Industry

Royal Enfield eyes global markets for apparel business

Ghost rider: Riding conditions and product certifications vary from market to market, the company said. R. Ashok

Ghost rider: Riding conditions and product certifications vary from market to market, the company said. R. Ashok  

Motorcycle manufacturer hopes to make inroads into Europe, Asia Pacific with its riding gear

Royal Enfield is eyeing international markets, particularly in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, to grow its nearly five-year-old apparel and accessories business, and is looking at catering to the increasing demand within India, a senior company official said.

“Royal Enfield motorcycles sell in a large number of countries and that gives us a platform to cater to the customers there and representation in those countries. The plan that we are working on right now is to build a stronger portfolio that could cater to specific international markets,” Puneet Sood, head, Apparel Business at Royal Enfield, told The Hindu.

Mr. Sood believes that the international market would be one of the areas that would drive growth for the company’s apparel and accessories business.

Asked about the target markets, he said, “One of our objectives is to build high impact, which means that wherever our motorcycle presence iS strong, those are the markets we will start focussing on. For example, Europe is a heritage market for us. We are a known brand there. This is one of the markets we will focus on, the U.K, specifically. APAC is another market, which we believe, holds huge potential for us.”

While Mr. Sood did not share any numbers, he said that in the last two years, the business segment had seen a significant growth. “We are in higher double-digit growth right now. So, we are definitely growing at a faster pace in that market, which itself is growing at a good pace in India.”

Mr. Sood pointed out that riding conditions and product certifications vary from market to market. “For example, a helmet in Thailand will require different certification vs. helmet sold in India, vs. what is sold in Europe... so that is another bit that we are working on. Plus, in an apparel business, the fit also differs from market to market...we are working on.”

He added that while currently the company’s range was focussed on India, most riding products met international norms, and were supplied to international markets as well. Mr. Sood said that specifically for India, the company intended to introduce products that are value for money, and are competitive in terms of pricing and suitable for the Indian terrain.

Under the segment, the company sells protective gear such as helmets, riding jackets, gloves, trousers, shoes, besides products like shirts, t-shirts, key chain, mugs, belts and wallets. Mr. Sood said that the company had invested a lot of time in developing products specially for India as the weather and terrain here were different than in other markets.

“One of our objectives is that keep improving the product portfolio that we have. We are working with riding groups very very closely... there are market needs that are emerging... we are currently researching products that can be offered to cater to that need,” Mr. Sood said.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 6:19:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/royal-enfield-eyes-global-markets-for-apparel-business/article30785575.ece

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