Tube Investments of India
 
Tube Investments of India
Tube Investments of India Ltd.
Formerly TI Financial Holdings Ltd.
TI Cycles pedals to higher growth on high-end bikes
 

TI Cycles pedals to higher growth on high-end bikes

Striking a new chord: Mr D. Raghuram, President, TI Cycles (left), and
Mr Edward Vlutters, Director of International Sales, Asia Pacific, at the launch of GT

Sales of mass premium, super premium bikes may see 100% jump.

Despite a stagnant market for standard bicycles, TI Cycles of India, part of the Murugappa Group, expects to grow by 12 per cent this year, driven primarily by sales of its ‘mass premium' and imported super premium bicycles such as Bianchi, Cannondale and Schwinn.

While the premium bikes are priced Rs 20,000 to approximately Rs 2.5 lakh, TI entered what is a new segment for it, which it calls the ‘mass premium' in the price segment Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. Its launch of sturdy bicycles, branded Hercules Roadeo and Ryder — which are “buzzing with attitude,” according to Dr D. Raghuram, President of the company — has struck a chord in the market with first-year sales notching up over Rs 50 crore, with the company unable to match demand.

This financial year is expected to be even better, according to Mr Arun Alagappan, Senior Vice-President, TI Cycles. Sales of the mass premium and super premium bikes in the first-half of this year have already outstripped the full-year sales of the previous year. Both segments, he expects, will see over 100 per cent growth. TI Cycles, a division of Tube Investments of India Ltd, registered sales of Rs 940 crore in the year ending March 2010.

New launch

To enhance its portfolio of high-end bikes, TI launched two more bikes on Friday — the GT and Mongoose. TI will also start producing Schwinn cycles at its factory from this year. Mr Alagappan said that sales of premium bikes were driven by demand from urban India where there has been a cycling resurgence.

“After years of degrowth, urban areas is finally seeing some positive growth where youngsters are seeing cycling as a cool thing,” he said.

Government schemes such as the NREGA and the free cycles schemes started by the Bihar and U.P. Governments is helping cycle makers get volumes in the standard segment of cycles.

“In fact, there is an increase in girls going to school in these States because of the free cycle scheme,” he added. The Karnataka and TN Governments give away almost 11 lakh cycles free every year to the underprivileged.