- India's biggest premium bicycle maker is looking at a minimum 30 percent growth in fiscal 2022
- In fiscal 2021, the company sold over 1 lakh bicycles while struggling to meet demand
- Launched more affordable range of bicycles priced at Rs 10,000-15,000 to expand portfolio
- Covid has ushered strong demand for bicycles as fitness conscious consumers have latched on to it.
India's largest premium bicycle maker Firefox Bikes has said it is looking at a minimum 30 percent growth in volumes in fiscal 2022 as the strong demand for bicycles that started during the lockdown last year is set to continue for the next 2 years.
The company has launched a new more affordable range of bicycles-Bad Attitude that is priced between Rs 10,000-15,000, which it believes will help bring newer customers to its fold. In fiscal 2021, the company clocked 1.05 lakh unit sales, crossing the 1 lakh mark for the first time ever.
"There is a very large market in the Rs 10,000-15000 price bracket which is the entry level premium category. It caters to new adopters who are not very sure if they want to go for a typical Firefox kind of premium bicycle but are keen to test waters with a good quality but affordable premium bike," says Sukanta Das, CEO, Firefox Bikes. "We saw that this market was also expanding big time. So our new range fulfils exactly these needs-a great quality Firefox bike but at a more affordable price. This should help us expand our sales by 30 percent this year."
This new range comprises of six bikes available in gear and gearless models and in mountain (MTB) and city bike options. Das says the industry has attracted a lot of new customers and adopters in the last one year and calls Covid-19 a black swan moment for the sector.
"The premium cycle segment has undergone a complete transformation in the last one year post Covid. The entire bicycle industry was waiting for this kind of black swan moment which has happened now. This industry was always growing at a regular pace of 4-5 percent. Last year was phenomenal particularly in the premium bicycles that has seen a demand upsurge of 6 times," he says.
"The demand was so strong that manufacturers were not geared for it so we were able to service demand of upto say 1.5-2 times the size of 2019. Lot many more people who wanted to pick up a bicycle have not been able to which suggests that the demand is going to continue for at least the next 2 years."
"We got lot of new customers and adopters. People who were fitness conscious latched on to this," he adds. "With gyms shut, people found that cycling was a much better way of burning calories while maintaining social distancing. Further a lot many of us are now more conscious and serious about the environment now than before the pandemic."
Every year, nearly 15 million bicycles are sold in India but a bulk of them are affordable roadsters that are priced at under Rs 5,000 bought by those at the bottom of the pyramid. Fancier premium bicycles that cost more than Rs 10,000 account for only 5 percent of the overall industry volumes.
"Covid has taken the entire bicycle industry into a different orbit. Even if the surge in demand comes down, the growth track will be entirely different from what we had in the past. Premium category contributes to only 5% of the overall market but I expect this segment to expand and account for 8-9 percent of the overall industry," Das says. "People have seen and are talking about the benefits of bicycling in far higher number than ever before. That gives us the confidence that India with its large population and low penetration, bicycling will become a way of life."