Indian bicycle industry expanding

January 28th, 2009 - 11:31 pm ICT by ANI  

By Karan Kapoor
Ludhiana, Jan.28 (ANI): Not many may know but India is the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world after China. The industry, having an annual turnover of over 1.2 million bicycles, is today all set to expand itself to meet new challenges posed by global slowdown.
It has been observed that there is a broad spectrum of bicycles from fitness to racing in demand. And, India can meet this demand effectively.
The Indian bicycle manufacturing and bicycle spares industry is widely recognized for its quality standards in international markets.
One of the countrys leading bicycle manufacturers and exporters is Neelam cycle industries. Operating under the flagship of M/S Seth Industrial Corporation, the ISO certified company came into existence in 1964. The company specializes in manufacturing a wide range of complete bicycles, spare parts and heavy Duty Kits for Rickshaws. With new plants in the offing, Neelam Cycles is optimistic about raising its existing turnover of 24 million USD to 30 million USD by the end of this year. Our R and D (Research and Development) is working day and night to develop new models. We are installing new plants. Our new painting plant has started just recently with the cost of 40-50 Lakhs. By such actions we hope to increase the production by at least 25% from the previous year, said K.K.Seth, Director of the Neelam Cycle Industries.
The countrys 1.2 billion dollars bicycle industry, which thrives largely on domestic market, also exports eco-friendly bicycles to Africa, Latin America and Gulf countries. Neelam Cycles too has tested the international waters through direct and indirect exports. Its export base lies in 32 countries. But with recession, higher steel prices and stiff competition from China, the company is facing tough times. And, this has led Neelam Cycles to look at innovative strategies.
Certainly it (recession) has affected. But we have expanded over area. Even small towns of India also have Neelam cycle dealership. We have expanded the global markets. Previously we were confined to East Africa but now we also have West Africa as our market. We have also added some countries of Asia like Bangaldesh, Burma. So we are expanding the area to meet global recession, said K. K. Seth. The company closely follows new market trends, is fully conscious of the buyers needs and is launching many more reasonably priced and advanced models. We have a good response from the market as we are not only the manufacturers of standard bicycles. The segment has changed. We serve bicycles that cater to different segments from a Child to an elderly. Apart from that we have a good share in market. We have 70-80 per cent of the market for the rickshaw kit, said Satish Talwar, the marketing head of the Neelam Cycle Industries.
Separate bicycle tracks are coming up in Indian cities and this given hope of a revival of cycle culture in metros to the manufacturers.
Though global recession has hit the bicycle exports too, Neelam Cycles is of the opinion that there is huge domestic potential, especially in Tier II and Tier III cities in the country.
Metros are basically regarded as Tier I cities, relatively smaller cities are regarded as Tier II cities whereas smaller cities are considered as Tier III ones. (ANI)

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