at
10 million units.
What are the different kinds of
products that you manufacture?
We are selling five different kinds
of helmets i.e. jets, demi-jets,
full-face helmets, flip-ups, and motocross. We have 25 models and 8 Pannier Box
models, each having on an average 3 to 9 colour variations and different
decals, which means we have around 800 product variants. Our products are serving various purposes
like safety, ski, bulletproof, grand prix, integral, off-road, etc in different
sizes from XXS to XXL catering to all customer segments viz men, ladies and
kids. We are also selling customised helmets fitted with anti-scratch, antiglare
and antifog visors, exclusively for its buyers carrying our own brand name. In
addition to that, we also manufacture Helmet Locking Devices (HLD) and auto
Which particular segment gives you
the maximum volumes?
We are the masters in making motorcycle
helmets. The entry-level segments give
us the maximum numbers. We have brands like ‘Adonis’ and ‘SB1’ which are
non-painted and are very economical.
And which one is your most expensive
Our helmets are designed in
technical collaboration with Bieffe. It has unveiled its first carbon fibre
helmet that has been designed in-house and costs 13,000, which is the most
expensive helmet from an Indian manufacturer.
Are you planning to roll out any new
We have already launched a helmet
especially for ladies and that is doing very well. We have also tied up with Yamaha for
supplying our helmets for their Ray scooters. Our flip-up helmet has also done
fantastic sales for us. We have also made helmets especially for Royal Enfield
Bullet riders. Going forward, we would also be looking to ally with global
heavyweights like Triumph, Harley Davidson, Ducati, etc.
What strategies are you working on
to sell your premium products?
We have established our own RiderZ
Shop across the country. It is a one stop shop for bikers, with a range of
helmets, jackets and suits, gloves, goggles and pannier boxes in store. We are drawing up plans to set up 200 such
signature stores across metros and tier 1 cities including Mumbai, Bangalore,
Kolkata, Chennai, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Lucknow, Ahmadabad and Indore. In such
outlets, we will be displaying 400 different helmets from our stable under one
roof. We are also generating a lot of
demand in non-metro cities.
What about marketing and promotional
We have established our brand name
in the corporate sector because of its quality products combined with brand
promotional activities like participation in international exhibitions and
trade shows, advertisements in satellite TV channels, auto magazines and newspapers, hoardings, translates, glow signs
and gift articles. SBHT had participated in several trade exhibitions in India
and abroad. Apart from running a fan community on Facebook, we are also the
sponsor for the MTV Hero Roadies X.
Could you shed some light on the
current trends and challenges in the Indian helmet industry?
People are increasingly becoming
quality and brand conscious. Even though
motorcycles account for a huge share of the Indian two-wheeler market, riders
hardly have any choice if they wish to buy authentic, branded and international
quality riding gear. Around 90pc of the helmet industry is catered by the
unorganised sector selling fake helmets. As riders are risk prone, their needs
should be addressed. So there needs to be a heavy clampdown from the government
on non-ISI marked helmets.
Currently, where are you exporting
your models to?
We are exporting to various OEMs in
50 countries. Our Steelbird-branded
helmets are being shipped out to the Middle East and Africa.
Lastly, what is your vision for the
We aim to provide the best quality
and services to the customer with the innovative technologies. The focus of
Steelbird R&D Design team is to design and develop products at par with
international standards and best fit to Indian pockets. A few examples are SB
Zorro, Adonis, Cruse, and Carbon Fiber etc. We want to be the leading helmet
maker in India and intend to provide the best value-for-money products to the
customer. We are also eyeing to expand our base in the entry-level segments
that will ensure that such high-technology products are accessible to more
customers. We are also planning to set up one more plant at Greater Noida that
will be increasingly catering to the domestic market.
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