Tube Investments of India
 
Tube Investments of India
Tube Investments of India Ltd.
Formerly TI Financial Holdings Ltd.
TI Cycles setting up aluminium bikes facility
 

TI Cycles is setting up a facility to make aluminium frame bicycles, as it seeks to beef up its performance product range.

The company primarily makes carbon steel bicycles, which are starter bikes representing the lowest end of the value chain. Aluminium bikes, which are lighter and used by amateur bikers, are in the mid-range in terms of price and performance.

Last year, TI Cycles entered the high-end with the launch of Montra, a range of lightweight carbon frame and alloy high-performance bicycles.

The aluminium bicycle facility, on which Rs 6 crore will be invested, will come up at TI Cycles' existing plant in Ambattur, Chennai.

It is expected to be ready in nine months. This, the company hopes, will also give it a toehold in the export market.

Mr L.Ramkumar, Managing Director, Tube Investments of India Ltd

“We have identified technologists who will work with us to set up the facility. We will start making aluminium bicycles for the local market. Once we showcase our capability, we will get export opportunities,” said Mr L. Ramkumar, Managing Director, Tube Investments.

“A large number of cycles are sold in supermarkets in Europe and America at price points as low as $40-50 — we cannot make money in this space, which is dominated by the Chinese.

“We were in this market many years back and got out. The next level involves independent bike dealers who are extremely knowledgeable. If we can put a bicycle in these shops, we will get a better price.”

Mr Ramkumar also said that a few international players have expressed interest to buy the bicycles under a private label, if they meet expectations.

The aluminium bicycles could be priced in the mid range — between Rs 7,000 and Rs 25,000.

Meanwhile, TI Cycles is also looking to acquire niche companies making alloy and carbon bicycles. It is looking at opportunities in Western Europe and America to boost its mid- to high-end offerings.

“We are looking at acquisition opportunities in aluminium, titanium and carbon. They could be even small companies in the developed world but they have to add value in terms of the technology we aspire to have… We have seen a couple of them,” said Mr L. Ramkumar, Managing Director, Tube Investments.

TI Cycles is a division of the Murugappa group company Tube Investments.