“If you dream small dreams, you may succeed in building something small. For many people, that is enough. But if you want to achieve widespread impact and lasting value, be bold.”
Fresh out of engineering college, the path ahead of me was full of possibilities – all these new things I could do, and new places I could be. How would I choose what was right for me, I thought. In a quiet unassuming moment, I decided to let my passion for a good machine drive me ahead. Now, nearly two decades later, life’s come a full circle. And what a remarkable journey it has been!
In the ten years that I spent at Bajaj Auto, I learnt the nitty-gritties of the two-wheeler business – what worked, what didn’t and what made a motorcycle durable. Constant innovation was the key to keeping the product fresh and appealing – I learnt. That’s when pro-biking was born. During these years, my passion and love for a ‘perfect biking experience’ only doubled, and believe it or not, the more that I rode, the more demanding I became of my machine. When the opportunity to work with Triumph presented itself, it didn’t take very long for me to say yes. I had to do it! After all, Triumph is THE iconic motorcycle brand.
Five years of blazing from one milestone to the next – Triumph’s record growth has made it one of the fastest growing premium two-wheeler brands in the country.
This success is not an overnight phenomenon, nor is it attributed to just my business acumen and market savvy as some people like to put it. The most important driving force behind this accelerated growth is a great range of bikes & accessories and our desire to give India the real riding experience that does not end with just buying the bike. We have carefully put together all our learning about the Indian luxury motorcycle market and have engineered that perfect ride for the discerning Indian rider. Our many achievements have been due to the strategic choices we have made, and also because of our commitment to creating THE RIDE and igniting the passion for it. The Triumph family in India has grown from a single dealership in Bengaluru in 2013 to 16 world class experience centres across the country currently, we have also won 55 prestigious auto industry awards till date.
The adventure & touring bikes
Triumph Motorcycles India offers bikes across categories which caters to varying needs of bike enthusiasts. Globally, luxury bikes are noted for styling and riding features. For instance, you ride classic bikes with a straight posture. In cruiser bikes, you are almost relaxed while in adventure bikes, you are literally standing and riding. In super sports bikes, your chin almost touches the fuel tank. The Bonneville range, a classic with its timeless style and modern technology, has been our best-selling model in India. The adventure & touring bikes have also earned a lot of loyal customers in recent time. The thrilling acceleration of naked sports bike which includes the Street Triple Range has already won many hearts.
We want to be associated with the luxury and lifestyle brand segment and do not want to be in the entry level category. There is a huge potential in the segment we intend to address where latent demand will eventually grow. In India, the luxury space is evolving. It is no longer restricted to the wealthy. A new aspiring Indian has emerged who is potentially our customer, be it a CEO or a young student.
Today, luxury bikes have become an experiential product. The relationship between you and your bike is sacred, we understand that. Which is why we take a lot of time to customise your bike for your needs. This starts from the moment you enter our dealership. No one will ask you about the purpose of your visit, instead an ample amount of time is dedicated to give you details about each of our products. We even give you, our potential buyers, a platform to customise your bikes before making a purchase decision.
Being in the superior technology 500+ cc category, we encourage riders to experience the bikes through test rides. As I said earlier, we truly believe in creating a lasting connection with our customers and not just ending the relationship once they have purchased the motorcycles.
Rides and Training initiatives
In India, our goal has been to create a culture of safe riding. In the last five years, we have focused keenly on this aspect through the introduction of ride-focused technical clothing range and education of customers on the hows and whys of riding safe. Recently, we had flagged off our road safey ride from Jammu to Kanyakumari, where the rider took road safety sessions across all of our dealerships.
Triumph Motorcycles is obsessed with riding.
Passionate isn’t the word; Triumph Motorcycles is obsessed with riding. For Triumph owners, we provide specially curated riding experiences to ensure they are fully able to explore and experience their machines for the job they are designed for. Some of the other rides we organise on a regular basis in India are the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride (DGR) and The Independence Day Ride in association with Smile Foundation for saving the girl child. Celebrating Independence Day with over 300 Triumph owners from across the country all riding to raise funds for the education towards the girl child. The Tiger Training Academy is another sincere effort to give back to our passionate riders with seasoned quality training and interactive sessions. It is also a great way of showcasing how much more their very own Tiger is capable of in terms of performance.
It is a great way to reconnect with our customers in line with our goal to provide them with a holistic riding experience. It also offers a unique opportunity for our customers to better understand their motorcycles and get the right skills to ride safely – both on and off road. Participants also got a chance to interact with seasoned riders and other customers of Triumph Tiger. For new owners it certainly is an eye-opening introduction to the capabilities of the bike and for seasoned riders like some of us, we got to understand a lot of technical details and capabilities of the bike as well.
Our key focus for 2018-19 is to re-inforce our positioning as a luxury motorcycle brand – get more enthusiasts to experience the unique design and technological superiority of our product, expand our dealer network, and introduce new products into the Indian market. Ultimately, we are looking at growing our sales by over 25% in the fiscal 2019.We believe adventure and classic bikes will be at the forefront of motorcycling in India. The classic range is becoming a style statement here and overseas. The adventure bike segment is also taking off in a big way given that people want to travel with their friends and engage with the riding community.
By 2020, we intend to have 20-25 dealerships with greater penetration into Tier I and II cities. For now, I am just going to put on my favourite riding jacket and zoom off to work to make that happen!
The journey of building a brand is as much about knowing and pre-empting the needs of your customer as it is about being flexible and adaptive with business decision making.
Author: Vimal Sumbly
Currently leading Triumph Motorcycles India by its handlebars, as its Managing Director, Mr. Sumbly is an experienced and agile business leader with strong business building, strategic and operational expertise in highly competitive business environments.