Polaris India Pvt Ltd was established as a wholly owned
subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc. (USA), Polaris India Pvt Ltd. launched
its flagship products including ATVs, Polaris Ranger RZR, Side x Side Vehicles
and Snowmobiles in India on August 24, 2011. At the helm of affairs of the
Indian arm is Pankaj Dubey, a person with very practical experience of the
Indian two-wheeler industry. It was therefore natural that Polaris continued to
have faith in him as they launched their Indian Motorcycle brand in India.
What has been the
progress of Indian Motorcycle company in the country because you started off on
a very cautious note with a single dealership?
We did have a launch last year and yes, we are cautious and
slow. We took a step forward and we wanted to be firmly entrenched. We started
with the Gurgaon dealership last year and now we are on the expansion mode. In
the next three or four months you will see more than five dealerships coming
into the country in almost all the important towns. And thereafter you shall
see a lot of action from Polaris (Indian Motorcycle is part of Polaris
Industries of US)
Has the company got feelers from states
outside Delhi for owning and operating an Indian Motorcycle dealership?
There are a lot of people who are enthusiastic and are keen
to associate with the brand. But we need a right kind of a partner. We are not going overbroad to select our
partners. We have identified places and people and are evaluating everything to
ensure that they are able to do justice to our brand once they come on board.
The interest from the Indian Motorcycle perspective has been extremely high
ever since we launched the Scout. After the Indian Scout was launched, interest
levels have gone dramatically high.
Indian Motorcycle is
part of the Polaris family and Polaris has been in India with its all terrain
vehicles for quite some time. Has there been some kind of a rub off on the
Indian brand because of Polaris presence or even some kind of a synergy between
the two brands when it comes to the target audience?
I do not see a synergy as such because these are two
different set of customers as a whole. Polaris riders are not necessarily
motorcycle riders or customers. On the other hand, if we look at the Indian
customer, he would love to do off roading at some stage, but perhaps not want
to own an ATV. W hat we see are two distinct businesses. But since Polaris has
been present from 2011, we have a very nice network across the country, we have
a strong base in India, we have a strong after sales team, etc. Those are plus
points which Indian Motorcycle inherited in a way. Besides, the image of
Polaris is very high in the eyes of its customers. Most of the people in the
motorcycle industry know what Indian is all about.
What about bringing
your Indian Chief Dark Horse into India?
We shall be shortly launching the Dark Horse in India and
thereafter the Roadmaster. We already have the Indian Scout, the Indian Chief
Classic, Chief Vintage and the Chieftain in the country. You will get to see the two brands in a
couple of months. In future whenever an
international model is launched we hope to have it here in India simultaneously.
How do you see the
Indian luxury motorcycle market evolving, in the sense there are cruisers,
adventure bikes, classics, etc. which of
these sub segments you think will grow faster?
We have done a lot of research in India before we came in
and we found that the customers in this segment are more inclined towards
cruisers or touring bikes. When they are looking for a common bike, then they
go in for some product from the current options available in the country. But when it comes to cruisers, then there are
just a couple of brands and we are definitely one of them. We have products
that are outstanding.
Do you see this
cruiser sub segment growing in India wherein you start manufacturing bikes in
I would love to see that day very soon. The good thing is
that it is growing. There is a lot of interest in the cruising and touring
segment. I foresee that in the next four-five years this segment could see
‘Make in India’ products. I am seeing that kind of potential and Indian
Motorcycle will definitely be there.
What is the company doing in terms of events etc to promote
the Indian Motorcycles?
Our cruiser products start at Rs 25.5 lakh and upwards upto
Rs 47 lakh. These bikes are super premium and so are the customers. We didn’t
go in for owners club etc and besides with one dealership, it was practically
not possible to have a big owners group. But with products coming in like the
Indian Scout, there is a mass appeal because the prices for this product start
at Rs 11.99lakh. Suddenly people realised that their dream to own an Indian
bike was possible with the Indian Scout. That is where the volumes build up and
that is where the owner’s groups and weekend rides start happening.
What is the road
ahead for Indian Motorcycle?
We have big plans for Indian Motorcycle in India and we have
just started. We have just one dealership and we shall have five more
dealerships. By end of this year we should have around eight dealerships. We
feel that in another year or two down the line we will cover around 14 to 15
markets in the country. The volume will really pick up from this year onward.
We cannot give you a number but in the next four to five years I foresee
volumes that will enable to get into manufacturing or CKD operations.
Will you see demand
coming from Tier II cities and towns?
Right now it will come from bigger towns but I think in a
year or so you will see us in the big B towns of the country. These will
include places like Lucknow, Indore, etc. Currently we have a dealership in
Delhi NCR, we shall be opening outlets in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad Chennai
and Ahmedabad. Thereafter we shall open in places like Kochi, Kolkata, etc and
then move on to Goa, Pune, Chandigarh and subsequently to all the B towns.
Do we see the Victory
Motorcycle from Polaris coming into India also?
Right now we are building to brands Polaris and Indian
Motorcycle. We want to give everything that Indian deserves before we launch
another brand. It is very easy to launch any other bike, because they are reayd
and we just have to make a phone call and the bikes will arrive. But to do
justice to any new brand requires a lot of initiatives. Let us first do justice
to these two brand (Polaris and Indian Motorcycle) and then Victory is just a
call away. It will be some time before we launch Victory in India.
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